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Monday mailbag: Biden’s V.P. shortlist
This morning, we listed Senators Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren as some of the possible running mates for Joe Biden after he declared he would select a woman for the job. Eric Wiesenthal of Sacramento writes:
Your bullet on possible V.P. candidates was easy, but not very imaginative. I agree with you listing the women who’ve run this time, but I would suggest you and your team begin investigating possible African-American and Latinx candidates. Stacey Abrams of Georgia comes to mind, as does Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. My guess is there is a robust shortlist of women of color who would bring youth, energy and genuine excitement for what the Democrats will offer.
Our colleague Katie Glueck gave us an update on the thinking in the Biden camp:
While Mr. Biden is certainly not yet the nominee, he has mentioned by name, or alluded to, a long list of potential running mates, including many of his former rivals. And his allies are already quietly — and largely unofficially — debating the merits of various vice-presidential candidates, mainly focusing on the names Mr. Biden himself has floated in public.
One school of thought holds that Mr. Biden must choose a running mate who reflects the racial diversity of the Democratic Party, and he is already facing pressure from some of his most loyal backers to select an African-American woman in recognition of his unique debt to black voters.
Another view is that the stakes of the election are so high, and Democrats are so focused on beating Mr. Trump, that Mr. Biden is likely to have wide latitude to choose whichever person he concludes is likeliest to help him win the general election. And choosing a popular woman for the vice presidency might be greeted with strong enough enthusiasm within the Democratic Party to offset any reservations about an all-white ticket.
Some close to Mr. Biden’s campaign have noted that he appears fond of Ms. Klobuchar, who endorsed him before Super Tuesday. He went on to win her home state, Minnesota, despite never having campaigned there this cycle, and he seemed visibly incredulous at his results watch party that evening when he noted the victory, a reflection of how unexpected it was.
A day after Ms. Harris dropped out of the race, Mr. Biden said: “She can be the president one day herself. She can be the vice president.” She rallied with him on the eve of the Michigan primary, and he dealt a major blow to Mr. Sanders in that contest. There are still bruised feelings among some in the Biden camp over her lacerating remarks about his views on busing during a debate-stage clash, but Mr. Biden has said that he doesn’t hold grudges.
He has also expressed openness to Ms. Warren, though more recently he emphasized her value in the Senate. Still, he said on the debate stage on Sunday that they had spoken recently, and over the weekend he endorsed her bankruptcy proposal.
In November, he alluded to several other women outside of Washington: Ms. Abrams, the former Georgia House minority leader and 2018 nominee for governor; Sally Q. Yates, the acting attorney general who was fired by President Trump early in his term; and Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.
Other names generating chatter include Ms. Cortez Masto of Nevada, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Representative Val Demings of Florida. But in an MSNBC interview on Monday, Ms. Whitmer appeared to take herself out of the running. “It is not going to be me, but I’m going to have a hand in helping make sure that he has got the rounded-out ticket that can win,” she said.
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