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AP photo suggests Joe Biden has chosen Kamala Harris as running mate

Credit: AJC

Women who could become Joe Biden's running mate

Credit: AJC

A picture captured by an Associated Press photographer suggests presumptive Democratic White House nominee Joe Biden has already chosen his running mate, that being Sen. Kamala Harris of California.

As he took questions from reporters Tuesday, Biden held notes that featured Harris’ name scrawled across the top, followed by five talking points: “Do not hold grudges.” “Campaigned with me & Jill.” “Talented.” “Great help to campaign.” “Great respect for her.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic White House nominee, references Sen. Kamala Harris, among other things, as he speaks at a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic White House nominee, references Sen. Kamala Harris, among other things, as he speaks at a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Credit: Andrew Harnik

Credit: Andrew Harnik

Those are all observations Biden has made before about Harris. But they take on new significance after a recent Politico report that one of Biden’s closest friends and a co-chair of his vice presidential vetting committee, former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, still harbors concerns about Harris’ tough debate stage performance and that she hasn’t expressed regret.

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The comments attributed to Dodd have drawn condemnation from Democratic women who maintain Harris is being held to a standard that wouldn’t apply to a man running for president.

During that debate, Harris said Biden made “very hurtful” comments about his past work with segregationist senators before she slammed his opposition to busing as schools began to integrate.

Kamala Harris and Cory Booker endorse Joe Biden

"There was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day," she said. "And that little girl was me."

At the time, Biden called her comments "a mischaracterization of my position."

Since her campaign ended, Harris has endorsed Biden, who has already committed to choosing a female running mate and said he would announce his choice in early August, before the considerably scaled back Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee.

Credit: AJC

Democratic National Convention to be postponed

Credit: AJC

As reflected in Biden’s notes, Harris has become a reliable surrogate for Biden, appearing with him in online fundraisers amid the unusual social distancing standards forced on the campaign by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As recently as last week, Harris headlined her own event for Biden, one focused on the Raleigh area in North Carolina, a battleground state where Harris’ dual appeal to Black voters and college-educated white women could boost Democrats’ prospects.

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In just his third extended news conference in four months, Biden also sidestepped specific questions about the timing of his decision on a running mate, an approach reflected in another entry on Biden’s notepad. Under the heading “VP,” Biden wrote “highly qualified” and “diverse group,” signifying his intention not to tease out any more details.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.