Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden is expected to roll out his pick for Vice President in the next 24 hours, following months of jockeying and speculation over the name of the woman that could potentially be the nominee in 2024 if the Democrats win in November.
According to the New York Times, Mr Biden's decision could be revealed as soon as today but many Democrats expect it to be on Wednesday. It follows months of vetting, virtual fundraisers and media appearances for more than 10 women candidates, culminating in interviews with the former Vice President in the week.
The process has been shrouded in secrecy and the Biden campaign has managed to keep a lid on meetings and interviews that the nominee has had with the candidates last week.
In March, Mr Biden announced his intent to pick a woman for the post and the campaign examined a list of Governors, Senators and Congresswomen since May.
But it is Senator Kamala Harris, former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Governor Gretchen Whitmer that have had one-on-one meetings with Mr Biden on August 2, the New York Times reported.
In the aftermath of the George Floyd killing in May and the Black Lives Matter protests, it is most likely that Mr Biden would pick an African-American candidate for the position to heal the racial divide. That makes both Ms Harris and Ms Rice two favorites for the pick, with the Senator from California holding an edge as a national figure who ran her own campaign and has held elected office, a source in contact with the campaign told The National.
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Mr Biden’s timing of the announcement is consistent with previous nominees who have historically scheduled it few days before their party’s convention.
The Democratic convention is slated to begin in Wisconsin on Monday and will be for the most part virtual due to the pandemic. Mr Biden himself will accept the nomination from a different location that has yet to be announced.
A schedule of the convention released on Tuesday has the party’s biggest stars headlining the event.
Those include former first lady Michelle Obama and progressive Senator Bernie Sanders on Monday; former second lady Jill Biden, former president Bill Clinton, and liberal firebrand Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez on Tuesday; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator Elizabeth Warren and former president Barack Obama on Wednesday; Senators Tammy Duckworth, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris on Thursday ahead of Mr Biden’s acceptance speech. If Ms Harris or Ms Duckworth is the pick then the schedule would change.
The campaign also announced a new team to help the incoming Vice Presidential candidate. Those include Liz Allen, a former Biden spokesperson who will be the running mate’s communications director and Sheila Nix, who was former chief of staff for Biden to be a senior adviser. Karine Jean Pierre will be the chief of staff for the VP pick.
Traditionally an early indication is the secret service assigned to the running mate. Those would be dispatched to the potential VP house few hours before the decision and the nominee is expected to travel there for a meeting with their pick. But, due to the pandemic, it is unclear if the rollout will change this year.
Mr Biden continues to lead US President Donald Trump in national and key swing state polls 84 days ahead of the vote on November 3.