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Published on April 10, 2020 12:15 PM

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Some advisers said the campaign has heard from Democrats who want a woman of colour as Biden's vice presidential pick.

10 Apr 2020 16:16 GMT
Joe Biden departs after speaking about the coronavirus at the Hotel Du Pont in Wilmington, Delaware [File: Tracie Van Auken/EPA-EFE]
Joe Biden faces the most important decision of his five-decade political career: Choosing a vice president.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee expects to name a committee to vet potential running mates next week, according to three Democrats with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal plans. Biden, a former vice president himself, has committed to picking a woman and told donors this week that his team has discussed naming a choice well ahead of the Democratic convention in August.

Selecting a running mate is always critical for a presidential candidate. But it is an especially urgent calculation for the 77-year-old Biden, who, if he wins, would be the oldest American president in history. The decision carries added weight amid the coronavirus pandemic, which, beyond its death toll, threatens to devastate the world economy and define a prospective Biden administration.

"We're still going to be in crisis or recovery, and you want a vice president who can manage that," said Karen Finney, a Democratic strategist who worked for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign. "This seems like a much more important decision than usual."

Biden faces pressure on multiple fronts. He must consider the demands of his racially, ethnically and ideologically diverse party, especially the black women who propelled his nomination. He must balance those concerns with his stated desire for a "simpatico" partner who is "ready to be president on a moment's notice".

The campaign's general counsel, Dana Remus, and former White House counsel, Bob Bauer, are gathering information about prospects. Democrats close to several presumed contenders say they have not yet ...