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Karen Bass, Susan Rice Rise As Biden’s Search for VP Nears End



Bass has also launched a previously undisclosed campaign to admire influential liberal leaders, calling the president of the Union to seek their advice and support.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is close to Bass, whom she appointed to oversee the latest legislative reform proposal, and has made her admiration clear in private conversations, including with former President Barack Obama. Ms. Pelosi’s aides said she has not provided support for any candidate, is fond of a number of them and, in talks with Mr. Biden’s wetting team last month, urged them to find someone who could ensure that the ticket is victorious.

Two prominent Democrats, Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California, along with a handful of other women, remain as opportunities; both legislators have the state political experience and major national follow-ups such as Ms. Bass and Ms. Rice is missing. Miss Warren has become something of an informal adviser to Mr. Bidden in economic matters and has won support from his party’s progressive wing, and Miss Harris is considered a muscular collector with the support of key people in the Democratic Party’s donor class.

While Biden’s advisers are careful to emphasize that he has not excluded any of the major candidates, some are obviously less likely than others to be selected. For some of the long shot candidates, the conversation has already turned to other potential roles in a Biden administration: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, for example, has expressed interest in the job as health and human services secretary, according to officials familiar with her thinking.

Among the other candidates Biden has looked at is Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan; Representative Val Demings of Florida, who has engaged her home state’s significant congressional delegation to appeal on her behalf; and Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, backed by veteran advocates.

Governor JB Pritzker of Illinois has called Mr. Bidens team to urge them to put Ms. Duckworth, a military veteran, on the ticket. Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the top Democrat in the Senate Commission on Armed Services, has shared his high opinion of Ms. Duckworth with the Biden camp and also urged them to elect their home state governor, Gina Raimondo, said people familiar with the talks. However, Mr. Biden’s nomination committee raised questions about how clicking on Duckworth could lead to legal challenges since she was born abroad.


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