MORE NEWS: BI­DEN’S NOTES RE­VEAL TALK­ING POINTS ABOUT HAR­RIS, RUN­NING MATE PROCESS

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION/WORLD - BY BILL BAR­ROW AND AN­DREW HARNIK

WILM­ING­TON, Del. — Joe Bi­den was un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally tight-lipped on Tues­day about the fi­nal stretch of his search for a vice pres­i­dent. But the pre­sump­tive Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee seemed pre­pared to talk about at least one lead­ing con­tender: Cal­i­for­nia Sen. Ka­mala Har­ris.

As he took ques­tions from re­porters on Tues­day, Bi­den held notes that were cap­tured by an As­so­ci­ated Press pho­tog­ra­pher. Har­ris’ name was scrawled across the top, fol­lowed by five talk­ing points.

“Do not hold grudges.” “Cam­paigned with me & Jill.” “Tal­ented.” “Great help to cam­paign.” “Great re­spect for her.”

Those are all ob­ser­va­tions Bi­den has made about Har­ris be­fore. But they take on new sig­nif­i­cance fol­low­ing a re­cent Politico re­port that one of Bi­den’s clos­est friends and a co-chair of his vice pres­i­den­tial vet­ting com­mit­tee, for­mer Con­necti­cut Sen. Chris Dodd, still har­bors con­cerns about Har­ris’ tough de­bate stage per­for­mance and that she hasn’t ex­pressed re­gret.

The com­ments at­trib­uted to Dodd have drawn con­dem­na­tion, es­pe­cially from in­flu­en­tial Demo­cratic women who main­tain that Har­ris is be­ing held to a stan­dard that wouldn’t apply to a man run­ning for pres­i­dent.

The de­bate-stage skir­mish was one of the sem­i­nal mo­ments of the Demo­cratic pri­mary. Har­ris, who is Black, said Bi­den made “very hurt­ful” com­ments about his past work with seg­re­ga­tion­ist sen­a­tors be­fore she slammed his op­po­si­tion to bus­ing as schools be­gan to in­te­grate.

“There was a lit­tle girl in Cal­i­for­nia who was a part of the sec­ond class to in­te­grate her public schools, and she was bused to school ev­ery day,” she said. “And that lit­tle girl was me.”

At the time, Bi­den called her com­ments “a mis­char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of my po­si­tion.”

Their re­la­tion­ship has be­come con­sid­er­ably more am­i­ca­ble.

Bi­den has praised Har­ris pub­licly many times and said that he’s thought highly of her per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally since she be­came close to his late son, Beau Bi­den, when both were state at­tor­neys gen­eral.

Bi­den’s list, at the least, sug­gests that he wants to defuse any ten­sions around his re­la­tion­ship with Har­ris. Bi­den ul­ti­mately did not field a ques­tion specif­i­cally about Har­ris. A spokesper­son for Har­ris did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

In just his third ex­tended news con­fer­ence in four months, Bi­den also sidesteppe­d spe­cific ques­tions about the tim­ing of his de­ci­sion on a run­ning mate, an ap­proach re­flected in an­other en­try on Bi­den’s notepad. Un­der the head­ing “VP,” Bi­den wrote “highly qual­i­fied” and “di­verse group,” sig­ni­fy­ing his in­ten­tion not to tease out any more de­tails.

AN­DREW HARNIK/AP

The notes of for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den on Tues­day ref­er­ence Sen. Ka­mala Har­ris, D-Calif., among other sub­jects.

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