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Joe Biden chooses vetting team as running mate search ramps up

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday named a panel of supporters, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, to vet his running mate.

With the presidential campaign largely on hold because of the coronavirus crisis, a significant amount of attention is focused on whom Biden will pick to be his running mate. He has pledged to select a woman and is under pressure from party elites as well as grass-roots supporters to pick a woman of color.

Some of the potential candidates include Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Rep. Val Demings of Florida; Govs. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico; and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

While it is questionable how much a running mate can improve a presidential hopeful’s prospects, the selection process always draws great media scrutiny because it is viewed as a lens through which to view a candidate’s priorities.

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Some supporters worry that in looking for a “simpatico” running mate, Joe Biden will be too cautious and make a choice that fails to excite voters.

And the ages of running mates may hold special relevance this year, given that Biden is 77 and President Trump is 73.

In addition to Garcetti, the Biden campaign also announced former Connecticut Sen. Christopher J. Dodd; Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware and former Biden counsel Cynthia C. Hogan as members of the selection committee that will help the former vice president name his running mate.

Garcetti had himself flirted with a 2020 presidential bid, traveling to early voting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, but announced in January 2019 that he would forgo a run to focus on finishing his job as mayor of Los Angeles.

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“I am honored to help Vice President Biden make this monumental choice for our country’s future,” Garcetti told The Times on Wednesday.


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