The Daily Telegraph

Four black women in frame to be Biden’s running mate

- By Ben Riley-smith US EDITOR

JOE BIDEN, the presumptiv­e Democratic presidenti­al nominee, has said that four black women are being considered for his vice-presidenti­al pick in a move that would make history.

No black woman has ever been either the presidenti­al or vice-presidenti­al candidate for a major political party in the United States.

A decision on who will join Mr Biden on the Democratic ticket ahead of November’s election is expected within weeks. The choice will not just have consequenc­es for the campaign but potentiall­y for the country, with the person elected becoming next in line if Mr Biden takes office.

Mr Biden has already pledged to select a woman and there are growing calls for an African-american to be chosen, in part given the backdrop of anti-racism protests in the US.

Prominent black female Democrats including Kamala Harris, the California

senator who sought this year’s presidenti­al nomination; Susan Rice, Barack Obama’s national security adviser; Val

Demings, the Florida congresswo­man; and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, are said to be in the running.

Other candidates reportedly being considered include Elizabeth Warren, the progressiv­e senator from Massachuse­tts, and Tammy Duckworth, an Asian-american senator for Illinois.

Mr Biden was asked, during an interview on MSNBC, if he would commit to selecting an African-american woman as running mate.

He said: “I am not committed to naming any but the people I’ve named, and among them there are four black women. So that decision is under way.”

He has previously said he wants a vice-president who is experience­d and ready to step into the job from day one.

Mr Biden also said that he wants to reflect America’s diversity. He said: “It is important that my administra­tion, I promise you, will look like America, both from vice-president to Supreme Court to cabinet positions to every major position in the White House.”

Mr Biden’s choice is seen as having unusual importance given his age – 77. If he succeeds in defeating Donald

Trump on Nov 3, Mr Biden will become the oldest person ever elected to the US presidency. Should Mr Biden not seek a second term, then his vice-president will be the clear front-runner to win the party’s 2024 nomination.

The choice is also a moment of political risk for Mr Biden, who currently enjoys around a nine-point lead over Mr Trump in national polls.

Commentato­rs have noted that Mr Biden is facing competing political incentives over his selection.

Some have urged him to be cautious. Others have stressed that Mr Biden must reflect the energy of the moment, in particular the public support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Mr Trump is expected to stick with Mike Pence, his current vice-president, despite reports that he has asked allies about picking former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley.

♦ President Trump has urged every American to wear a face mask if they cannot socially distance irregardle­ss of whether they like doing so in a marked change in tone. The US president said that the country needed to do “everything” it could to stop the spread of the virus. “We’re asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask, get a mask,” Mr Trump said as he delivered prepared remarks at the start of the briefing.

“Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact, they’ll have an effect and we need everything we can get.”

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