News and Commentary

Biden Says His Veep Short List Includes Four Black Women
SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA - JULY 09: The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden stops in front of his childhood home on July 09, 2020 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The former vice president, who grew up Scranton, toured a metal works plant in Dunmore in northeastern Pennsylvania and spoke about his economic recovery plan. With fewer than four months until the election, polls continue to show Biden leading in Pennsylvania which is a battleground state in the race for the presidency. (Photo by
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that his short list of vice presidential contenders includes four black women, but he wouldn’t say who the four are.

“Black women have supported me my whole career,” the presumptive Democratic nominee told MSNBC‘s Joy Reid, adding his list includes “four black women.” But he said “I am not committed to naming” any of them to his ticket.

“I have been loyal, and they have been loyal to me and so it’s important that my administration, I promise you, will look like America,” Biden said.

Throughout the campaign, Biden has repeatedly vowed to pick a woman as his running mate, and with race now becoming a big topic in the election, bookmakers have moved several black women to the top of their lists.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who criticized Biden for his record on school desegregation busing during the Democratic primary, is atop the pile, according to Harris is at even odds, +100 (which means bet $100, win $100).

Susan Rice, a former top aide for Barack Obama, comes in second at +275. While Asian-American Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) is in third place at +650, two more black females fill out the Top 5: Rep. Val Deming (D-FL), a former police chief in Orlando, and former first lady Michelle Obama, both at +1,000.

And two more black women follow Sen. Elizabeth Warren (+1,000): Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (+2,000) and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (+3,330).

The Biden campaign has confirmed to be vetting Harris and Demings. “Biden said the detailed vetting of potential running mates ‘is just being finished’ and he is ‘having a two-hour vetting report’ from those tasked with examining the candidates’ backgrounds,” The Washington Post reported.

“We’ve gone through about four candidates so far,” Biden said. When that process concludes, he said, he will “narrow the list” and have “personal discussions with each of the candidates who are left and make a decision.”

Biden has also vowed to appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court. In his interview, Biden said he’ll go wide with choices for “vice president to Supreme Court to Cabinet positions to every major position in the White House.”

“It’s critically important that be the case,” he said.

Former 2020 candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, pulled out of consideration for the veep slot in June, saying she wanted to clear the way for a woman of color.

“I’ve never commented on this process at all but after what I’ve seen in my state, what I’ve seen across the country, this is a historic moment, and America must seize on this moment, and I truly believe … I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket,” Klobuchar said on MSNBC last month.

If elected, Biden, 77, would be the oldest president in history. He has said he wants his vice president ready to step in on Day 1, adding that he sees himself as a transitional president.

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