In Veepstakes 2020, we just want to know one thing: Who will be Joe Biden’s running mate?
We do know a few things about this already, chief among them that it will be a female.1 Joe Biden said as much during a Democratic primary debate at the time it appeared his campaign was in runaway train status. We also know that there is an unofficial shortlist floating around out there in the ether.2
Feel free to tell us here or on social media who will win the veepstakes to become the Democratic running mate, but first, a little on the prospective contenders.
Update, August 11: It’s Kamala Harris, California’s Junior Senator
Harris was the obvious pick – perhaps too obvious – but Biden followed through and made one of the safest choices he could muster. The completed Biden-Harris ticket will take on Trump-Pence in the 2020 election.
Veepstakes 2020: Possible Considerations – Written Pre-Pick
Val Demings. Demings is a 63 year-old congresswoman from Florida’s 10th District. She was elected to Congress in 2016 after having served as Orlando’s police chief. Demings is one of several women of color up for consideration.
Kamala Harris. She is the junior United States Senator from California and a former presidential candidate who dropped out in 2019. Prior to her election to the Senate, she was California’s attorney general. Many have mused that Harris is the favorite to be the pick, if not a strong favorite. For that reason alone, pause for a moment: is it ever exactly who you expect? That said, if it were not Harris, there would be a lot of surprised faces.
Susan Rice. Rice was Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor during his second term in office. She was also America’s United Nations ambassador.
Elizabeth Warren. A favorite of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, Warren is the senior senator for Massachusetts, elected in 2012. Before getting into politics, her background was in academia. Warren dropped out of the race following Super Tuesday.
Veepstakes 2020: Other Names Mentioned
Stacey Abrams. Abrams is known for her candidacy in the 2018 Georgia governor’s race and the controversy which surrounded voter registration thereafter.3 She became known in Democratic circles after giving the 2019 Democratic response to Donald Trump’s State of the Union. Prior to running for governor, she was the Minority Leader of the Georgia State House.
Tammy Baldwin. Wisconsin’s junior senator joined the Senate in 2013 after serving the Wisconsin 2nd District in the US House. If selected, she would be the first openly LGBT person on a major-party ticket.
Keisha Bottoms: The mayor of Atlanta has caught the attention of some pundits, but would Joe Biden pick a mayor (albeit of a big city)?
Tammy Duckworth. Duckworth is the junior senator from Illinois, first elected in 2016. She is a veteran and a former congresswoman from the 8th District. Her name is getting thrown around more and more as Biden’s selection draws near.
Maggie Hassan. Hassan is New Hampshire’s junior senator and, like her colleague Jeanne Shaheen, a former governor. However, while Shaheen declined to be vetted, Hassan did not.4
Michelle Lujan Grisham. Lujan Grisham is the current governor of New Mexico, elected to the spot in 2018. Before that, she was the congresswoman for New Mexico’s 1st District.
Michelle Obama: We’re just throwing the former First Lady’s name in here because it’s been mentioned. However, let’s be real: the odds of a Biden-Obama ticket are not great.
Gretchen Whitmer. Making the news a lot lately, Whitmer is the incumbent governor of Michigan who took office in 2019. She previously served as a county attorney and state senator.
Withdrawn from Contention
Catherine Cortez Masto. Cortez Masto is Nevada’s senior senator and a former Nevada attorney general. She first won election to the Senate in 2016.
Amy Klobuchar. Klobuchar is Minnesota’s senior senator, first elected in 2006 after having been county attorney in Minneapolis. Notably, she also ran for president in 2020 and made waves in New Hampshire before her campaign hit a dead end in South Carolina.
1: Brian Schwartz, “Joe Biden pledges to pick a woman to be his running mate,” CNBC.com, March 15, 2020, CNBC Link)
2: Jeff Zeleny and Dan Merica, “Joe Biden’s running mate list is shorter than you might think — for now, at least,” CNN.com, May 13, 2020, CNN Link)
3: Letitia Stein, “U.S. voting rights trampled in Georgia governor’s race: lawsuit,” Reuters, November 27, 2018, Reuters Link)
4: John DiStaso, “Both NH senators invited to initial interviews for Biden VP slot; Hassan agrees, Shaheen declines,” WMUR, May 21, 2020, WMUR Link