Biden delays VP pick while his choices vie for the position
Reports say that tensions are developing around the leading candidates for VP but that Sen. Kamala Harris is leading the pack
The race for the vice-president position is heating up and Joe Biden, the nation’s presumptive Democratic nominee, is trying to get down to the final candidate. Although he said a while back that he’d have a running mate named by now, The Washington Post is reporting that he’s delayed his choice by two weeks.
According to the Post, the delay has potentially pitted the women against each other as they campaign for the position. Of the six women still believed to be on Biden’s list – Sen. Kamala Harris, former national security advisor Susan Rice, California Rep. Karen Bass, Florida Rep. Val Demings, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, four are African-American.
Some political observers say that the process has made it seem as though there are tensions between the Black candidates. Others say the job and its access to power attract extremely ambitious individuals in the first place.
“It’s natural that it’s competitive,” Pennsylvania Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. told the Post. “It’s historic regardless of who he chooses, so that probably adds to the intensity of it.”
But some of the women have shown support for each other.
Harris, who dropped out of the presidential race, is said to be at the top of Biden’s list. When Bass, seemingly a long shot despite becoming the first Black female Speaker of the House in California was referred to as the “anti-Kamala Harris” she quickly spoke in support of her fellow lawmaker.
According to the Post, in an interview on The Breakfast Club, Bass said that she and Harris met and talked at John Lewis’ funeral in Atlanta last week. As for the supposed competition between the two, she says that Harris told Bass “We ain’t doing that.”
Bass agreed, telling the hosts, “I’m not the anti-Kamala.’
Harris is believed to be the top candidate for the position, especially when Biden was photographed recently with visible notes on Harris that included the statement “Don’t hold grudges.” People took it as a reference to their contentious exchanges during the presidential campaign debates.
But Harris has her detractors, some of whom are close to Biden’s camp.
“Kamala can rub some people the wrong way. Karen Bass is not likely to do that,” former Philadelphia mayor and Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell told KTLA Los Angeles. “The number one rule for picking the VP? Do no harm.”
However, Rendell still believes Harris is the most prepared candidate.
According to CNBC, a “shadow” campaign against Harris has come from Biden’s own donors who have problems with her stemming from her perceived ambition. Florida businessman John Morgan, one of Biden’s main donors, is one of them. He’s openly expressed his support for Demings, not Harris.
“She would be running for president the day of the inauguration,” Morgan told CNBC last week.
He took issue with Harris’ drilling Biden during her presidential campaign run.
“For me loyalty and friendship should mean something. But as Bill Clinton once told me, the No. 1 cause of Alzheimer’s is ambition,” Morgan said.
Harris indirectly addressed those concerns in a recent appearance at the Black Girls Lead 2020 conference.
“There will be a resistance to your ambition, there will be people who say to you ‘you are out of your lane,’” she said via live stream.
“They are burdened by only having the capacity to see what has always been instead of what can be. But don’t you let that burden you.”
However, longtime political observer Donna Brazile says that that attacks against many of the women by Trump supporters and others are as disappointing as they are predictable.
“It’s been relentless. It’s been unfortunate. But I must say it’s been predictable,” Brazile said to the Post. “It’s extremely disappointing, because many of these attacks . . . are being made by Democratic men who should know better.”
“I would hope that in this selection process, we are mindful that Black women — and women of color — deserve respect.”
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!