Last night at the Democratic presidential debate between former VP Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, Biden said that he is committed to picking a woman as his vice-presidential running mate.
Biden’s announcement happened on the heels of women's organizations and progressive leaders pressuring the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to make a commitment to include women, including calling for the eventual Democratic nominee to select a woman running mate, appoint a majority-woman cabinet, and to center issues such as paid family leave in the Democratic platform.
"There must be a woman on this ticket," Cecile Richards, the former head of Planned Parenthood for America and founder of political advocacy group Supermajority, told The New York Times. "What is really important to see is representation, a commitment to the issues that women care about, and a commitment to do something about it."
Biden has previously said he would prefer a running mate "of color and/or a different gender." Now, the speculation about who his VP pick will be has started in earnest: Will he choose Sen. Kamala Harris, with whom he sparred during past debates? Or will it be Stacey Abrams, in an olive branch to progressive voters? Perhaps he will give a nod to moderate Midwesterner Sen. Amy Klobuchar, whose endorsement very likely helped him win the Michigan primary.
The woman chosen as Biden's running mate would be only the third woman, after Sarah Palin in 2008 and Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and the second Democratic woman to be a major-party vice-presidential nominee, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.
"In a year in which six women vied for the presidency, four of whom are United States Senators, it shouldn't be surprising that the nominee would select a woman as his running mate," CAWP director Debbie Walsh said in a statement. "The energy of women activists, candidates, and voters drove a Democratic wave in the 2018 elections; it would be foolish not to try and harness that energy in 2020."
Many eyes are also on Sanders, who, unlike Biden, has not committed to picking a woman as vice president. Instead, he said he would "in all likelihood" choose a woman as vice president, but reminded everyone that he believes ideology is more important than representation. "For me, it's not just nominating a woman. It is making sure that we have a progressive woman, and there are progressive women out there," he said during the debate.
Ahead, read about the women who could potentially become Biden's vice president.
Sen. Kamala Harris
This is the name floated most often when people discuss Biden's VP picks. Harris famously knocked down Biden over his past record on the issue of race, citing his previous opposition to the practice of busing in an effort to integrate schools during the June 2019 Democratic debate.
But after dropping out of the race, she seems to have cozied up to Biden, offering up her #KHive of supporters to him in a video endorsement. Her résumé — criminal prosecutor, District Attorney of San Francisco, Attorney General of California, and U.S. senator — is a benefit to him.
“She’s qualified to be president; I’d consider her for anything she’d be interested in,” Biden said in January. One potential downside to Harris, as The Washington Post mentioned: She's from California, which is already pretty locked up against Trump.Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar immediately endorsed Biden after dropping out of the race earlier this month, which helped him in his lead over Sanders, particularly in the Minnesota primary. A former prosecutor and longtime senator, she is currently said to be one of his top picks. However, critics say the fact that she's white and a moderate Democrat like Biden brings nothing new to the ticket. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Choosing Warren could be seen as a nod to both women and progressives, many of whom took it hard when she dropped out of the race after disappointing Super Tuesday results. It's also worth watching that Biden recently endorsed Warren's bankruptcy plan, showing that he could be moving left in order to appeal to a broader base of voters.Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
After she came close to winning the election for Georgia governor in 2018, but very likely did not make it due to voter suppression, Abrams became one of the party's superstars. Since then, she has fought for voting rights and delivered one of the Democratic responses to Trump’s State of the Union address. Biden had campaigned for Abrams in her election, but not in the gubernatorial primary, and she has previously said she didn't get into politics to "run for second place."
The last word from her camp? "Leader Abrams would be honored to be asked to join the ticket of the Democratic nominee. For now, she is focused on fighting voter suppression across the country and ensuring an accurate census," a spokesperson told Rolling Stone.Photo: Benjamin Lowy/Getty Images.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Whitmer, who became governor of Michigan in 2018 after almost a decade of Republican rule, endorsed Biden at a crucial moment ahead of the Michigan primary, which he went on to win. She could be an asset for Biden, given that she's from a state that Trump won narrowly in 2016.Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
The New Mexico governor served as chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus when she was in the U.S. House of Representatives and became the first Democratic Latinx woman governor in the country in 2018, and could potentially held Biden win over more Latinx voters. "On the personal side, she shares with Biden a family history marked by tragedy: Her sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor as a child and died at age 21, while her husband (with whom she had two children) died of a brain aneurysm in 2004," according to The Week. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images.
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