Joe Biden needs his Joe Biden. Here’s a look at the women who could be on his vice presidential shortlist

WASHINGTON – Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is looking for his Joe Biden. 

After Sen. Bernie Sanders’ exit from the race, the former vice president will soon begin the process of selecting a running mate as the Democratic primary nears its end. Biden previously noted he hopes to have an operation to “run the background checks” in place by the second or third week of this month. 

Biden last month during a CNN debate committed to having a woman as his potential vice president. During an interview on “The View” on March 24, Biden said he had a short list of “about 12 to 15 women who I think would be qualified to be president tomorrow.”

“But I think we’re gonna narrow the list down to about 11,” he added.

Since he made that commitment to pick a woman as his running mate, several names have been floated as to who it might be, including some of his former Democratic opponents like Sens. Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. 

Biden has openly talked about some other candidates he’s considering, including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and has said he has sought advice on the decision from former President Barack Obama.

During a virtual fundraiser last Wednesday, Biden said that Obama told him to find someone who has experience where the former vice president is lacking, a dynamic that worked well between the two.

More:Joe Biden tops Bernie Sanders to capture Wisconsin’s Democratic presidential primary

“And so I’m going to need a woman vice president who has the capacity, has strengths where I have weaknesses,” he said during remarks at the virtual fundraiser. Biden in the past has noted he is looking for vice presidential candidate that he can be “simpatico” with.

Here’s a look at some of the women who have been mentioned as possible running mates for Biden. All would be the first female vice president in United States history if Democrats win the White House in November.

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams smiles before speaking to supporters during an election-night watch party, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Atlanta.

Stacey Abrams

Abrams was the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Georgia in 2018. After losing that race by a fraction of the overall vote, she announced a nonprofit called Fair Fight 2020, which staffs and funds voter protection teams in battleground states across the country. She also is the former minority leader for the Georgia House of Representatives.

Abrams initially said she didn’t have interest in being a vice presidential candidate but has said recently she would be “honored” to be considered Biden’s running mate.

“I would be honored to be on the campaign trail as a running mate,” she told the podcast “Pod Save America,” hosted by former members of the Obama administration, last week. “But that is a process that you can’t campaign for, and I’m not campaigning for. I’m just being straight-forward.”

In March 2019, Biden met with Abrams before he announced he was running for president. Their meeting fueled speculation that the former vice president was going to jump into the race (which he did a month later) and that Abrams would eventually be his running mate. Rumors were also floated that Abrams herself was going to jump into the 2020 presidential primary. 

If chosen, she would be the first black woman on a major party’s presidential ticket.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., walks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020.

Tammy Baldwin

The senator from Wisconsin is the first openly gay person elected to the Senate and hails from a key state Democrats need to win in November. Trump narrowly won Wisconsin in 2016, and it is considered a battleground state that both Republicans and Democrats have invested resources in.

On Tuesday, Biden was named the winner of the Democratic primary in Wisconsin and a liberal judge knocked a conservative incumbent off the state Supreme Court, which has some Democrats optimistic about the party’s chances in the general election..

Baldwin has served as senator for the Badger State since 2012. She was re-elected in 2018, winning by 11 points only two years after Trump won the state.Baldwin was previously a member of Wisconsin State Assembly, and also served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Wisconsin’s 2nd congressional district. 

Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., gives her opening statement as the House Judiciary Committee meets to markup Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump.

Val Demings

Demings, a two-term member of Congress, last month told The Washington Post “it’s such an honor” that her name has been mentioned as a possible vice president pick.

Before being elected to Congress in 2016, Demings was chief of the Orlando Police Department, the first woman to hold the position. If chosen, she also would be the first black woman on a major party’s presidential ticket.

Demings, who helped lead the House impeachment efforts against Trump, also hails from a swing state: Florida. Trump won that state in 2016, and Republicans down the ballot were again successful in the 2018 midterms. In addition, black voters, particularly black women, have been a crucial part of Biden’s success and a crucial group in Democratic politics for years. 

“I grew up the daughter of a maid and a janitor. I grew up poor, black and female in the South, someone who was told a lot of times that I wasn’t the right color or gender. But my mother pushed me and said, ‘No, you can make it. If you work hard and play by the rules, you can be anything you wanna be and do anything you wanna do,’” Demings told the Post. “So the fact that my name is being called in such a special way for such an important position during such a critical time, it’s such an honor.” 

More:Bernie Sanders officially endorses Joe Biden for president

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, right, speaks to reporters alongside Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer on Oct. 22, 2019.

Tammy Duckworth 

Duckworth, a senator from Illinois, is a veteran who lost both her legs in Iraq, a Purple Heart recipient and the first woman with a disability to be elected to Congress.

In 2018, she also made history as the first senator to give birth while in office. Duckworth has also gained attention for her pointed criticisms of Trump, who she has called a “draft dodger” and slammed for “using his privilege” to defer military service.

Before being elected to Congress, Duckworth was assistant secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and was the director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

Duckworth is the daughter of a Thai mother of Chinese descent and would be the first Asian American woman on a major party’s presidential ticket. 

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California takes the stage before Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden during a Get Out the Vote event at Renaissance High School in Detroit on Monday, March 9, 2020.

Kamala Harris

Despite their viral clash at a debate early on in the presidential campaign, Biden hasn’t squelched speculation that Harris could end up on the Democratic ticket.

“I’m so lucky to have you be a part of this partnership going forward. Working together, we can make a great deal of progress,” he told Harris at a virtual fundraiser last week after she introduced him. “I’m coming for you, kid.”

He previously said “of course” he would consider Harris as a running mate. 

“Senator Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be. I mean it sincerely,” Biden told reporters in December shortly after Harris dropped out of the primary. “She is solid. She can be president someday herself. She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice. She can be an attorney general. I mean, she has enormous capability.” 

Early last month, Harris endorsed Biden’s campaign ahead of Super Tuesday, where he went on to win 10 out of the 14 contests.

“I have decided that I am, with great enthusiasm, going to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States,” Harris said in a video statement at the time. “I believe in Joe. I really believe in him, and I have known him for a long time.” 

Prior to being elected to the Senate, Harris was California’s first female attorney general. Before that, she was district attorney of San Francisco.

If chosen, she would be the first black woman and first Asian American woman on a major party’s presidential ticket.

More:Former Senate staffer accuses Joe Biden of sexual assault

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham confirmed a new coronavirus infection that has no apparent link to travel on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, during a news conference on the floor of the state House of Representatives in Santa Fe, N.M.

Michelle Lujan Grisham

The New Mexico governor is not one of the most well-known politicians on the list but has a long history in politics.

Lujan Grisham, the only non-white female Democratic governor in the country, was elected governor in 2018. She previously spent six years as a congresswoman representing New Mexico and was the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for 2 years.

Lujan Grisham is also part of a prominent political family in New Mexico. Her uncle, Manuel Lujan Jr., served as Secretary of the Interior in the George H. W. Bush administration and her grandfather, Eugene Lujan, was chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court.

Lujan Grisham, who is Hispanic, could also help Biden’s outreach to Latino voters, a group that overwhelmingly supported Sanders in the primary.

When asked on CNN Sunday about possibly being chosen for the ticket, Lujan Grisham said she would “do whatever it takes to support a Biden administration.”

“I want to be the governor of New Mexico,” she said, before adding: “I will do whatever it takes to support a Biden administration and I’m looking forward to a federal administration that can do a national strategy in good times and in bad times.”

If chosen, she would be the first Latina on a major party’s presidential ticket.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., endorses Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden at a campaign rally Monday, March 2, 2020 in Dallas.

Amy Klobuchar 

The senator from Minnesota exceeded expectations by placing third in the New Hampshire Democratic primary and gained some traction after her debate performances. But she dropped out of the Democratic race before Super Tuesday and endorsed Biden the same day.

Since then, Klobuchar has campaigned for Biden, but last month told “The View” she had not talked to him about being a possible running mate.

“There are great women throughout this country, and no one knows better about being vice president than Joe Biden,” she said.

Klobuchar was the county attorney for Hennepin County, the most populous country in Minnesota, prior to being elected to the Senate in 2006.

U. S. Sen.Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, speaks at the 23rd Annual Lake Tahoe Summit, Tuesday, at South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. The summit is a gathering of federal, state and local leaders to discuss the restoration and the sustainability of Lake Tahoe.

Catherine Cortez Masto

Biden has reportedly said the senator from Nevada is in his “top 3” as a running mate.

According to Mediate, Biden discussed Cortez Masto as a possible pick with former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who vouched for the senator. 

Cortez Masto, the first Latina U.S. Senator, could also help Biden garner support with Latino voters. She was first elected to the Senate in 2016. Before that, she was the  Nevada Attorney General.

If chosen, Cortez Masto would be the first Latina on a major party’s presidential ticket.

Poll:Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by 8 points

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks at "Our Rights, Our Courts" forum New Hampshire Technical Institute's Concord Community College, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Concord, N.H.

Elizabeth Warren

Warren, who has not endorsed Biden’s candidacy, is still being floated as a possible running mate.

Warren could help with Biden’s unity pitch to the Democratic party. She ran as a progressive and maintains some of her support among Democratic voters, while Biden touted more moderate policies. 

In addition, Warren was the top pick among voters as a possible running mate in a March 25 Economist/YouGov Poll.

Twenty-seven percent of Democratic voters said they would like to see Warren as a vice presidential candidate. The next closest contender was Harris at 18%.

Before being elected to the Senate in 2012, Warren was a Harvard law professor and led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under President Barack Obama. She was the first female Senator to be elected from Massachusetts.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivers Democratic response to the president's State of the Union address on Feb. 4, 2020 in East Lansing.

Gretchen Whitmer

Biden has publicly said that the Michigan governor is on his short list. 

Whitmer has found herself in the national spotlight lately, after the backlash she’s gotten from Trump due to her criticisms of the administration’s coronavirus response. Biden, who endorsed Whitmer for governor in 2018, has repeatedly praised Whitmer and how she has handled the coronavirus pandemic in her state. She appeared on stage with him before the Michigan primary in March, along with Harris and Sen. Cory Booker. 

Just last week, Whitmer joined Biden on his podcast.

Bu Whitmer has previously said she is not going to be Biden’s running mate.

“I’m going to help him vet and make sure he’s got a great running mate. It is not going to be me,” she told MSNBC last month. “But I’m going to have a hand in helping make sure that that he has got the rounded out ticket that can win.”

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