Campaign

Biden says his administration could help grow ‘bench’ for Democrats

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he could fill his administration with younger people to try to build a “bench” for the Democratic Party.

Biden said during a virtual fundraiser Friday night that he has had conversations with “younger, really qualified people” who he says could be leaders in the near future about joining him should he win the White House in November.

“There are a number of people like you — and I’m not being a wise guy — who have been helping me. They’re serious people who I’ve had discussions with about … asking them, are they willing to come into a government if I get elected?” Biden said, according to a pool report of his remarks.

“And one 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. But they’ve got to have an opportunity to rise up,” he added.

Some Democrats have raised the alarm about how the party’s presidential primary, which once boasted a historically diverse field, winnowed to Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), two white, male septuagenarians. There have also long been grumblings among Democrats over the party’s congressional leaders, who are mostly in their 70s.

Biden sought to assure supporters that his administration would be filled with Americans who represent the “spectrum of our party” and that he already has several people in mind.

“At the end of the day, the people who will join my Cabinet, God willing, if I become the president — it’s almost presumptuous talking about it a little bit — will be people who represent the spectrum of our party and who look like the country,” he said. “There’s a lot of really, really qualified people who I think have the same view that I have, which is it’s not about going back to 2008 or 2012. It’s about moving ahead significantly.” 

Biden has already committed to selecting a woman as his running mate, fueling speculation over who could run as his No. 2. Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as well as former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) have all been floated as possibilities, among others.

The former vice president has been under pressure from some supporters to pick a woman of color as his running mate to recognize the way black voters and others have buoyed his presidential bid, but Biden has not tipped his hand as to any potential favorites thus far.

Biden added Friday that he spoke with former President Obama about the process of picking a vice president and that he will put together a committee to begin the search in earnest.

“In the coming weeks, we’re going to, as I said, put together a committee, looking at candidates, looking at someone to be a partner in the progress and who is simpatico, who is someone who in the case of the vice president ready to be president at a moment’s notice,” he said. 

Biden still has yet to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination but currently holds a virtually insurmountable delegate lead over Sanders.

Tags Amy Klobuchar Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden
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