California Sen. Kamala Harris is the leading candidate to become former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket, two dozen Democrats told Politico.
Harris, who sparred with Biden in the early debates on issues of race, is the best fit to join Biden’s ticket, the former veep’s advisers, allies, and donors told the outlet. Harris is believed to be the early frontrunner, though Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was “also seen rising above the pack.”
Biden has spoken to Harris privately multiple times. Influential donors have urged him to balance his ticket by selecting a younger woman of color.
“She really is a standout in terms of keeping [Democrats] together and keeping donors warm,” a Biden fundraiser told Politico. “She doesn’t need to do a full-court press, and it would probably be seen as unseemly for her.”
Biden and Harris leave feud in the past:
Biden and his family were “stung” by Harris’ attack over Biden’s opposition to school bussing during desegregation, particularly because Harris was close to Biden’s late son Beau, a former Delaware attorney general.
But Biden and allies believe that the exchange was simply a campaign tactic and the two have since somewhat reconciled.
“I believe strongly that people make mistakes when they allow the heat of a political campaign and things said during a contest to define you,” South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, who backed Biden, told Politico. “We’re at a point now where whoever was part of the scrimmage needs to be on the same team. And I think they are. Joe Biden is a big boy. I’ve never seen Joe have any animus toward Kamala for what may have been said during the campaign.”
Harris ramps up support:
Harris has appeared at fundraisers and a town hall for Biden and has since helped promote other Democrats in tight races.
“Clearly, she is out there and being supportive of Joe, but she is coming at it from a position of strength,” a Democratic donor told Politico. “She has continued to prove herself as a team player for Joe, a team player for Senate Democrats and that’s going to benefit her regardless of whether she’s picked for VP.”
Along with Harris and Warren, Biden is said to be considering Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, Florida Rep. Val Demings, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, former national security adviser Susan Rice, and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
“I would be disappointed if Kamala Harris isn’t chosen. She deserves to be chosen,” South Carolina Democrat Bakari Sellers, a longtime Harris supporter, told Politico. “A lot of people are pushing for her. She has a lot of support.”