With the selection committee in place, the campaign of former Vice President and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has begun the process of vetting vice presidential prospects. Here’s who we know is being considered so far.
Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a Thai-American Iraq War veteran who had both her legs amputated after her helicopter was shot down, will interview with Biden, her fellow Illinois Senator Dick Durbin confirmed last week.
Biden has also reportedly asked for vetting papers from New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a former House member who was elected Governor in 2018 and would be the first Hispanic American to serve as president or vice president.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who was first elected in 2018 and has been a lightning rod for Trump’s animus during the coronavirus pandemic, said Tuesday that she is in talks with the Biden campaign to begin the vetting process.
Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), a former Orlando police chief who worked as one of six Democratic impeachment managers during Trump’s impeachment trial, confirmed on Thursday that she’s on the shortlist.
New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) who also served as governor, is being vetted, according to New Hampshire radio station WMUR, while her fellow senator and former governor Jeanne Shaheen declined the invitation.
The latest name to emerge is Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a former 2020 presidential candidate known as a pragmatic centrist who typically wins landslide reelections, who CBS reported Thursday will be vetted by the campaign.
Other top contenders being floated include Biden’s former 2020 opponents Senators Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who tend to lead in polls of Democratic voters. Former Georgia Representative Stacey Abrams, who lost a hotly contested race for governor in 2018 and has since led various voter access efforts, has also been the object of much media speculation due to her public campaign for the slot. Other dark horse candidates being floated include Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.), former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates.
What To Look For
A number of prospects have been openly auditioning for the VP slot, with many, including Whitmer, Harris, Warren, Klobuchar and Abrams, doing events and media appearances with Biden in recent weeks. Behind the scenes, various interest groups have been competing for Biden’s favor, with strong pushes for a Hispanic or African American pick. Biden has said he’s looking for a running mate who would be prepared to take over for him as president. Polls have shown Democratic voters agree, while also placing a high premium on boosting the ticket electorally.