By Sean Sullivan,
As Joe Biden pushes forward with his search for a running mate, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) Its final months, Has emerged as a serious contender, according to three people with knowledge of the selection procedure, among developing dynamics as the search enters.
Duckworth is a Purple Heart recipient and veteran of the Iraq War, the sole finalist with military combat experience — and as a woman of Thai and Chinese descent, among many candidates of colour under consideration. While she’s a lower profile than some rivals, Biden’s team is taking seriously her, according to the individuals with knowledge of the search, one of whom said she has received strong thought\.
Former Senate majority leader Harry M. Reid, who has been in direct contact with the Biden campaign about its research , stated in a recent interview there was a”great deal of focus” lately on Duckworth, whom he called”a brightly decorated woman.”
Reid suggested Duckworth’s credentials are getting more notice. “You had all of the other titles , and it was as if she did not exist,” Reid (D-Nev.) said. “And suddenly people began to look at her this exceptionally decorated girl, member of Congress, senator.”
Others with knowledge of the search said Duckworth was bringing notable attention from the effort, including one who said Duckworth had left a strong impression on at least part of the Biden team. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss deliberations.
The Biden campaign declined to comment. A Duckworth spokesman declined to comment.
Duckworth’s emergence comes as some Biden allies say former senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) , a near buddy of Biden’s, is currently taking a role in the search process. It is also unfolding as Republicans prepare to launch attacks on whoever is picked as running partner, believing that individual might present a simpler goal\.
As the vetting continues, the folks with knowledge of the research state that it remains fluid and that it’s far from clear whom Biden will select, with Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) still observed by several Biden allies as a favored and other prospects very much in the combination. Some Biden allies stated that although Duckworth is an appealing candidate, they don’t believe she will finally be chosen.
Past Duckworth’s relative inexperience on the national stage, her choice could frustrate those that are forcing Biden to opt for an African American, saying the issues raised by protesters in recent weeks highlight the need for somebody who understands the black experience in America.
In an interview Sunday on CNN’s”State of the Union,” Duckworth said she felt black female voters”are a key to the victory for Democrats”
But she added that the Biden effort has its”own process which they’re going through, and I’m sure Vice President Biden will pick the ideal person to be alongside him as he digs this nation out of the wreck that Donald Trump has put us ”
Duckworth recently moved to obstruct promotions for 1,123 senior members of the army as a means to extract assurances from Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper that he wouldn’t retaliate against an Army officer, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, for his role in the impeachment proceedings against President Trump.
Biden, who’s said his running mate will be a woman, is mulling a diverse collection of candidates. Those who have received close attention comprise Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) , Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) , former United Nations ambassador Susan E. Rice and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), according to people with knowledge of this situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to characterize private talks. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) has also been assessed from the campaign.
While some of the candidates have adopted the traditional position of not encouraging themselves openly for the job, others, such as Rice, are more receptive about approving their qualifications. With Biden’s commitment to choose a woman and the debate about whether she should be African American, this continues to be an open search process.
“Joe Biden needs to make the choice as to who he believes will be his best running mate, and I shall do my utmost, drawing on my experience of years in government, years of earning the bureaucracy work,” Rice said Sunday on NBC’s”Meet The Press.
She added:”I have worked on multiple campaigns, presidential campaigns. I’ve been on the campaign trail as a surrogate and I am going to do everything I could to help get Joe Biden chosen and to help him succeed as president, whether I am his running partner or I am a door knocker.”
Biden initially said he intended to name his running mate by Aug. 1 however lately indicated that deadline could slip. Since the prospects are scrutinized, Dodd has cemented his position as a principal figure in the process, according to the people briefed on the circumstance\.
Dodd, 76, is just one of four co-chairs of this selection committee, but”it is obvious that Dodd is the seat of the team,” said Reid, who’s spoken directly to Dodd.
Many groups have raised concerns about Biden’s decision to name Dodd to the selection committee. In the 1980therefore, Dodd allegedly behaved inappropriately using a waitress in La Brasserie at Washington, based on a GQ article which clarified an alleged experience between late senator Edward Kennedy physically forcing himself on a waitress.
Dodd did not respond to a request for comment Sunday.
Republicans are intently watching the Biden group’s activities, together with Trump allies preparing to unleash a barrage of attacks on people emerges as the running mate, according to individuals familiar with the plans.
Biden himself has proven largely impervious into Trump’s attacks, and Trump aides hope that the Democratic presidential nominee — a woman who might be more liberal and less familiar than Biden — will probably establish more vulnerable to criticism.
The attacks could be bolstered by Biden’s era, 77, and also the possibility he would only serve one term, making his running mate something of a president-in-waiting.
“Republicans are more likely than ever to hammer the Democratic Party presidential nominee,” said Dan Eberhart, a petroleum industry executive and Trump donor. “Biden is boxed in by the progressives in the party — he has to pick a woman and somebody who is relatively far to the left of himself. That is going to offer natural openings for the campaign to draw contrasts.”
America Growing, a conservative organization, has been filing Freedom of Information Act requests to get background on the prospects, according to a individual familiar with the team’s activities.
Those near Biden’s process say his campaign is expecting the GOP attacks and factoring them in the hunt, and they assert that Republican attacks could backfire.
One person with knowledge of the machine recently said that more comprehensive interviews by Biden and his employees are predicted to be organized and ran at a certain stage.
Some Democrats do not anticipate Biden to name his choice until soon before the Democratic National Convention, that is slated to start on Aug. 17. That would be \a more traditional time to name a choice, and it would prevent giving Trump a goal in the intervening weeks.
“My sole admonition is: Do not rush into this,” Reid said. “Because things change considerably.”