Presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden’s choice of running mate could make or break his campaign as concerns about his health build.
Though Biden said on Monday that he has narrowed his search down to four black women, he reversed on Wednesday and said that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is also still under consideration.
Up in the air
Biden has reportedly given himself a deadline of August 1 to announce his choice of running mate. With just over a week until his deadline, he still is considering at least five candidates.
“I am not committed to naming any but the people I’ve named, and among them, there are four black women,” Biden told MSNBC Monday. “It is important that my administration, I promise you, will look like America.”
“When I get all the vetting done of all the candidates, then I’m going to narrow the list, and then I’m going to have personal discussions with each of the candidates who are left and make a decision,” Biden explained.
The Washington Examiner reported that Biden’s top four candidates are Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and former national security adviser Susan Rice.
Whitmer has been considered out of the running for several weeks due to the Black Lives Matter movement. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) made waves in mid-June by publically withdrawing from consideration in order to encourage Biden to “put a woman of color on that ticket.”
Klobuchar’s decision came as the protests following the death of George Floyd were reaching a fever pitch. Because of the political climate and Klobuchar’s strategic move, Biden appeared to have ruled out all white candidates, but he appears to have flip-flopped once again.
Whitmer is back
The controversial governor of Michigan is said to have been auditioning for the position of VP for months, though much of the press she’s gotten during the COVID-19 pandemic is not good press.
During an interview with a Michigan news outlet, WOOD-TV reporter Rick Albin asked Biden pointedly if he is still considering Whitmer as a potential running mate, to which Biden replied: “Yes.”
Whitmer has denied that she’s auditioning to be VP, saying in May that “I was elected to be the governor of the state of Michigan. It is the honor of a lifetime and that’s where I’m spending 100 percent of my energy. I’m making a little bit of time to stay connected to the campaign but the most important thing I have to do right now is be the governor of my home state.”
She has not responded to Biden’s announcement that she is still in the running for vice president.