What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

As convention approaches, who will join Biden on Democratic ticket?

As the coronavirus continues to rage, logistical questions remain about August’s scaled-back and mostly virtual Democratic National Convention. But the biggest unknown is who will share the stage with former Vice President Joe Biden when he accepts his party’s 2020 nomination. Lisa Desjardins reports with the latest on the women who are favored to become Biden’s running mate.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    As the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge, many questions remain about how next month's Democratic National Convention will work in a time of social distancing.

    But, as Lisa Desjardins reports, the biggest question remains, who will share the spotlight with Joe Biden?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    What started as a debate stage in March…

  • Former Vice President Joseph Biden:

    I would pick a woman to be my vice president.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    … has put a new twist on a time-honored campaign parlor game: Which Democratic woman will Joe Biden pick as his presidential running mate?

    Around a dozen candidates have been on his rumored short list, including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Tammy Duckworth, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Congresswomen Val Demings and Karen Bass, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, and several others.

  • Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.:

    I'm honored to be back in North Carolina, at least virtually.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Many of the potential picks have already hit the virtual campaign trail.

  • Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.:

    I think it's important to have people in leadership like Joe Biden.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    And Biden has moved on to the final round of interviews, and is set to make his choice public soon.

  • Former Vice President Joseph Biden:

    I'm going to have a choice in the first week in August.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    It is, after all, just two weeks until Democrats hold their next convention, a scaled-back event, with Biden speaking in Milwaukee.

    And August marks exactly 100 years since women won the right to vote.

  • Man:

    Geraldine Ferraro!

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Whichever woman Biden chooses will just be second in Democratic Party history; 36 years ago, New York Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro joined the ticket with Walter Mondale.

  • Geraldine Ferraro:

    By choosing a woman to run for our nation's second highest office, you send a powerful signal to all Americans: There are no doors we cannot unlock.

  • Donna Zaccaro:

    My mother felt incredible responsibility.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Ferraro's daughter Donna Zaccaro later produced a movie about her mother's run as the first woman on a major-party presidential ticket.

  • Donna Zaccaro:

    There was huge pressure. If she did a good job, then she would be opening the doors of opportunity. If she didn't do a good job, she thought it could be disastrous.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    It was more than 20 years before another woman accepted a major party nomination for V.P., 2008, This time, it was a Republican, Sarah Palin, who was breaking barriers.

  • Sarah Palin:

    Do you know they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    That same year, Biden himself underwent the closely guarded process surrounding V.P. selection, emerging as Barack Obama's running mate.

  • Former Vice President Joseph Biden:

    This is his time. This is our time. This is America's time!

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Those around Biden say that 2008 experience and his eight years in the White House profoundly shape how he will make his choice now.

  • Former President Barack Obama:

    Joe Biden.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Democratic Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware co-chairs the V.P. selection committee.

  • Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del.:

    He is looking for someone who is not only qualified and competent, but is as — his word is simpatico.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    There are dozens of considerations, from personal chemistry, to who best balances out Biden's potential shortcomings, to who can help win in battleground states.

  • Patti Solis Doyle:

    I think he's looking for a true partner.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Patti Solis Doyle was Biden's chief of staff during the 2008 campaign.

  • Patti Solis Doyle:

    He's looking for someone that only that he likes, but that he trusts, and who can maybe do some of the things that he's not so great at. He's looking for someone who can actually govern with him, in a situation where the country is in dire straits.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    A recent Politico/Morning Consult poll found 54 percent of people say the V.P. nominee will have no impact on their vote.

  • Meghan Stabler:

    I'm not as aligned to, it has to be this person, and, if you don't pick this person, you're not going to get my vote. I'm more into, we need to put America back on the right track.

  • Tony Morgan:

    Oh, I'm definitely voting for Joe Biden. He is the only viable candidate to beat Trump.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Biden also has called himself a transition candidate. And some Democratic voters say the person he chooses this year matters more, because Biden would be the oldest president ever sworn in. He is more vulnerable to the coronavirus. And it's not clear he would run for a second term, regardless of health.

  • Cesar Alvarez:

    I think who he chooses is really going to elevate his running mate not just to be his running mate for 2020, but I think definitely sets them up to surely be on the national stage for some time.

  • Victor Shi:

    The vice president is a really good way for him to reach out to people who may be undecided and really make people feel like their voices are heard in politics.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Biden is also facing growing pressure from some people to pick a woman of color, including from Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who was at one point on the potential V.P. list.

  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.:

    I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Those calls come as race and justice issues have taken center stage in the campaign, after nationwide protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd.

    Black women are the most reliable and loyal voting bloc for Democratic candidates. Nearly 95 percent voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

  • Aimee Allison:

    We have never been here before, we black women, never. We have never been on the short list for V.P., never.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Aimee Allison is the founder of She the People, a group that advocates for women of color in politics.

  • Aimee Allison:

    A lot of us believe that a black woman on the ticket will help to increase enthusiasm, demonstrate that Joe Biden's governance is going to include us, is going to see us, and that we have a place at the top of the ticket.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Biden has already said women of color will play a big role in his administration and that several are on his V.P. short list.

  • Former Vice President Joseph Biden:

    I am not committed to naming any but the people I have named, and, among them, there are four black women.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    There is, of course, a wide universe of women whom Biden could choose, with names rising and falling daily, but only a few days now until one gets on the ticket.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Lisa Desjardins.

Listen to this Segment

The Latest