Democratic White House contender Joe Biden promised to announce soon who will be joining him as vice president to face Donald Trump. At least one thing is known: it will be a woman.
Biden’s running mate, a front-runner in the polls for the November 3 presidential election, will be the third vice presidential candidate in US history, after Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Sarah Palin in 2008, four years later. that Hillary Clinton became the first nominee for the presidency.
Among the possible applicants, one sounds very strong: California Senator Kamala Harris, who in December surprised by resigning from the presidential race and in March declared her support for Biden.
His name has grown in strength since photographers caught him in a notebook Biden was carrying last week. Under “Kamala Harris” it could be read: “she doesn’t hold a grudge”, “a lot of help in the campaign”, “great respect for her”. At that time, other annotations about other possible candidates were not seen, or were not seen.
Coincidence or not, the influential news site Politico gave Harris the winner in a note dated August 1, which she later retracted, noting that it was prepared in advance and that disclosing it had been a mistake.
The truth is that the resume and career of Harris, a 55-year-old lawyer, daughter of a Tamil Indian and a Jamaican, reinforce her possibilities.
– Possible black VP –
The pressure for the Democratic vice president to be black grows after a primary with a great diversity of applicants and an electoral campaign marked by the coronavirus pandemic, which has especially hit African-Americans, not only among the dead but among those affected by the profound economic recession. Added to this is the recent historic wave of protests against police violence and racism.
In this context, will Harris be able to help get a Democrat into the Oval Office? Many believe so, although for others her past as a tough Californian prosecutor may play against her.
For this reason, other prominent policies are considered.
One is California legislator Karen Bass, who at 66 heads the group of black congressmen who drafted a police reform bill named after African-American George Floyd, whose death in late May was suffocated by a white police officer. , unleashed the massive demonstrations that shook the country.
Also appearing is Susan Rice, 55, a former Obama national security adviser, whom Biden knows well from his years in the White House. And there’s Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, 50, who is prominent in the midst of the health crisis and who early declared her support for Biden more than a year ago.
Biden could however point to another crucial electorate for Democrats: the Hispanic. Michelle Lujan Grisham, 60, the first Democratic governor of New Mexico, has chances there.
There are also two outstanding senators in the fray: 52-year-old war veteran, injured in combat, Tammy Duckworth of Illiniois, and another presidential candidate who threw in the towel, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. At 71, the latter raises questions not only about her left positions, like Bass, but because of her age.
– Key to 2024 –
The election of the vice president often has Washington in suspense. But now it is particularly important given that Biden will turn 78 on November 20. Thus, if he defeats Trump, he will be the oldest president to assume office, surpassing Republican Ronald Reagan, who was almost 74 when he began his second term in 1985.
“The election of the vice president this year is much more important than it normally is because people expect Biden to only serve one term,” said David Barker, professor of government at American University in Washington.
“And then whoever he chooses as his vice president is probably the next Democratic presidential candidate in four years,” he said.
Barker said he considered Biden unlikely to make a “high-risk” decision when he surpasses Trump in polls by a comfortable margin of up to 10 points in some polls, even in states that have traditionally not clearly opted for a match.
Will the guesswork end this week?
Biden might choose someone, but not announce it until before the Democratic National Convention, which begins August 17 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the traditional appointment, which will be reduced to avoid contagions, you must formally accept your nomination as a candidate.