Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is closing in on an announcement of a running mate as early as midweek, having completed interviewing all the top candidates, people familiar with the planning said Monday.
Biden is now deliberating about his choice, the people said. While Biden’s staff is preparing for an imminent rollout, they also know he has a tendency to delay important decisions until the last minute.
In 2008, Barack Obama did not announce his choice of Biden until the Saturday before the Democratic National Convention while in 2016, Hillary Clinton waited until the Friday before the convention to announce her pick. The convention begins next Monday.
In a sign that Biden’s staff may have wanted to clear his calendar for later in the week, a fundraiser with Muslim American supporters that had been scheduled for Thursday was held Monday instead. Biden made no mention of his running mate search during the virtual event.
Leading contenders for the pick include California Sen. Kamala Harris, former national security adviser Susan Rice, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, California Rep. Karen Bass, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth.
Biden promised in early spring that he would pick a woman. Since the racial justice protests started in June, he has been under pressure to pick a Black woman, which helped propel Harris and Rice toward the top of the list in addition to their other qualifications.
The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
U.S. President Donald Trump was asked about Rice as a possible Biden running mate at his daily briefing on Monday and reiterated his claim that her request to unmask people connected to the president’s transition team, including her successor, Michael Flynn, was “probably treason,” suggesting that will be his campaign’s line of attack if Rice is chosen.
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