Biden Camp Apparently Down To Four Choices For A Running Mate

( Joe Biden has reportedly narrowed the list of possible running mates to four people — California Senator Kamala Harris, Florida Representative Val Demings, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

All but Warren are women of color.

While Biden has committed publicly to choosing a woman as his running mate, he hasn’t committed to choosing a woman of color. However, people close to Biden and the inner circle of his campaign have said that the recent situation with racism and inequality in America is playing a large part in his decision-making process.

As Representative Jim Clyburn said:

“The whole way that (issues of race) have come to fro is having a real, serious impact on the search. You can do a search in order to check a box, or you can do a search to get a running mate. I think this search is going to be genuine about getting a running mate rather than checking a box.”

Much of the details of the search process have been kept tight to the vest, with even many of Biden’s longtime friends, donors and campaign aides not knowing what’s going on. Right now, the main contenders are reportedly undergoing background checks for medical, written and financial records.

Extensive interviews of the main candidates have already been conducted, officials say. Biden is likely to have a sit down with all of the finalists in the middle to latter part of July, and is expected to announce his final selection sometime in early August.

As one Democratic official who is involved with the process recently told CNN:

“The colonoscopy of the vetting is now occurring.”

In addition to those four candidates, California Representative Karen Bass and Susan Rice, a national security adviser under former President Barack Obama, are also being vetted, according to sources. Other people reportedly under consideration still are Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin and Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth.

The recent protests around the country and following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers — and the subsequent shooting of other black men and women by police — have led the Biden camp to re-thinking their strategy when choosing a running mate. According to a Democrat who’s been familiar with the search process:

“In the past month or so, we have seen a real and meaningful change in public opinion on racial issues and policing in a way that impacts the calculus of this.” The committee in charge of the search is “making sure their pick lines up with what they think is going to be the most important message this fall.”

According to a CNN report, among the people who are on the search team are Former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Delaware Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester and Cynthia Hogan, who is former counsel for Biden. Also involved is Lisa Monaco, who was a former adviser for Homeland Security in the Obama administration.