Update 1:40 p.m PDT: Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign on Tuesday afternoon announced that U.S. Senator Kamala Harris would be his vice-presidential nominee. NBC News highlights that “If elected, she would be the nation’s first female, first Black and first Asian American vice president.”
As presumptive Democratic nominee and former vice president Joe Biden draws closer to announcing his choice for a vice presidential running mate, former presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is said to be the clear frontrunner, according to The Hill.
Harris is widely seen as the “safe” pick for Biden, as someone with national name recognition due to her position in the Senate and having previously campaigned for the nomination herself. One source on the Biden campaign said that “she remains a low-risk pick for him . . . and she has relationships on the Hill which could help him as president.” The source then added: “I think, in a lot of ways, she could help him the way he helped Obama.”
Ever since Biden pledged to select a woman as his running mate, the list of possible choices had been narrowed considerably. In the aftermath of nationwide race riots by far-left radical groups such as Black Lives Matter, pressure had been mounting for Biden to specifically choose a black woman.
Over the last few weeks, Biden’s search had narrowed down to a handful of black women, including Harris, former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Representative Karen Bass (D-Calif.), and Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.).
After Bass had apparently emerged as a top candidate, the congresswoman’s history of controversial statements came under heavy scrutiny, including her past praise for the Cuban Communist dictator Fidel Castro, as well as her support for Scientology.
Axios had recently reported that Biden allegedly narrowed his list down to two candidates in the final stretch: Harris and Rice.
Although Rice was one of Biden’s colleagues in the Obama Administration, she carries significant baggage. She was a central figure in the 2012 Benghazi scandal, when she lied on multiple Sunday talk shows about the cause of the attack that left a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans dead, falsely blaming it on an obscure YouTube video.
Rice has also returned to public scrutiny as more revelations have emerged about her role in the planning of the Russian collusion conspiracy aimed at taking down the Trump Administration, and in particular her efforts to oust her successor, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.
Harris had briefly been a frontrunner for the presidential nomination herself, after her performance in the first primary debate where she attacked Biden for his past opposition to mandated desegregated busing, claiming that she was among the students who experienced the very first attempts at such desegregation.
Although Harris skyrocketed in the polls following that debate, she came under heavy fire herself at the very next debate from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who highlighted her record of targeting blacks and Latinos as California’s attorney general. Harris dropped in the polls shortly afterward, and eventually dropped out before the Iowa caucuses.