Presumptive Democratic White House nominee Joe Biden invited three U.S. senators to submit their names for vetting to become his running mate, while another high-profile senator is pivoting her stances in an effort to become his No. 2.
On Thursday, Biden’s campaign invited U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen, both Democrats from New Hampshire, to initial interviews. Hassan reportedly agreed to the invitation, while Shaheen declined.
Also Thursday, Biden extended an invitation to U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota for a preliminary meeting. Klobuchar had launched her own, ultimately unsuccessful presidential campaign last year.
Biden has committed to choosing a female running mate in his quest to unseat President Donald Trump in November.
At the same time, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has reportedly softened some of her more liberal positions on issues such as health care, in a bid to become Biden’s running mate.
Earlier this week, Warren endorsed strengthening Obamacare, aka the Affordable Health Care Act, which, according to Politico, is a far cry from her earlier, vehement calls for a universal Medicare for All option.
“I think right now people want to see improvements in our health care system, and that means strengthening the Affordable Care Act,” Warren told students at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, adding she still wants to get to single payer eventually.
Warren and Biden argued constantly about several issues during the most recent presidential primary campaign. But since she dropped out earlier this year, Warren has drawn praise from Biden, particularly when she questioned U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin during a Senate hearing this week.
A record number of women launched presidential campaigns in 2019. All were unsuccessful, leaving two white men well into their 70s to battle for the nomination, Biden and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who ended his campaign earlier this year.
Walter Mondale was the first White House nominee from either party who chose a woman to be his running mate in 1984, former New York Rep. Geraldine Ferraro. GOP White House nominee John McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in 2008.
Other names reportedly under Biden’s consideration include:
Stacey Abrams from Georgia. Even though she lost Georgia’s governor’s race to eventual winner Brian Kemp in 2018, Abrams has been widely seen as a candidate for higher office, even president.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. As governor of a state that Donald Trump narrowly won in 2016, Whitmer could help Biden’s campaign in his efforts to return Michigan blue. Whitmer campaigned hard for Biden during his Michigan primary win and also delivered the Democratic response to Trump’s State of the Union address.
U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand. Both were Democratic presidential candidates in this current cycle. Harris endorsed Biden, but Harris’ California is almost certain to vote Democrat this fall, making her value to the ticket questionable. Gillibrand has been one of the leading, most outspoken advocates for the #MeToo movement and could bring Biden’s campaign into that national conversation.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Gabbard was the last female candidate to drop out of the primary. She’s also at war with Hillary Clinton and filed a multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit against the last Democrat who tried to take on Trump. Would Biden choose someone who has run afoul of the Clinton machine? Or would he see Gabbard as a chance for the party to finally break free from one of the Democrats’ most public faces?
Former Attorney General Sally Yates. Another Georgia connection, Yates was fired by Trump less than a month into his tenure. Yates, then the nation’s acting attorney general, told the U.S. Justice Department not to enforce the president’s controversial temporary immigration ban on seven majority Muslim countries. Yates has since become a Biden supporter.
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