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Veepstakes: Who will be Biden’s running mate?

Veepstakes: Who will be Biden’s running mate?

With Joe Biden all but confirmed as the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election, the debate has now turned to who will be his deputy and appear on his ticket to fight against Trump and Pence in November.

On Thursday, Biden announced his vice-president search committee, in which he will vet potential candidates and decide which is one he believes is best. Joe Biden has already stated that the vice-president will be a woman, and with a recent sexual assault allegation emerging within the last few weeks, he will hope that a strong woman on the ticket will improve his chances and reassure the electorate that he is the right man for the job. With the announcement not expected until at least July according to some sources, here are three of possibly the most likely contenders at this early stage:

Amy Klobuchar

If capturing the moderate voters is your aim for the election, Amy Klobuchar may be your safest bet. As a senator for Minnesota, a Midwestern state, she would likely be able to help Biden in the Electoral College numbers. She would surely turn her home state of Minnesota blue again after it narrowly went for Trump in 2016, and neighbouring state Wisconsin may even be swayed back into voting Democrat in the presidential election for the first time in 8 years. Klobuchar was the third Democratic presidential nominee to drop out after Biden cruised to victory in South Carolina and swiftly endorsed Biden, cementing herself as a loyal and trusted ally. She has already took the stage campaigning for him in Dallas, and hopes that her continuing support will land her on the ticket in November.

Gretchen Whitmer

Somewhat of a rising star in the Democratic Party in the last few months, Whitmer’s stock began to rise nationally after she delivered the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union address in February of this year. Now, as the pandemic wreaks havoc on the economy, the context of the general election has shifted, and Whitmer is seen to be handling the crisis well. She has been praised for announcing a tuition-free education program for essential workers and called out the Trump administration for failing to help get Michigan personal protective equipment, being insulted by the president in the process. Due to other high profile names being touted as contenders, Whitmer seems to be flying under the radar, and people seem to forget that Biden told MSNBC’s Brian Wilson in an interview that Whitmer made his shortlist ‘two months ago’. There have been criticisms raised that as she was just elected in 2018, so she is perhaps too inexperienced to be running for the second-highest position in the country and should finish tackling the coronavirus pandemic as governor first. Despite this, as a governor of an important swing state, she is someone to certainly keep an eye on and should not be overlooked.

Kamala Harris

The junior senator from the state of California, Kamala Harris is proving herself to be a shrewd political operator within the Democratic Party. She has strong appeal among both moderates and progressives which is perhaps one of the reasons why in polls she has been seen as the top choice among the public. Furthermore, as the most high profile black female candidate being considered, she represents the most influential voting bloc for the Democratic party and may be able to increase turnout amongst a group that saw their turnout figures drop off in 2016. Harris is also a fierce debater that would help Biden in the campaign, and her skills would most definitely shine during a vice-presidential debate against Mike Pence. She showed her effectiveness when she grilled Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings, and during the presidential debates, she was strong and fiery too. She was particularly critical of Biden throughout the campaign though, at one debate questioning his civil rights record, so perhaps this will impact her chances of being on the ticket in November. Biden and Harris have likely already made amends for the greater good of party unity, though if she does become his running mate, questions will be asked about her sudden u-turn on Biden’s record.

 

Photo Credit: Phil Roeder via Flickr under licence (CC BY 2.0)

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