Here are the female contenders for Biden’s VP slot – New York Post

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s search for a running mate has been kept largely under wraps, but dozens of women appear to be under consideration for the coveted slot.

Other than to pledge his running mate will be female, Biden has revealed little about the selection process or who the leading candidates are.

Here are some of the women being considered by the campaign to join the ticket:

1

Kamala Harris

Major contender

Harris shot to the front of the pack during her own run for the Democratic nomination last year, most notably when she called out Biden during his first debate appearance for his opposition to busing, as well as for recalling his willingness to work with senators who were known segregationists.

Since then, relations between the two have warmed. Harris dropped out of the race late last year and endorsed Biden just days after his impressive Super Tuesday performance.

While the California senator has declined to publicly acknowledge that she is, in fact, a front-runner for the VP job, she has certainly worked to stay in Biden’s favor.

In her capacity as a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, she wrote to Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) in mid-May, asking him to shift his focus away from an investigation into Biden’s son Hunter Biden and corruption allegations regarding Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings.

On a more personal note, Harris and Biden share a common bond through his late son Beau Biden. Harris worked with the younger Biden during her tenure as California attorney general.

Beau Biden was serving in the same position for the state of Delaware at the time.

2

Elizabeth Warren

Major contender

The former 2020 Democratic primary contender has been in “regular contact” with Biden, increasing her outreach to his longtime Senate allies as she makes her case to be his running mate. She has been sending the message to Biden and those closest to him that she’s eager to join the team.

The former 2020 hopeful, despite her usual condemnation of big money in politics, also plans to hold a big online fundraiser for the former vice president next month. Warren will be reaching out to her wealthiest donors during the event to raise money for the party’s nominee.

While Warren and Biden, a staunch moderate, sparred regularly on the campaign trail, the Massachusetts senator has softened on the ex-VP in the months since.

After withdrawing from the race following her lackluster Super Tuesday performance, Warren noted the Biden campaign’s decision to adopt her bankruptcy plan, which would serve as a major effort toward student debt reform, according to CNN.

The policy shift meant a lot to the senator, especially because the two had sparred over the issue for decades.

The network reported that while the pair don’t necessarily “get along like they are friends,” both believe the other is in politics “for the right reasons.”

3

Keisha Lance Bottoms

Major contender

For Bottoms, her relationship with Biden is arguably one of the strongest of any of the women being considered.

The Atlanta mayor is considered within the campaign to be a loyal figure, given her almost immediate endorsement after Biden launched his campaign last year.

Bottoms’ support has never wavered when acting as a surrogate for the former VP, volunteering for him in Iowa in the early days of his campaign and spending months stumping for him throughout the South.

Despite being “simpatico” on policy, which Biden has said he wants in a running mate, Bottoms does come with some caveats as a choice.

Bottoms has only recently risen to national prominence after giving a powerful speech on riots taking place during peaceful protests as a result of George Floyd’s killing.

Chastising the looters who violently took to the streets last week, Bottoms said wrongdoers had disgraced the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. She was met with widespread praise for her handling of the riots.

4

Gretchen Whitmer

Major contender

The Michigan governor oversees a must-win state for Biden, and has turned herself into a rising star in the Democratic Party.

Whitmer was not a household name before the coronavirus pandemic took over the globe and shut down the US economy. Since then, she has become a frequent sparring partner with President Trump over their respective efforts at handling the virus.

Whitmer has acknowledged that she is being vetted by the Biden campaign as a potential running mate, but has tried to tamp down expectations that anything would come of it.

Speaking on MSNBC last month, the Wolverine State governor said, “It was just an opening conversation and it’s not something that I would call a professional formalized vetting.”

5

Val Demings

Major contender

Demings, like Bottoms, did not start out at the top of the VP shortlist. However, both have seen their stock rise considerably as the running mate search got underway.

Demings’ backstory makes her an interesting, and arguably timely, choice given the outrage over Floyd’s death.

Prior to being elected to the House of Representatives in 2016, Demings made history as the first female chief of the Orlando Police Department.

She is also part of a major political power couple in a major swing state: Her husband, Jerry Demings, is the mayor of Orange County, located in a critical swing region of Florida.

In response to the killing of Floyd, Val Demings called for reform to law enforcement in a Washington Post op-ed titled, “My fellow brothers and sisters in blue, what the hell are you doing?”

Demings has confirmed that she is, in fact, being vetted by the Biden campaign to be his running mate. She has declined to comment on the matter beyond that.

6

Amy Klobuchar

Long shot

Klobuchar and Biden share much in terms of their political ideologies. Both are staunch moderates with a history of reaching across the political aisle.

The two also bonded during the 2020 Democratic primary, when Klobuchar was also a presidential hopeful arguing against what she considered overly progressive proposals like “Medicare for all.”

The Minnesota senator was officially approached by Biden’s camp in May, according to CBS News, and has been undergoing the rigorous vetting process since.

Klobuchar is unlikely to be chosen for the job, however, given recent questions about her criminal justice record during her tenure as a prosecutor.

In the wake of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed by a white police officer, the senator has faced mounting scrutiny and calls to withdraw from consideration for the running mate spot.

“Joe Biden’s gonna make a decision on VP and I know he’ll make a good one,” Klobuchar told New York Magazine reporter Olivia Nuzzi.

7

Stacey Abrams

Long shot

Abrams’ narrow loss in Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial race skyrocketed her to national prominence. Biden even once called her a possible contender for the VP slot, referring to her as “the woman who should’ve been the governor of Georgia, the African American woman.”

Abrams is also a favorite of Congressman James Clyburn, a party leader who included her name when speaking to The Post about potential VP choices back in March.

The Georgia native cannot call everyone on Team Biden a fan, however.

Abrams has been aggressively marketing herself as a potential vice president for Biden — something that The Post learned had become increasingly irritating to a few of those in the former veep’s orbit.

Still, Abrams continues to tout herself as a potential vice president, telling Elle magazine that, if asked to serve, she’d unequivocally say yes.

“Yes. I would be honored. I would be an excellent running mate. I have the capacity to attract voters by motivating typically ignored communities. 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,” she said, leaving no question about her interest in the job.

Despite those qualifications, Abrams has no previous national experience, and is mostly remembered for narrowly losing her gubernatorial bid.

8

Michelle Lujan Grisham

Long shot

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico had vetting materials requested by the Biden campaign, Politico reported back in mid-May.

Grisham addressed the reporting during an appearance on CNN at the time, saying she would do “whatever it takes” to support Biden in his White House bid.

When pressed further, Grisham said that what she wanted was to be governor of her state, making it clear her priorities are not on making it to the national stage.

9

Tammy Duckworth

Long shot

Also being considered is Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, a Thai American veteran of the Iraq War who lost both her legs in combat.

While Duckworth and the campaign have remained mum on her being considered, her fellow senator from Illinois, Democrat Dick Durbin, spilled the beans when speaking to the Chicago Tribune last week.

“I support Tammy Duckworth. She’s spectacular, a great colleague and I hope that she fares well in this interview, which I think is going to take place soon,” he told the paper.

Asked during an MSNBC appearance whether she had received vetting materials or anything else from Biden’s campaign, she sidestepped, arguing she wanted Biden in the White House and adding, “I personally have always answered the call when my country has asked me to serve.”

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