And one of the first big decisions Biden has to make in that race is who he will pick as his vice presidential nominee — a process that he has signaled is already underway.
“You have to start now deciding who you’re going to have background checks done on as vice presidential candidates and it takes time,” Biden said last week of the VP vetting process.
While the veep pick always matters — less in terms of the electoral map than for what it says about how the potential president goes about making big decisions — there’s little question that this choice for Biden is a hugely high-stakes move. Biden will be 78 years old if/when he is sworn in as president in January 2021 — by far the oldest person who has ever been elected to a first term.
To his credit, Biden has been open about his age as a factor in the race and the importance it puts on VP pick.
“[O]ne of the ways to deal with age is to build a bench — to build a bench of younger, really qualified people who haven’t had the exposure that others have had but are fully capable of being the leaders of the next four, eight, 12,16 years to run the country,” Biden said last week at a virtual fundraiser.
6. Tammy Duckworth: Duckworth is my dark horse candidate to make Biden’s eventual final three. Why? She’s from the Midwest (Illinois). She would be an historic pick as the first Asian American to appear on a national ticket for a major party. And her personal story — the Blackhawk helicopter she was piloting during the Iraq war was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and Duckworth lost both legs and the full use of her right arm in the incident — is incredible. (Previous ranking: 6)
5. Elizabeth Warren: The Massachusetts senator drops two spots this week because she doesn’t fit two of Biden’s stated criteria for his second-in-command. One, at 70, Warren is younger than Biden but not exactly of a different generation. Second, Biden said in New Hampshire last month that he wanted a VP with “some correlation between their views and mine,” specifically mentioning support for “Medicare for All” as a non-starter. While Warren waffled somewhat in her support for Medicare for All, she was definitely a vocal supporter of a government-run program for much of her presidential bid. (Previous ranking: 3)