Biden associates reach out to Holder about VP search

Biden associates reach out to Holder about VP search

Associates of Joe BidenJoe BidenPrivacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus Trump crowd chants 'lock her up' about Omar as president warns of refugees in Minnesota MORE have reached out to former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden on Trump: 'He'll leave' l GOP laywers brush off Trump's election remarks l Obama's endorsements Obama endorses Warnock in crowded Georgia Senate race The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's rally risk | Biden ramps up legal team | Biden hits Trump over climate policy MORE about the process of selecting a running mate, according to a person close to the former vice president’s campaign.

Holder helped guide former President Obama’s running-mate selection process in 2008, along with Caroline Kennedy and longtime Democratic operative Jim Johnson, who stepped down from that role after a week amid a controversy related to mortgages he received.

That Biden’s associates have reached out to Holder about the selection process was first reported on Thursday by The New York Times. The Times also reported that Biden had spoken with Obama about the matter. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Aides to the former vice president did not immediately respond to The Hill’s requests for comment on the discussions.

Biden is the prohibitive front-runner in the Democratic primary race, having amassed a nearly insurmountable delegate lead over his only remaining rival, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats say Biden survived brutal debate — and that's enough The Hill's Morning Report - Fight night: Trump, Biden hurl insults in nasty debate Trump, Biden clash over health care as debate begins MORE (I-Vt.). 

Because several states have delayed their primaries due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Biden won’t be able to officially clinch the presidential nomination until June. But in the meantime, he’s begun to give serious thought to whom he will select as his eventual vice presidential candidate.

The question of whom to tap as a running mate is a crucial one for any presidential hopeful, but especially for Biden. 

At 78 years old, there has been speculation for over a year that he could choose not to run for a second term if he wins the presidency. At the same time, he faces the task of uniting a party split along generational and ideological lines.

ADVERTISEMENT

Biden committed last month to choosing a woman as his running mate. And he said earlier this week in an interview with MSNBC’s Brian Williams that he is considering somewhere between six and 10 potential picks, mentioning Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as one possibility.

But a handful of others are also seen as potential choices for Biden, including at least two of his former rivals for the Democratic nomination, Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisDebate commission adding option to cut candidates' mics: report Debates panel says changes under consideration 'to ensure a more orderly discussion' The Hill's 12:30 Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Country reacts to debate night of mudslinging MORE (Calif.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Klobuchar3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Social media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight MORE (Minn.), as well as Sen. Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoHillicon Valley: DOJ proposes tech liability shield reform to Congress | Treasury sanctions individuals, groups tied to Russian malign influence activities | House Republican introduces bill to set standards for self-driving cars Senators introduce bipartisan bill to mandate digital apps disclose country of origin Democratic Senate campaign arm raised nearly M in August MORE (D-Nev.) and Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsDisney to lay off 28,000 employees Florida Democrat introduces bill to recognize Puerto Rico statehood referendum Sunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response MORE (D-Fla.). 

Aides to Biden have said the running-mate selection process is still in its early phases and that the list of potential candidates remains fluid.

One major topic of discussion among Biden’s allies is whether he should prioritize regional ties. For instance, picking Whitmer could help boost his candidacy in Michigan, a state that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump signs bill averting shutdown after brief funding lapse Privacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus MORE carried in 2016 and that Democrats are eager to win back. Demings could potentially help him in Florida, the nation’s largest swing state.

Some allies have also expressed a desire to see Biden pick a woman of color as his running mate, including Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest-ranking black member of Congress whose endorsement of Biden in February marked the beginning of a turning point for the former vice president’s campaign.

“I really believe that we’ve reached a point in this country where African American women need to be rewarded for the loyalty that they’ve given to this party,” Clyburn told NPR in an interview last month. “So I would really be pushing for an African American female to go on the ticket.”