Biden Pick for Vice President Delayed to Second Week of August: Reports

Presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden has reportedly put off choosing his vice presidential nominee until the second week of August–sometime after August 10–according to reports. Biden had initially set a date of around the first of August but told reporters last week he would likely make his decision this coming week. That appears to be put off yet again.

Joe Biden alongside a rejuvenated Kamala Harris. Could this be the ticket?

Biden is taking advantage of the postponement due to the pandemic of the Democrat National Convention in Milwaukee that was originally scheduled for July 13-16 but is now set for August 17-20. Biden has said he would choose a woman to be his running mate, with many in the party urging him to choose a black woman or woman of color.

Among those thought to be top contenders are: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and former Obama national security advisor and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.

Whomever Biden chooses will have a better than most chance of becoming president due to illness, senility or a decision to not seek a second term by the 77-year-old Biden who would be 78 when inaugurated. Biden would be 82 at the end of a first term.

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Karen Bass emerged this week as a contender. Bass has served in Congress since 2011 and is currently Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Before that she was Speaker of the California Assembly and a community organizer. A profile of Bass published this week by the Atlantic to inoculate her on being a young communist, details her history in the 1970s of working with the Venceremos Brigades and her many trips to Castro’s Cuba.

The Trump campaign on Saturday questioned Bass’ suitability and Biden’s judgment:

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The Top 10 women Joe Biden might pick as vice president

The killing of George Floyd at the hands of police officers late last month has drastically changed the calculation for former Vice President Joe Biden and his vice presidential vetting team when it comes to who he will pick to share the ticket with him this fall.

While Biden made clear months ago that he would pick a woman, there now appears to be a significant surge of support for him to select a black woman — making history (there has never been a black woman on either party’s national ticket) while also sending a very clear message to the black community that he not only understands their import to his nomination but also believes they need a major voice in his White House.

(Biden’s “you ain’t black” gaffe, while not nearly as important as the nationwide protests over police brutality, also plays a part in this calculation.)

With that in mind, I have made major changes in this week’s vice presidential rankings. The most likely picks are now all African American women. And Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who I’d ranked as the second-most likely women to be the pick, takes a major tumble this week amid questions about her record as the top prosecutor in Minnesota prior to being elected to the Senate in 2016.

These rankings change weekly, so if your favorite isn’t ranked where she should be — or isn’t even on the list — there’s always next week. Speaking of, here’s last week’s rankings. Necessary Michelle Obama caveat: The former first lady is not on this list because she has never indicated an interest in being a politician. If she does so, she would immediately jump to the top of these rankings.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo
10. Gina Raimondo: If you believe a) that Biden will have one self-identifying moderate in his final VP group and b) Klobuchar and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is suffering from another self-inflicted wound this week, are moving in the wrong direction on this list, then the Rhode Island governor may well fill that niche. (I had long believed Biden would have a moderate in his final three; I am not sure I think that anymore.) The policy-focused Raimondo has won praise from the likes of conservative columnist George Will, and has a shown a willingness to make hard choices in office. (Previous ranking: Not ranked)
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
9. Amy Klobuchar: The issue of the Minnesota senator’s record during her time in the early 2000s as the lead prosecutor in Hennepin County (Minneapolis) had been percolating on a slow boil during the VP speculation. But George Floyd’s death has turned that record, which many black leaders have suggested was too pro-police, into a top-of-mind issue.

And it’s very hard to see how Biden takes such a risk in picking Klobuchar given the mood within the Democratic Party right now. (Previous ranking: 2)

Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth
8. Tammy Duckworth: While the Illinois senator doesn’t get as much buzz as some of the names above her on this list, her profile stands up to any one of them: A helicopter pilot in Iraq, she lost both legs and the use of one arm when she was shot down. She went on to be elected to the US House and Senate from Illinois. She’s also making her voice heard in the days since Floyd was killed in Minneapolis: “George Floyd’s death was unnecessary and heartbreaking,” she wrote in a CNN op-ed on Monday. “It was a tragedy — but horrifyingly, it was not an anomaly.” (Previous ranking: Not ranked)
Stacey Abrams
7. Stacey Abrams: In an op-ed published in The New York Times on Thursday (no, not that one), Abrams makes the argument that the best way to react to Floyd’s death is for people of color to register to vote and then do so in November.

“Voting is a first step in a long and complex process, tedious but vital,” the former Georgia state House minority leader wrote. Wise words — and ones that suggest she is ready to lead on an issue of critical import to all minority communities. (Previous ranking: 9)

Susan Rice
6. Susan Rice: If Biden wants to pick the woman with the most hands-on experience on foreign policy and national security issues, there’s no question that Rice is at the top of that list — having served as national security adviser and US ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama administration. But she carries baggage, too — most notably her statements after the Benghazi, Libya, attack and her January 20, 2017, email on Michael Flynn. (Previous ranking: 7)
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

5. Michelle Lujan Grisham: Lost amid the flood of news over the last week is the fact that Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto removed herself from VP consideration. That move leaves Lujan Grisham, the governor of New Mexico, as the highest-ranking Latina in the VP mix.

(Other names like Texas Reps. Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia still seem like something of a long shot to me.) Lujan Grisham has also stepped up her criticism of Trump and his response to Floyd’s death. (Previous ranking: 8)
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren

4. Elizabeth Warren: As I said above, I think it is very likely Biden picks a black women to be his running mate. If he doesn’t, the Massachusetts senator probably has the best chance, as she is beloved by liberals and her selection be seen as an attempt to unite the Democratic Party. (Previous ranking: 3)

Florida Rep. Val Demings
3. Val Demings: Even before Floyd’s death and the ongoing reverberations from it, this Florida House member was getting rave reviews about her potential as a ticket-mate for Biden. But now consider what Demings would do to the ticket: A black former police chief of a major southern city (Orlando) who knows the issues within the law enforcement community vis a vis police brutality intimately. (Previous ranking 5)
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
2. Keisha Lance Bottoms: Lance Bottoms’ speech last Friday night — amid violent protests in Atlanta — was a moment. She was empathetic. Tough. And deeply human. I’ve had the Atlanta mayor on my list almost since the start of the VP process but I was never sure she would break into the top tier. Boy, was I wrong. (Previous ranking: 6)
California Sen. Kamala Harris

1. Kamala Harris: For all that’s changed on the list this week, the California senator’s positioning has not. If anything, Harris seems even more likely to be the pick now as she, at 55, is a generation younger than Biden but also has a wealth of experience — as California attorney general and a senator — that we know Biden values. (Previous ranking: 1)

CNN’s Allison Gordon contributed to this report.

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Joe Biden 2020: John Kerry endorses former vice president

“I believe Joe Biden is the President our country desperately needs right now, not because I’ve known Joe so long, but because I know Joe so well,” Kerry said in a statement provided by the Biden campaign.

The endorsement from Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, gives Biden a new way of signaling the Democratic establishment rallying at least in part around his candidacy. Support from the long-time Senate colleague of Biden and a fellow Obama administration veteran is also plucked out of the backyard of two of Biden’s rivals, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

Biden, more than his Democratic rivals with much less foreign policy experience, has made his readiness for the world stage a focal point of his candidacy. Support from former President Barack Obama’s secretary of state could bolster that argument.

“Through it all, I’ve seen Joe tested in public service and tested in life itself. I know his character. I know the measure of a person who never stopped fighting for millions of Americans even as his beloved son was losing a heartbreaking battle with cancer. Joe’s strength and his moral center are inspiring. But so are his skills as a leader,” Kerry said.

Kerry, who won the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary in 2004, will join Biden on the campaign trail in Iowa Friday, the campaign said, and will also travel to New Hampshire later this weekend.

Kerry made calls to some Democratic presidential candidates on Thursday, giving them a heads up that he was intending to endorse Biden, a Kerry aide told CNN. He made calls at least to New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. It is unclear whether he called other candidates.

“I don’t endorse lightly,” Kerry said. “Joe and I both got into public service to make our country fairer for people and make the world safer. I’ve watched Joe do exactly that as a senator, statesman, and vice president.”

The timing of the endorsement was determined by the Biden campaign, a Biden adviser said, as the campaign continues to make an argument of electability and experience. It’s also part of the Biden campaign’s effort to try and slow South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s momentum in Iowa and beyond.

Buttigieg currently holds a clear lead in the first-in-the-nation caucus state — he climbed to 25% in the latest CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers. Behind Buttigieg, there is a close three-way battle for second with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 16%, and Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders each at 15%.
The latest CNN/UNH New Hampshire poll showed Biden dipping nine points since July and falling significantly behind Sanders among likely voters in the first-in-the-nation Democratic presidential primary. Sanders (21%) and Warren (18%) lead the 2020 contenders in the state. Biden stands slightly behind at 15%, and Buttigieg rounds out the field of four who reach double-digits with 10%.

“Joe will defeat Donald Trump next November. He’s the candidate with the wisdom and standing to fix what Trump has broken, to restore our place in the world, and improve the lives of working people here at home,” Kerry said.

Kerry said last year he would think about a 2020 presidential bid, and said he wouldn’t take anything off the table. In 2004, he secured the Democratic presidential nomination only to lose to President George W. Bush in the general election. His 2004 bid was preceded by a lengthy career in the Senate, which he left in 2013 to serve as secretary of state in the Obama administration.

Kerry served in the Navy in Vietnam as a gunboat officer on the Mekong Delta, and was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Jeff Zeleny and Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.

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Vice President Mike Pence Visits Schott Plant in Duryea

DURYEA, Pa. — Vice President Mike Pence landed in our area Monday afternoon to speak to employees at Schott North America in Duryea.

The vice president will speak to employees at Schott North America in Duryea, a manufacturer that makes high-tech glass for the military and the aerospace industry.

“I take a lot of pride in my work. We make a lot of interesting stuff here,” said Schott employee Jason Cingolani.

He’s expected to discuss efforts by the Trump administration to pass the new U.S. Mexico Canada (USMCA) trade agreement.

“Him actually having an interest in manufacturing,” Cingolani said.

Another Schott employee says he’s proud to have the vice president speak to his coworkers, but he plans to skip the speech himself.

“For what? To see someone I’m not interested in seeing? No way,” Bob Sallurday said.

Only Schott employees and invited guests are allowed inside during the vice president’s visit, but they aren’t the only ones who came out for the occasion.

“We just want to show Vice President Pence there is support for Trump in this heavily Democratic area,” said Duryea resident Piera Marotto.

Pence is scheduled to go from the plant back to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport and then head back to Washington D.C.

Police say there will be delays on Main Street through Avoca and along York Avenue in Duryea as the vice president travels to Schott.

“We get a lot of road closures anyway from the traffic on (Interstate) 81, so you know we’ve had people come here before, you know so they could handle it,” said Duryea resident Georgianna Maslanka.

“It’ll get from the light probably down to the next light if they close it like that because a lot of tractor-trailers come through here also,” said Moosic resident Lenny Leidy.


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