Joe Biden’s search for a running mate is entering a second round of vetting for a dwindling list of potential vice presidential nominees, with several black women in strong contention.
Prominent Democrats with knowledge of the process said Biden’s vetting committee has narrowed the choices to as few as six serious contenders after initial interviews. Among those still in the mix are former presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. A potentially surprise inclusion is Susan Rice, who served as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser.
Harris went after Biden last June during the first Democratic presidential debate for his stance on school busing early in his tenure as a US senator. Harris then dropped out of the race in late 2019, and remained neutral before endorsing Biden in March.
Also seeking the Democratic nomination, Warren briefly attained frontrunner status in polling during the fall. Her polling numbers began to sour in October as she became a huge target on a 12-person debate stage in Ohio. Warren faced attacks from a number of other candidates for her lack of specifics for paying for a universal healthcare plan – a plan Biden opposes.
Warren remained in the race through Super Tuesday, failing to win a single state during the primaries. She endorsed Biden in April after Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race.
Rice has not run for major elected office, but gained her bona fides in both the Clinton and Obama administrations. She was appointed as the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during President Bill Clinton’s second term.
She then became President Barack Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations in his first term in office, and his national security advisor during his second term.
Rice’s response to the attack on the US embassy in Libya in 2012 garnered mass media scrutiny. Rice said she received CIA talking points that indicated the attack on the embassy was a spontaneous attack sparked by a hateful video. The United States’ response to the attack under Obama was the subject of a number of congressional hearings.