As presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden narrows his list of potential running mates, California Rep. Karen Bass, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, has emerged as a serious contender.
Biden has said he will announce his pick next week.
CNN reports: In more than two dozen interviews with CNN in recent days, members of Congress, top Democratic donors, Biden allies and others close to the vice presidential vetting process said California Rep. Karen Bass, the 66-year-old chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, has gained real traction in the late stage of the search. Amid furious last-minute lobbying and speculation about Biden’s historic decision, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Susan Rice, Barack Obama’s former national security adviser, are also believed to be among the most serious contenders. The search continues to be conducted under extreme secrecy, with even many top campaign advisers in the dark about the vetting process. Several additional women have also gone through extensive examination by the Biden team, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Florida Rep. Val Demings and Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth. Others, including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham have also received various levels of scrutiny by the vetting team.
More on Bass from the Washington Post: As Biden nears a decision about his vice-presidential pick, Bass’s boosters see in her someone whose activism in Los Angeles in the 1990s could bring progressive credibility to the ticket during a fresh wave of racial unrest in the country. She could also help assuage liberal skeptics who have been critical of Biden’s now-controversial efforts on criminal justice reform in the 1990s. She has already made history once as the first Black woman in the United States to rise to the role of assembly speaker in any state. Bass is relatively unknown compared with the others on Biden’s shortlist and has largely been spared the spotlight — and vetting — of a national political campaign. Biden’s eventual running mate, particularly if it is a Black woman, will undoubtedly attract immediate, harsh scrutiny, entering a campaign that has been marked by aggressive personal attacks and misinformation. Her leadership in Sacramento during the Great Recession in particular provides a window into how she has balanced her ideological commitments against the raw needs of governing in crisis, a test that carries particular relevance now amid economic upheaval, a global pandemic and heightened racial tensions.