Who will Joe Biden choose as his vice presidential nominee? These women might make the ticket

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris launches her campaign for President of the United States at a rally at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in her hometown of Oakland, California, U.S., January 27, 2019. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
  • With no challengers remaining in the 2020 primary, former Vice President Joe Biden is now the Democrats’ presumptive nominee.
  • Now that the top of the ticket is settled, attention will shift to who Biden will choose as his running mate.
  • We know that Biden has promised that he will nominate a woman as his vice president. But some of his supporters, like Rep. Jim Clyburn, want him to go further and choose a woman of colour.
  • Here are some of the women that have been floated as potential vice presidential nominees, including Sens. Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Catherine Cortez Masto, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, and Florida Rep. Val Demings.
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Now that the 2020 Democratic primary has settled on Joe Biden as the party’s standard bearer, speculation will shift to the second half of the ticket. If past precedent holds, at some point between now and August, when the Democrats plan to hold their national convention, Biden will announce his pick for vice president.

We already know at least two criteria that Biden has put forward:He has promised he will choose a woman as his running mate, and he wants a person who could take over as president “the day after they’re picked” in the event “something happened.”

Some Democrats and Biden allies, most notably South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, believe Biden should go farther and choose a woman of colour for the ticket.

Behind the scenes, Biden has sought advice from figures like President Barack Obama about who he should ultimately choose. In late March, Biden said he would begin his vetting process “in a matter of weeks,” and that “there will be a group that is in excess of six or seven people that I look at.”

Here are some of the women who Biden may consider for the vice presidency.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California

When Harris was still in the 2020 primary race, she was one of Biden’s toughest rivals, consistently sparring with him during televised debates.

But after Harris ended her campaign in December 2019, she has emerged as one of the most frequently mentioned running mates for Biden.

At a relatively young 55 years of age, she would help balance a ticket with a septuagenarian at the top. Her resume includes a stint as California’s attorney general, and she has served over three years in the U.S. Senate.

Nominating Harris would also diversify the presidential ticket, which many Democrats would like to see given that the 2020 race began as the most diverse field in history only to narrow to a white man.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

Another erstwhile 2020 opponent that might make Biden’s shortlist is Klobuchar, who ran on a moderate platform.

A major part of Klobuchar’s pitch was her ability to speak to working class, white voters in the Midwest, a segment of voters that Democrats have fixated on winning back from Trump in 2020.

With the party’s eye on recapturing Midwestern swing states like Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Klobuchar’s Minnesota roots might give her an advantage in the veepstakes.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

In terms of ideology and policy, Warren stands to the left of Biden. But the progressive Senator, who finished third in the 2020 primary, has appeared on lists of potential vice presidential nominees since she dropped out of the race.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow asked Warren on Wednesday if she would accept an offer to be Biden’s running mate.

Warren replied simply, “Yes.”

Stacey Abrams, former candidate for governor of Georgia

No candidate – male or female – electrified Democratic politics in 2018 the way that Stacey Abrams did. After serving as the minority leader of Georgia’s state assembly, she turned her eyes on the governor’s mansion.

In her challenge to Georgia’s then Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Abrams became the first black woman to become a major party nominee for governor, and her race was the most closely watched of the midterm election.

Though she lost by a narrow margin, Abrams’ profile has only grown since her defeat. She founded Fair Fight 2020, a voting rights organisation, and delivered the 2019 Democratic response to Trump’s State of the Union address.

And she has been very public about her willingness to serve as the vice president.

“I would be an excellent running mate,” she said in an interview published in Elle magazine on April 15.

“I have the capacity to attract voters by motivating typically ignored communities,” she continued. “I have a strong history of executive and management experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. I’ve spent 25 years in independent study of foreign policy. I am ready to help advance an agenda of restoring America’s place in the world. If I am selected, I am prepared and excited to serve.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan

The Michigan governor, whose race was one of the most closely watched of the 2018 midterms, has risen to new prominence during the coronavirus pandemic.

Whitmer has not shied away from sparring publicly with President Trump, who has attacked her from the White House podium and referred to her as “the woman from Michigan,”as her state deals with a rising outbreak.

But the best indication of her chances for the vice presidential nomination came from Biden himself, who told MSNBC on March 31 that he was considering her as a running mate.

“She made the list in my mind two months ago,” Biden said.

Like Klobuchar, Whitmer also represents a Midwestern state, and Democrats are eager to reclaim Michigan from the Republicans in November.

Rep. Val Demings of Florida

Rep. Jim Clyburn, the South Carolina congressman credited with delivering the state to Biden, thereby saving his candidacy, has repeatedly indicated he would like to see Biden choose a black woman as his running mate.

In addition to Harris and Abrams, Clyburn has also mentioned Demings, a two-term congresswoman from Florida with a background in law enforcement, as an ideal running mate for Biden.

She was the first woman to hold the position of Orlando police chief, and once in Congress, Speaker Nancy Pelosi selected her as one of the impeachment managers in Trump’s Senate trial this year.

Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto

Much like Harris, Cortez Masto is a relatively young senator serving a diverse state, with a former background in law enforcement.

The former Nevada attorney general made history with her 2018 election, becoming the first Latina to serve in the U.S. Senate.

After Biden promised to nominate a woman in March, Latino Victory, an advocacy group, publicly touted her as a potential candidate.