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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Joe Biden could make history by choosing an African American woman as vice president

Joe Biden is considering making history by choosing the first African American woman on an American presidential ticket as his mind turns to the November election against Donald Trump.

Biden has yet to officially get the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party, but his rival Bernie Sanders is expected to abandon the program as he has lost eight of the last nine states that have voted.

Already a former vice president of Barack Obama, Biden knows the lengthy verification process for potential MEPs his team has already prepared.

During a debate last Sunday, Biden said he would choose a woman as his travel companion, in what appeared to be a deliberate announcement to generate headlines underpinning his first-place status.

It would not be the first time that a woman has been chosen as vice president. Geraldine Ferraro, then a deputy in New York, was chosen as the current partner of the Democrat Walter Mondale in 1984.

In 2008, Republican John McCain, dragging Obama into the polls, chose the little known Sarah Palin, then governor of Alaska, to join his ticket. He came to regret the choice after his series of gaffes.

But Biden, who has hinted at this thought in recent months, has suggested that some African American women are in mind, in what would be the first.

In November, Biden said he “could start naming people” when asked about potential vice presidents, including “the woman who should have been the governor of Georgia” on a list of possible choices.

That woman is Stacey Abrams, a Georgia politician who narrowly failed to become the governor of the state in a 2018 run that sparked accusations against Republican suppression of voters.

Although he never held national office, the 46-year-old became a rising democratic star and was chosen to answer Mr. Trump last year.

Kamala Harris, the California senator who challenged Mr. Biden for the nomination this year is another name often spread by Democratic assistants and strategists who reflect on the topic.

The 55-year-old father comes from Jamaica and the mother comes from India. Harris outlined a political platform during his offer to the White House not far from the one proposed by Mr Biden and recently approved it.

James Clyburn, the influential South Carolina deputy, whose support helped ensure Mr Biden’s victory in the state that triggered the return of his primaries, asked an African American woman to get the position.

“I will never tell you who I will recommend it to,” Clyburn told Axios last month. “But I would advise him that we have to have a woman on the ticket and I prefer an African American woman.”

Other political women said to be in the running include Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, two other senators who ran for the 2020 nomination, and Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan.

Biden, 77, also named political experience, a similar vision for America and the relative youth among the characteristics she desires in a vice. He said he wants a ticket that will “look like the country”.

The process of reducing names to a shortlist and finally choosing a winner could take months, with the winner likely announced at the Democratic National Convention scheduled for July.

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