Biden VP decision imminent

Committee screening candidates has 'effectively disbanded' having completed task, according to reports

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Tuesday 11 August 2020 15:30
Joe Biden discusses his choice of Vice President

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will announce his choice of running mate imminently.

A person familiar with the process has told Reuters it will be this week, and The New York Times reported that the campaign will make the announcement as soon as Tuesday, but more likely on Wednesday.

The outlet cited people briefed on the selection process and said that the candidate screening committee has “effectively disbanded” having completed its work.

Mr Biden and his potential vice president will formally accept the party’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention, scheduled for 17-20 August.

Previously reported deadlines to announce the running mate were missed and it is possible that the timeline could “slip again”.

Reuters says that a campaign spokesperson declined to comment.

Former vice president Biden has committed to picking a woman as his running mate and has come under increasing pressure from some Democratic leaders and activists for her to be Black.

They argue that Mr Biden otherwise risks dampening enthusiasm among Black voters who are so crucial to the Democratic base, particularly at a time when the country is gripped with protests against racial injustice.

Aimee Allison, founder of She the People, a group that promotes women of colour in politics, thinks it would be politically “reckless” if Mr Biden did not choose a woman of colour.

“It’s the most important decision the Biden camp can make to set the tone for the last 80 or so days,” she told Reuters. “Picking a Black woman for the ticket is affirmation that we are included in the vision of governance.”

Among the top contenders are US Senator Kamala Harris of California and former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice, both of whom are Black.

US Representative Karen Bass, a Black lawmaker from California, and a half dozen other women were under serious consideration.

They include senators Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Duckworth, US Representative Val Demings, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Most of the list of possible candidates are already scheduled to speak at the DNC’s virtual convention set to play out over four nights next week ,according to a list released on Tuesday.

Particularly close attention has been paid to Mr Biden’s choice, as if he wins the election he will be the oldest person in history to take office as US president. There is already speculation that he may only serve one term and his vice president would then be in pole position to be the nominee in the 2024 election.

With reporting from Reuters

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