Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, has been asked by Joe Biden to undergo a formal vetting to be considered as his vice presidential running mate.
What We Know:
- The request for information from potential running mates like Klobuchar “is underway”. If a potential contender consents, she should be poised to undergo a rigorous multi-week review of her public and private life and work by a hand-picked group of Biden confidantes, who will review tax returns, public speeches, voting records, past personal relationships, and potentially scandalous details from her past.
- While several are expected to consent to a vetting, at least one potential contender has bowed out. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, who is running for reelection this year, declined Biden’s invitation to be considered, according to a person familiar with her decision.
- But Senator Maggie Hassan, the other New Hampshire senator, has agreed to be vetted, according to local news reports. Hassan said in a statement Thursday that she’s “flattered Vice President Biden publicly mentioned my name as someone he would consider. I am not going to comment about his process, whatever that may be. My focus each and every day continues to be serving the people of NH in the US Senate.”
- Biden committed during a March primary debate to pick a woman as his running mate and has previously said the list of women is around a dozen. The selection process is expected to be closely tracked given that Biden’s choice could set the course of Democratic Party politics for the next several years.
- Biden has publicly credited Klobuchar for strong debate performances and for helping him win Minnesota, a victory that came only after she and other contenders dropped out just hours before March’s Super Tuesday primaries that helped propel Biden into the lead.
- Biden has entrusted a four-person team to lead his selection process: Former Senator Chris Dodd, of Connecticut; Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, Democrat of Delaware; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; and Biden’s former White House and Senate counsel, Cynthia Hogan. Former White House counsel Bob Bauer, campaign general counsel Dana Remus and former homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco also will be providing Biden with background and information on the candidates, according to the campaign.
- Biden has said he expects the vetting to be completed by July – and appears to be taking advice from the man who once tapped him for the number two role, former President Barack Obama.
“I need someone who’s going to be, as Barack said, ‘simpatico with me,’ who is a real partner in progress and is ready to be president on a moment’s notice,” Biden said recently. “There are a lot of women out there with the experience to do that job.”