Joe Biden’s Democratic presidential campaign will appoint his running mate in early August.
The former vice-president pledged during a March Democratic primary debate that if he were selected as the candidate, he would choose a woman to be his number two.
Since then, Mr Biden has secured the party’s nomination, and more than a dozen women have been suggested as potential vice-presidential candidates.
Three days ago, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar removed herself from consideration for the job, saying Mr Biden should pick a woman of colour for the role – in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests and increased scrutiny into racial injustice in America following the death of George Floyd.
Here, we take a look at some of the most prominent women in contention to be the Democratic vice-presidential candidate.
Senator Kamala Harris, formerly California’s attorney general and San Francisco’s district attorney, ran unsuccessfully to be the Democratic presidential candidate last year. Her mother is from India and her father is from Jamaica, and she has recently called for police reform following the protests. She has criticised Mr Biden in the past during the primary debates over his past views against mandatory bussing to desegregate schools. However, she recently raised $2m for Mr Biden in a virtual event, and she is considered by many to be the front-runner for VP.
Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, a former state legislator, has recently been a target for Donald Trump after enforcing sweeping shutdown and social distancing rules to combat coronavirus, and criticising the federal government’s approach to the disease. Donald Trump narrowly won Michigan in 2016, and a VP from the state could help the Democrats win it back.
Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth is an Iraq veteran, who lost both her legs during the war. She worked as an President Barack Obama’s Department of Veteran Affairs. In 2016, she became Illinois Senator, after being the first Thai-American woman elected to Congress
Senator Elizabeth Warren was an early favourite to be the Democratic presidential candidate, viewed as a more pragmatic candidate on the left than Bernie Sanders. However, progressives switched back to supporting Mr Sanders, preferring some of his policies, including healthcare plans. She did not endorse Mr Sanders when she dropped out of the race, earning her resentment from some on the left, but possibly some appreciation from Mr Biden’s campaign. Appointing her would be a signal that Mr Biden wanted to reach out to the left wing of the party in a time of economic upheaval.
Congresswoman Val Demings has recently been suggested as a possible vice-presidential choice. Choosing the Black former chief of police from Florida would suggest that Mr Biden was serious about his intent to tackle racism and police reform.
Stacey Abrams has been a Georgia congresswoman for ten years, narrowly losing the race to be the state’s governor in 2018. She has been a key activist on voting rights, and was the first Black woman in history to give the Democratic response to Donald Trump’s 2019 State of the Union Address. She has actively campaigned to be chosen by Mr Biden, a move that some have criticised, while others have viewed as refreshingly frank.
There have been reports that Mr Biden’s team has vetted Susan Rice to be vice-president, despite her inexperience holding elected office or campaigning. She worked in President Obama’s White House as national security adviser, after being US representative to the UN.
Michelle Lujan Grisham
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham served in Congress and as New Mexico’s health secretary – which could make her a trusted pick during a pandemic. Hispanics were relatively very unlikely to vote for Mr Biden in the primaries, and so picking a Hispanic woman could aid him gaining support and voter turn-out from Hispanic communities.