WINNER: KAMALA HARRIS, 55. SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA
Following widespread protests against racial injustice and police brutality, pressure increased on Biden to choose a woman of color. Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian parents, does the trick.
Harris is widely regarded as a favorite to run alongside Biden. She is a former presidential candidate and former prosecutor who has proven herself in combat, who has shown an ability to go on the attack – a valuable asset for a running mate. A California senator for a first term, she has already been heavily scrutinized by the media and rival campaigns.
Harris endorsed Biden after dropping out of the race. But his criticism of him during a Democratic primary debate over his opposition to school transportation has angered some people close to Biden, who are concerned about his ambition and loyalty.
Family life: Married to Douglas Emhoff, with two adult stepchildren.
AND THOSE WHO DIDN’T DO IT
SUSAN RICE, 55. FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR
Rice served as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser during her second term, where she worked hand-in-hand on foreign policy issues with Biden, who was Obama’s vice president.
Prior to that, Rice served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under Obama and advised several other Democratic presidential candidates on national security.
A black woman, Rice could help lead the African-American vote, the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituency. But she never ran for public office, meaning she wouldn’t be tested on an election campaign. His involvement in the controversy over the 2012 attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya, could reignite the incident as a campaign issue.
Family Life: Married former ABC News executive Ian Cameron with son and daughter; son John is a Trump supporter
VAL DEMINGS, 63. WOMAN AT THE FLORIDA CONGRESS
Biden said Demings, an African-American congresswoman from the electoral battlefield state of Florida, was on the shortlist of running mate.
The former Orlando police chief was one of those responsible for the House of Representatives impeachment proceedings against Republican President Donald Trump, but has a lower profile among voters nationwide.
Demings’ background in law enforcement and his relatively unverified past as a police chief could be seen as risk factors for a Biden campaign that wants to appeal to progressive voters.
Family life: Married to Jerry Demings, current mayor of Orange County, Florida, with three grown children
KAREN BASS, 66. CALIFORNIA CONVENTION WOMAN
A late addition to Biden’s shortlist, Bass, a congressman from Southern California and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, would add a progressive voice to the post.
Bass has extensive experience in police reform efforts and spearheaded the legislative response in the House to the police murder of George Floyd in May. But at 66, she may not offer the prospect of generational transition that Biden wants to show.
Family life: lost her daughter and son-in-law in a car accident in 2006; has four adult stepchildren from his previous marriage
TAMMY DUCKWORTH, 52. SENATOR OF ILLINOIS
Duckworth has a compelling personal history and would help bolster the campaign’s national security credentials.
The Illinois senator is a veteran who lost her legs when her helicopter was shot down in Iraq in 2004. She became the first woman with a disability and the first Thai-American to be elected to Congress. Duckworth, however, has not been at the forefront of civil justice issues like Harris, Bass, and others on Biden’s list.
Family life: Married to Bryan Bowlsbey, also a veteran, with two daughters, Abigail, five and Maile, two, the first child born to a seated Senator
KEISHA LAUNCHES BOTTOMS, 50. MAYOR OF ATLANTA
Bottoms is the mayor for the first term of a town that was torn apart by protests over Floyd’s death and the shooting of another black man, Rayshard Brooks, by Atlanta police in June. Atlanta has also been a hotspot for the coronavirus pandemic, putting Bottoms at the forefront of the country’s two biggest challenges at the moment.
Although Bottoms was one of Biden’s early supporters, his inexperience at the federal level could ruin his chances. Biden, who is said to be the oldest president of the United States, insisted that his number 2 be ready to assume the presidency at any time.
Married to Home Depot manager Derek Bottoms, with four adopted children
ELIZABETH WARREN, 71. SENATOR OF MASSACHUSETTS
Warren has spoken with Biden regularly since dropping out of the Democratic nomination race and endorsing it. The Massachusetts senator is viewed by Biden’s advisers as a bridge between the former vice president and those skeptical of his commitment to progressive political priorities.
Warren’s selection, however, could fuel the Trump campaign’s allegations that Biden favors an overly leftist agenda, while potentially alienating moderate voters in the battlefield states Biden cultivates.
Family life: Married to Harvard professor Bruce Mann, with two grown children from her first marriage and three grandchildren
MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM, 60. GOVERNOR OF NEW MEXICO
Lujan Grisham became the first Latino Democratic governor of a state in 2018, after spending six years in Congress.
Biden’s campaign was pushed by allies to consider a running mate who could bolster his support among Latino voters, potentially the largest minority voting bloc in the November election.
Family life: Husband Gregory Girsham died of a cerebral aneurysm in 2004. She has two daughters
GRETCHEN WHITMER, 48. GOVERNOR OF MICHIGAN
Whitmer has raised his profile as governor of a battlefield state hit hard by the coronavirus.
But she was criticized earlier this year by some Michigan residents for a stay-at-home order they considered too onerous.
Family life: Has two children from her first marriage and three stepchildren from her second marriage to Marc Mallory, a dentist