Democratic donors and operatives are eyeing Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren as top potential picks to be Joe Biden’s vice president.
Harris (D-CA) is the favorite among major party donors and Biden campaign officials, according to Politico. Warren (D-MA) is running second in the veepstakes with support from the party’s progressive wing.
Biden supporters’ feelings toward Harris have apparently grown warmer since the senator delivered one of the most aggressive attacks on Biden from any presidential candidate throughout the campaign.
Since the Democratic primary effectively ended, Biden and Harris have had several phone calls. Harris has refrained from directly lobbying the former vice president to be the other half of his ticket, however for most presidential campaigns, overt lobbying by potential VP picks is considered impolite if not rude.
“Clearly, she is out there and being supportive of Joe, but she is coming at it from a position of strength,” one Democratic donor told Politico. “She has continued to prove herself as a team player for Joe, a team player for Senate Democrats and that’s going to benefit her regardless of whether she’s picked for VP.”
In the second Democratic debate in June, Harris hit Biden over his previous opposition to forced bussing to combat segregation in the school system. She also ripped into his work with segregationist senators, though he was against segregation himself.
“I do not believe you are a racist, and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground,” Harris said. “But I also believe – and it’s personal – it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose bussing.”
Allies of Biden have largely chalked up the June debate to the rough and tumble of politics. They have dismissed concerns that the former vice president might hold a grudge against Harris, and Biden allies are taking note of her vocal support for Biden since ending her campaign.
“The vice president and his team knew full well the primary was going to be tough going in and that every candidate was in it to win,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), one of Biden’s early endorsers, told The New York Times. “And the openheartedness and the genuineness with which Senator Harris has endorsed the vice president, embraced him and supported him, is all that matters now.”
While Warren is favored by the Democratic Party’s progressive base, Democratic donors have voiced staunch opposition to Biden picking her as his second.
“I think a lot of the donor base, on board and coming, would prefer almost anyone but Elizabeth. I don’t see him choosing her for veep” a longtime Biden fundraiser told CNBC.
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