We are still weeks away from Joe Biden’s announcement of his vice-presidential running mate, but speculation continues to run high. Everyone has an opinion or a preference. The choice is ultimately up to Biden, and his is the only opinion that matters. Several outlets have claimed that Biden’s list has narrowed, and all of them weigh in on whom they believe to be on his short list, which is now allegedly down to eight women, four of whom are Black. We obviously do not yet know whom Biden will choose; however, Washington Post, New York Times, and NPR have set forth detailed descriptions of Biden’s possible choice.
WaPo named six candidates who remain in contention: Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Val Demings, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (who is Latina), Susan Rice, and a relatively new entry, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. NPR mentioned these six women but also reported that both Tammy Baldwin (WI) and Tammy Duckworth (IL) remain in contention while Amy Klobuchar has all but faded out. NPR shared that Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren are farthest along in the process, Tammy Baldwin has been interviewed at length, and Susan Rice and Tammy Duckworth — both of whom have strong national defense credentials — have been asked to provide documents.
Though some of Biden’s allies believe other contenders may face additional vetting, Biden’s campaign has declined comment. Biden has said and continues to say that the woman he chooses must be “simpatico” with him. That statement leads to questions about Warren, who is far left of Biden, though he has adopted some of her policies. The fact is that none of us know for sure, and neither do people who speak with anonymity to the press. Still others continue to express their opinions as to whom Biden should choose.
Marcia Fudge (D-OH) believes that “a ticket that is not reflective of the diversity of this country is a ticket that is doomed to fail.” I would not go quite that far; however, I do feel that the current racial tensions in America will lead Biden to choose a minority candidate, and Bottoms’ strong stance on the protests in Atlanta places her in a uniquely interesting position. In a recent appearance on MSNBC, Bottoms was asked if she is being vetted, and she responded, “I will refer you to the Biden campaign for answers on that process,” to which Dana Bash promptly responded, “That’s not a no.” I personally support that choice if it happens; however, this decision is Joe Biden’s and his alone.
Julián Castro, who was vetted by the Clinton campaign in 2016 shared that the process can be quite intense. Castro told WaPo that each potential running mate received a 129-question survey and had to sit with a team of lawyers for hours. Each candidate’s personal, financial, and political histories are examined. This is obviously not a process for everyone. Biden has many great choices, and he is making steps in right direction by choosing women of color and a gay woman. Our country must be inclusive, and Biden’s choice will reflect the diversity that makes this nation strong.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years