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Politics 2020 Election: Top Biden VP contenders face sexist tropes, intense scrutiny in final stretch

15:50  02 august  2020
15:50  02 august  2020 Source:   cnn.com

Democrat Biden says he will name running mate in first week of August

  Democrat Biden says he will name running mate in first week of August Democrat Biden says he will name running mate in first week of AugustBiden's search for a vice presidential candidate has drawn intense scrutiny, in part because he would be the oldest president in U.S. history at 78 years old as of Inauguration Day.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. at a news conference on Thursday in Lancaster, Pa.Credit Hannah Yoon for The New York Times. Mr. Biden ’s eventual choice is certain to face intensive scrutiny , in part Many of the vice-presidential contenders are not well known nationally.

As Joe Biden nears the announcement of his vice presidential choice, the top contenders and their advocates are making final appeals. But she's facing growing scrutiny over past remarks. A video surfaced of a 2010 speech in which she praised Scientology during an opening ceremony for a church

Joe Biden's decision on his running mate is drawing closer by the day, and the tensions over whom he should pick spilled out into public view this past week, as the women who are his top contenders find themselves navigating around sexist tropes about their ambition and intense scrutiny of the most controversial aspects of their pasts.

Karen Bass wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: UNITED STATES - JANUARY 13: Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., speaks during a House Democrats' news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, to discuss plans to educate immigrant communities for the implementation of the executive actions on immigration announced by President Obama in November. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images) © Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP UNITED STATES - JANUARY 13: Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., speaks during a House Democrats' news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, to discuss plans to educate immigrant communities for the implementation of the executive actions on immigration announced by President Obama in November. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

For many months as Biden considered nearly a dozen women for the ticket, California Sen. Kamala Harris seemed like the most natural fit because of her resume, her visibility supporting the Black Lives Matter protests, and her championing of legislation to curb police brutality. But over the past week, long-held uneasiness among some close Biden allies about Harris' ambition and her attack on Biden during a June 2019 debate broke into the open.

Biden VP short-listers jockey as search enters final round in secrecy

  Biden VP short-listers jockey as search enters final round in secrecy Some of the contenders are in the dark about their interviews with Biden — including whether they will be done in person or virtually.At least some of the contenders were in the dark on Sunday about their upcoming interviews with Biden: They were told to be prepared for in-person sit-downs while at the same time cautioned that could change due to health and logistical concerns surrounding Covid-19.

Vice -presidential contenders usually say little about their hopes to be picked, but Abrams has said she will serve if asked. Earlier this week, elections in Georgia descended into chaos amid precautions against the coronavirus and efforts by Republican officials to suppress the Democratic vote.

Regarding the 2020 presidential election , Democrats and beyond must prepare for the worst, politics experts tell host Jonathan Capehart. Donald Trump may not leave office if he loses, and if he does, the current president might not attend the inauguration of Joe Biden , breaking historic precedent

Then this weekend, it was California Rep. Karen Bass' turn in the hot seat, as the Trump campaign highlighted her trips to Cuba as a young activist and questioned whether Biden would "put Castro-loving Communist Karen Bass a heartbeat away from the presidency" -- underscoring the potential risks for Biden in choosing a politician who is largely unknown as the other side races to define them.

View Trump and Biden head-to-head polling

Though vice presidential picks have rarely had a major effect on the outcome of an election, Biden's pick has taken on an outsized importance this year -- not only because of voters' concerns about his age, but also because in the midst of a pandemic and a painful recession, his team knows he must heed the first rule of vice presidential politics by picking a loyal partner who does no harm.

China: US politicians stoking 'new Cold War' ahead of election

  China: US politicians stoking 'new Cold War' ahead of election China accused the U.S. of fueling a “new Cold War,” saying certain politicians are hammering Beijing to gain an edge ahead of the presidential election in November. In a press conference Thursday, China's ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, pointed to the trade war between Washington and Beijing in his accusations that the U.S. was the one stoking animosity as tensions skyrocket between the two superpowers."It is not China that has become assertive. It's the other side of the Pacific Ocean who want to start new Cold War on China, so we have to make response to that," Liu told reporters.

Delayed election results raise concerns about mail-in voting. TODAY. President Trump announces plan to ban TikTok in US. Chris Wallace says Biden campaign will reveal VP pick closer to convention.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been limited to television appearance from his rec room during the pandemic but has been kicking off a search Possible contenders – from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Rutgers School of Law) to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (University of Chicago Law School) – have seen the

The spectacle of the vice presidential vetting process breaking into public view illustrated the difficulty of the decision facing Biden as he narrows his choice, as well as the behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the potential hopefuls and those who would vie to replace them in their current roles. (The current parlor game in California political circles, for example, is guessing who Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom might appoint to an open US Senate seat if Harris vacates hers.)

Though Biden's team has kept the process secret, the former vice president made it clear from the beginning that he would pick a woman, and his team has vetted Bass, Harris and former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice -- who are widely viewed as top contenders -- as well as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Florida Rep. Val Demings. Others under consideration include Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Joe Biden narrows down his VP list, with Karen Bass emerging as one of several key contenders

  Joe Biden narrows down his VP list, with Karen Bass emerging as one of several key contenders Joe Biden heads into the weekend weighing the biggest decision of his presidential campaign so far, and people close to the process tell CNN that the former vice president is believed to have now begun to narrow his personal shortlist of potential running mates to a handful of women. © Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty Images Former Vice President Joe Biden, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, during a primary night rally in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

Regarding the 2020 presidential election , Democrats and beyond must prepare for the worst, politics experts tell host Jonathan Capehart. Donald Trump may not leave office if he loses, and if he does, the current president might not attend the inauguration of Joe Biden , breaking historic precedent

Regarding the 2020 presidential election , Democrats and beyond must prepare for the worst, politics experts tell host Jonathan Capehart. Donald Trump may not leave office if he loses, and if he does, the current president might not attend the inauguration of Joe Biden , breaking historic precedent

'There will be a resistance to your ambition'

For many months, it was no secret that some of Biden's allies were still galled by Harris' attack on Biden during the 2019 debate in Miami, where she called out Biden's opposition to busing decades earlier as a young Delaware senator and his boasts that he had found a way to work with segregationist senators (comments she said she found hurtful).

Her knockout punch in Miami gave her a fleeting boost in the polls, but became a potential strike against her. Biden looked stunned and hurt in that moment, in part because the two Democrats had been longtime allies and because Harris had been close with his late son Beau Biden, when they had served as attorneys general at the same time, she from California and he from Delaware.

Though Harris ultimately ended her presidential bid before the voting began, the sting of that moment has persisted. A Politico story last Monday quoted former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, a member of Biden's vice presidential vetting team, telling a donor that Harris showed "no remorse" for her attempted takedown of Biden in that debate.

Fox News poll: Biden leads Trump by wide margins in Pennsylvania, Michigan

  Fox News poll: Biden leads Trump by wide margins in Pennsylvania, Michigan The survey shows the former vice president with 50 percent support in Pennsylvania and 49 percent in Michigan, while the president gets 39 percent and 40 percent, respectively.Biden leads Trump by wide margins in both Michigan and Pennsylvania, according to a Fox News poll released on Thursday evening. Fifty percent of voters in Pennsylvania said they would vote for Biden, compared with 39 percent for Trump. That represents a drop for the president from April, when 42 percent of voters said they would choose Trump, compared with Biden’s consistent 50 percent.

As November’s election approaches speculation over who Joe Biden will pick as his running mate mounts. Although she lacks the campaigning experience of Bass and Harris, she worked with Biden during his own time as vice - president and has vast experience in global relations, which could prove

Biden was supposed to name his running mate next week, but Politico reports the selection is now more likely to be announced in mid-August. Although she lacks the campaigning experience of Bass and Harris, she worked with Biden during his own time as vice - president and has vast experience in

The need to defend her was apparently so top of mind for Biden that he was photographed at a press conference Tuesday holding a notecard with talking points about Harris that included: "do not hold grudges," "talented" and "great help to campaign" -- setting off a fresh round of speculation that Harris would be his choice.

The public airing of that grievance -- as well as widely circulated comments from some Biden backers that Harris is too ambitious and might be too focused on her own designs for the White House -- led to pushback from her allies this past week and from Harris herself on Friday.

Addressing the accusation of ambition, which has come up as a strike against Harris at many other points during her political career, the California Democrat implicitly invoked sexism when she told the online audience for the Black Women Lead 2020 conference that "there will be a resistance to your ambition. There will be people who say to you: 'You are out of your lane.' ... Don't you let that burden you."

Low-profile contender suddenly in the spotlight

On Friday and Saturday, Biden's Republican opponents unearthed the opposition research against Bass, who has strong support from both Democratic Party leadership and rank-and-file members after her years of experience in Congress, as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and as former Speaker of the California Assembly. (She was the first Black woman in history to serve in that role).

Trump trails Biden in Michigan, Ohio race a virtual tie: poll

  Trump trails Biden in Michigan, Ohio race a virtual tie: poll President Trump is trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Michigan and is neck-and-neck with his Democratic challenger in Ohio, according to a new poll of two key battleground states the president carried in 2016. Biden leads Trump by 6 points in Michigan, based on a CBS News poll released Sunday. Biden has 48 percent support compared to Trump' 42 percent among likely Michigan voters. The candidates are in statistical dead heat in Ohio, with Trump at 46 percent support compared to Biden's 45 percent, within the poll's 3.6 percentage point margin of error.

CNN's MJ Lee, Jeff Zeleny and Jasmine Wright reported last week that Bass, a low-profile contender who is widely admired by her peers as a skilled legislator, has gained real traction in the late stage of the vice presidential search. She recently led a police reform bill through House that united all the Democrats, and CNN has reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Biden's team not to overlook her.

In anticipation of Biden's announcement of his pick as early as next week, the Trump campaign spent the weekend highlighting past comments about Cuba and Fidel Castro by Bass, who first went to Cuba in 1973 as a young activist to build houses with a group known as the Venceremos Brigade. She told The Atlantic in a recent interview that she went to Cuba eight times during the 1970s, and returned about that many times in later years as her focus shifted to legislating.

Bass told the Sacramento Bee Editorial Board in a recent interview that she was "a young radical" in those early years. She compared her experience to that of the far-left protesters filling the streets now in demonstrations against police brutality toward Black people.

"Those young people that are out saying 'defund the police'? That was me," she told The Sacramento Bee editorial board. "My entire life has been driven by fighting for social and economic justice. That has been the guiding post that has led me to do a lot of different things."

But Republicans have focused on Bass' description of Castro when he died in 2016. She expressed her condolences to the Cuban people and Castro's family: "The passing of the Comandante en Jefe is a great loss to the people of Cuba," Bass said in her statement. "I hope together, our two nations will continue on the new path of support and collaboration with one another, and continue in the new direction of diplomacy."

VP hopefuls jockey for position as Biden's final decision nears

  VP hopefuls jockey for position as Biden's final decision nears The final contenders to be Joe Biden's running mate are engaged in some furious last-minute jockeying as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee nears a decision. With the vetting process completed and many of the interviews wrapped up, the candidates hoping to be Biden's veep are in wait-and-see mode, anticipating his selection. They are also doing what they can to make their final pitches before Biden and his team land on a choice. "With the vetting process completed and many of the interviews wrapped up, the candidates hoping to be Biden's veep are in wait-and-see mode, anticipating his selection. They are also doing what they can to make their final pitches before Biden and his team land on a choice.

She told The Atlantic in that recent interview she was trying to translate "commander in chief" and added, "If I had to make that statement over again, I wouldn't use those words."

Still, the Trump campaign is already using the Bass-Cuba connection to try to inflict damage on Biden in Florida, a crucial battleground state with a large and influential Cuban population.

On a Trump campaign press call Saturday, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said that if Bass became vice president, she would be "the highest-ranking Castro sympathizer in the history of the United States government. And it couldn't come at a worst time, when both regimes in Venezuela and in Havana are teetering on the brink of real collapse."

Bass, who is 66, was also forced to defend her faith Saturday on Twitter -- noting that she "proudly" worships at First New Christian Fellowship Baptist Church in South LA -- after the conservative outlet, the Daily Caller, resurfaced a video of her speaking at a 2010 opening of a Church of Scientology in Los Angeles.

The California congresswoman explained on Twitter that she attended the opening of the Scientology building because it was in her congressional district. In the remarks at the opening, she said she found an "area of agreement in their beliefs" that "all people, of whatever, race, color, or creed are created with equal rights."

She acknowledged that in the decade since that speech, "published first-hand accounts in books, interviews and documentaries have exposed this group" and that "everyone is now aware of the allegations against Scientology."

Intensified scrutiny

The debate over the pros and cons of each potential vice presidential contender will only get more intense in the next week. Democrats, for example, are debating whether Demings can withstand the debate over her three-year tenure as chief of the Orlando Police Department -- if it could blunt criticism that Biden is too soft on crime or would more likely alienate Black Lives Matter activists who say she should have done more to change the system from within.

Duckworth, an Iraq veteran and Purple Heart recipient, could face pushback from the left-wing of the Democratic Party that she is too centrist at a time when Biden is trying to unite the party following his defeat of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primary. Bottoms and Whitmer are both in key governing positions in states that have been ravaged by coronavirus, putting them in a tenuous and vulnerable position if they were to suddenly switch gears and focus on the presidential race.

The Biden campaign is making history by vetting what is the largest and most diverse field of potential female vice presidential candidates ever. And in a deeply polarizing election cycle, as many Americans fight for their economic and physical survival, this group is likely to face more intense scrutiny than any group that has come before them in this final stretch.

Kamala Harris wearing a blue shirt: Sen. Kamala Harris speaks to her supporters during her presidential campaign launch rally in 2019. (Photo by Mason Trinca/Getty Images) © Mason Trinca/Getty Images Sen. Kamala Harris speaks to her supporters during her presidential campaign launch rally in 2019. (Photo by Mason Trinca/Getty Images)

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