Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is facing mounting pressure to announce his running mate — and a new report indicates his campaign is closing in on a candidate.
Given the current political environment, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is on “even stronger footing” in the narrowing race to fill out her party’s presidential ticket, according to a report from Microsoft News.
Biden has previously indicated that he would select a woman to be his running mate. He has seen increased calls to select a person of color amid ongoing protests against racial injustice and police brutality.
The Associated Press recently reported that the former vice president had a shortlist of possible picks.
Harris was among several black women included in the list, which also included U.S. Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) and Atlanta, Georgia, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Despite Harris’ obvious appeal to the Biden campaign, a report earlier this week signaled some distance between her stance and the candidate’s position on defunding the police.
During an ABC interview, the senator came out in favor of Los Angeles, California, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s proposal to redirect millions of dollars in police funding.
“Someone who is totally simpatico”
“We’ve got to re-examine what we’re doing with American taxpayer dollars and ask the question: are we getting the right return on our investment?” Harris asked. “Are we actually creating healthy and safe communities? That’s a legitimate conversation and it requires a really critical evaluation. I applaud Eric Garcetti for doing what he’s done.”
Biden, on the other hand, has spoken out against such proposals.
“No, I don’t support defunding the police … I support conditioning federal aid to police based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness,” he said in a CBS interview that aired on Tuesday.
In the same interview, he said that the ongoing civil unrest has not changed his objective in choosing a running mate, but it has “put a greater focus and urgency on the need to get someone who is totally simpatico” with his position on matters such as “the systemic things that you want to change.”
There is rightfully plenty of media focus on Biden’s choice. With Republicans expressing more enthusiasm about the 2020 race than Democrats, it will be important for him to pick a running mate who can stir up excitement among different segments of the party’s base if he has any hope of winning.