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Biden Continues Search For Running Mate. Announcement Expected Soon


Joe Biden will name his running mate soon, possibly as soon as this week. On MORNING EDITION, we've talked to some of the women who are said to be on his short list. Last week, we talked to Congresswoman Karen Bass. Tomorrow we'll hear from former national security adviser Susan Rice. NPR political correspondent Asma Khalid is following this one. Hey, Asma.


KING: Who is on the list?

KHALID: Well, of course, the two names you mentioned are certainly on the list. But there are a whole bunch of other women - and women, I should point out, because back in March during a primary debate, Joe Biden pledged that he would pick a woman as his vice president. And so a couple of the other names that we've been hearing a lot about, some of the most high-profile candidates are two women who ran for president themselves this cycle. That's California Senator Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Other names include Florida Congresswoman Val Demings. And there are also possibly a couple of governors, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. We've also heard about Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, who, by the way, Noel, was actually on Fox News Sunday. And she talked about the overall broad list of women who are being considered.


TAMMY DUCKWORTH: Well, I think any one of the women's whose names have been mentioned to be considered are fabulous women and well-prepared to step up and do the job of vice president or step up and take over as president if needed.

KHALID: And Duckworth herself is an Iraq War vet who was wounded in combat. We've heard her name frequently mentioned over the last few weeks. But really, it is Kamala Harris who is still widely considered the most likely pick, just given her background, her biography, her experience.

KING: It is lit. There are so many accomplished women here. Do we know what the Biden campaign is weighing in terms of factors that will go into the decision?

KHALID: Well, they have been incredibly tight-lipped. You know, we have seen some drama play out publicly in the press in the past couple of weeks. And a lot of this sniping that we have seen has been aimed at Kamala Harris. We saw Chris Dodd, former Connecticut senator who's on the VP search committee, he reportedly took issue with Harris attacking Biden during one of the primary debates last year. Some donors allegedly told CNBC that they thought she was, quote, "too ambitious." And that's, you know, language, Noel, that annoyed a lot of women, so much so that Biden's campaign manager actually tweeted out that ambitious women make history.

KING: So you have noted that Joe Biden is committed to picking a woman. Worth noting, also, there's a lot of pressure on him to pick a woman of color, specifically a Black woman.

KHALID: That's true. And that's, you know, partly because just you look at the numbers and Black women are a core Democratic voting bloc. But part of this is also because, in recent months, given the racial protests we've been seeing in this country, a lot of Black women leaders, activists have been saying that this moment feels more urgent now. And back in May, a group of Democratic leaders, activists, African American women made this pitch directly to Joe Biden on a conference call. One of those women was LaTosha Brown. She basically now put out a warning shot on Friday saying that she does not think that Joe Biden can garner the enthusiasm of Black voters without a Black women on the ticket.

KING: Joe Biden will be 78 on Inauguration Day. How might that factor into his decision?

KHALID: Well, in terms of the election, you know, VP picks don't generally matter that much. But I think this election feels different, just given his age and the fact that Biden himself, you know, he's presenting himself as somewhat of a transitional figure. And the sense is that whoever he picks could go on to become the future leader of the Democratic Party.

KING: Wow. NPR's Asma Khalid. Thanks, Asma.

KHALID: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Asma Khalid is a White House correspondent for NPR. She also co-hosts The NPR Politics Podcast.
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