For many months, when Biden considered nearly a dozen women on the ticket, the California Senator Kamala Harris seemed the most natural fit due to her autobiography, her vision supporting black life protests, and her support for legislation to reduce police brutality. But over the past week, a protracted discomfort among some of Biden’s close allies over Harris’ ambition and attack on Biden during the June 2019 debate erupted into the open.
Then at the end of this week, the role of California Deputy Karen Pass was in the hot seat, as the Trump campaign highlighted her trips to Cuba as a young activist and asked whether Biden “would put Castro Karen Pass’s loving Communism on his heartbeat from the presidency” – emphasizing Biden’s potential risks in The political choice is largely unknown, as the other side is racing to determine it.
Although the selection of the Vice President rarely had a major impact on the outcome of the election, Biden’s choice has gained significant importance this year – not only because of voter concerns about his age, but also because in the midst of a pandemic and a painful recession, his team knows that it must He turns to the first rule of Vice President policy by choosing a loyal partner that does not hurt.
The spectacle of the process of examining the vice-president who stormed public opinion made clear the difficulty of the decision facing Biden while narrowing his choice, as well as behind-the-scenes maneuvering by potential spectators and those who might be competing to replace them in the current roles. (The current salon game in California’s political circles, for example, speculates who might appoint Democratic Gavin Newsome an open seat in the US Senate if Harris is deserted.)
Although Biden’s team kept the process secret, the former vice president made it clear from the start that he would select a woman, examining his team Bass and Harris and Obama’s former national security advisor Susan Rice – widely seen as top contenders – as well as the Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth and Florida Rep. Val Demings. Other matters under consideration include Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitman.
“There will be resistance to your ambition.”
For several months, it was no secret that some of Biden’s allies She was still angry at Harris’ attack on Biden during a 2019 debate in Miami, calling for Biden’s opposition to the movement decades earlier as a small senator in Delaware and bragging that he had found a way to work with members of the racist Senate (comments that she found harmful).
The public broadcast of those grievances – as well as widespread comments from some of Biden supporters that Harris is too ambitious and may focus largely on her own designs for the White House – led to her repulsion from her allies last week and from Harris on Friday.
The spotlight on a prominent competitor suddenly
Republicans focused on Bass’s description of Castro when he died in 2016. She expressed her condolences to the Cuban people and the Castro family: “The death of Comandante en Jefe is a great loss for the Cuban people,” Bass said in her statement, in what she said was an attempt to translate “Commander in Chief.” “I hope our two countries will continue together in the new path of support and cooperation with each other, and that they will continue in the new direction of diplomacy.”
Bass said she did not celebrate the Castro regime, and told NBC’s Chak Todd on “Face the Press” on Sunday that she was “naive” in those years and confirmed that her recent work in Cuba focused on hiring doctors to work in American cities, because she comes ” Without fees”.
“Now this does not excuse the fact that I know that the Castro regime was a brutal regime for its people,” said Bass, who worked as a medical assistant before entering politics. “I know that there is neither freedom of the press nor freedom of association.”
When she used the term “comandante en jefe” in 2016, she said she did not see it as a “grainy” phrase for Castro, as interpreted by many Florida residents. “Let me just say, Chuck, the lesson. I’m not going to do that again. I immediately spoke to my Florida colleagues and I realized this was something that shouldn’t have been said.”
However, the Trump campaign is already using the Bass-Cuba connection to try to harm Biden in Florida, a critical battle country with a large influential Cuban population.
In a phone call to the Trump campaign Saturday, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio said that if Bass becomes a vice president, she would be “the sympathetic Castro of the highest rank in the history of the United States government. It cannot come at worst. The time, when the two regimes swing in Venezuela” And Havana is on the verge of real collapse. “
Bass, 66, was forced to defend her faith on Twitter on Saturday – noting that she was “proudly” worshiping at the First New Fellowship Baptist Church in southern Los Angeles – after the conservative newspaper, the Daily Caller, reappeared on A video tape he spoke at the 2010 opening of the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles.
She admitted that in the decade after that speech, “accounts published directly in the books, interviews and documentaries of this collection” were revealed, and that “everyone is now aware of the allegations against Scientology.”
Duckworth, a warrior in Iraq with a purple heart, may face a push back from the left wing of the Democratic Party to the point where it is so centrist at a time when Biden is trying to unite the party after defeating Senator Vermont Bernie Sanders in the primary. . Bottoms and Whitmer fall into key governing positions in states devastated by coronaviruses, putting them in a vulnerable and fragile position if they want to switch gears suddenly and focus on the presidential race.
A former Georgia state legislator, Stacy Abrams, who actively participated in Vice President Biden’s campaign, was asked about the possible disappointment that would ensue if Biden did not choose a color woman for the position in the midst of a national account on race relations.
On Sunday, Abrams told Dana Bash of CNN that “Joe Biden will choose the right partner for him because he is the only person who has done the job.” “While I think diversity is very important, and I think it’s absolutely good to see a constant change in the face of leadership in America, I look to Joe Biden to choose the right partner for himself at the moment before us – an economic crisis, a public health crisis and a justice crisis.”
Biden’s campaign builds history by examining the largest and most diverse field of potential vice president candidates ever. In a highly polarized electoral cycle, where many Americans fight for their economic and physical survival, this group is likely to face more severe scrutiny than any group that has appeared before them in this final range.
This story has been updated with comments from Karen Bass and Stacey Abrams.