Kamala Harris is reportedly front-runner to become Biden’s running mate
By Tim Darnell
June 12, 2020
As speculation continues to swirl around who will be Joe Biden’s running mate this fall, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris is reportedly emerging as the front-runner.
Harris, who ran an unsuccessful bid herself during the recent Democratic primary, is the African American woman rumored under consideration to have national, political experience typical of vice presidents, The New York Times is reporting.
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That pressure is the result of the national protests and demonstrations over the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. Longtime lawmakers and young liberal activists, state party officials and Biden loyalists have been increasingly vocal about their view that in a moment of extraordinary national upheaval over race, Biden must give deeper consideration to placing a black woman on the ticket.
A record number of women launched presidential campaigns in 2019, but all eventually dropped out. The 78-year-old Biden, who would become the nation's oldest elected president if he wins this fall, emerged from what once was a historically diverse Democratic primary.
Other African American women reportedly being considered are former Georgia lawmaker Stacey Abrams, who was unsuccessful in a 2018 bid for governor; Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; U.S. Rep. Val Demings, who won her Florida congressional seat in 2016; and former national security adviser Susan Rice, who has never run for any office.
In May, Biden told MSNBC's Al Sharpton more than a dozen women are being vetted for his No. 2, and there "is significantly more than one black woman" being considered.
Among the members of Biden’s vice presidential vetting committee are former U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut; U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; and Cynthia C. Hogan, a former White House and Senate counsel to Biden.
Besides Demings, Harris, Rice, Bottoms and Abrams, other women rumored for consideration include U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren; and former Attorney General Sally Yates.
Biden recently battled an allegation of sexual assault by a former aide, Tara Reade, who claims the candidate attacked her in the 1990s while he was still a senator. Biden has addressed the controversy directly, vehemently denying the allegation on another MSNBC show, "Morning Joe."