UPDATED: 2:27 a.m. ET, June 19 —
Amy Klobuchar has removed herself from the running to be the Democratic nominee for vice president and suggested a woman of color be selected instead. The Minnesota senator made the comments during an appearance on MSNBC Thursday night.
Citing the ongoing protests against racism, Klobuchar said “this is a historic moment and America must seize on this moment.” She said she told presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden “this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket.” She added: “If you want to heal this nation … this is sure a helluva way to do it.”
It was only last month when Biden reportedly began vetting her to be his running mate.
Klobuchar’s unexpected announcement fell short of calling for a Black woman, in particular, to be chosen.
However, what it did accomplish was to seemingly eliminate Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer from VP contention and place pressure on Biden to choose a Black woman. (Ironically it wasn’t too long ago when Warren was claiming that she was a woman of color.)
It was a shrewd political move from Klobuchar, who has been under fire for her prosecutorial past in Minnesota following the high profile and racially charged police death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. By making the announcement, Klobuchar was also able to appear pro-diversity as her controversial record in the courtroom did not.
Without Warren or Whitmer in the vice-presidential picture, that left people like Florida Rep. Val Demings, a Black woman who confirmed last month that she was on Biden’s “short list” of people he is considering for the role.
The idea of Biden picking a Black woman running mate was briefly quashed in March when it was first announced that Biden was considering Klobuchar to be his running mate. Choosing Klobuchar, who suspended her own campaign for president before quickly endorsing Biden, could have been seen as a slap in the face to the many Black people — especially Black women — who have ardently supported Biden’s candidacy with undying loyalty.
There is, of course, no shortage of qualified Black women for Biden to choose from. As such, NewsOne has identified 11 viable vice presidential running mates who are Black women for Biden to choose from. Black women have proven to be the unifying factor in a number of high-profile elections in recent years, both as voters and candidates alike. Immediately following the 2018 midterm elections, it was further proven that Black women were not only great political organizers on the ground but were also very electable in their own rights. There is no reason to doubt that a Black woman would make a great addition to Biden’s presidential ticket and would also address the lingering issue of diversity in an election that will feature three white men with a combined age of 212.
At the top of the list of potential vice presidential candidates for Biden is Kamala Harris, the current U.S. senator from California who suspended her own campaign for president in December. Excluding Warren and Klobuchar, the next name on the list is Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and longtime state legislator. Harris seems to have taken the lead between the two in recent weeks as Democratic leadership works to decide who would be a greater asset for Biden to achieve the ultimate goal of beating Donald Trump on Election Day.
However, in addition to these very strong two choices, there are a good deal of other Black women who Biden should consider to be his vice-presidential running mate. As Trump’s administration grapples with the coronavirus crisis and the tanking economy, the timing of Biden announcing his running mate could be crucial and allow Democrats to move ahead while the president’s campaign takes a back seat to the global pandemic.
Keep reading to find 11 Black women who would maker string vice-presidential candidates to run alongside Biden for president.
1. Stacey AbramsSource:iOne Digital/Creative Class
Asking Stacey Abrams to be your vice-presidential running mate is all but a no brainer. After falling victim to voter suppression in 2018 during her historic bid to be the first Black women governor, Abrams has been busy leading her Fair Fight organization to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to her fellow Democrats on Election Day 2020. Not to mention that she told the New York Times in August that she would be open to being the vice-presidential candidate for “any nominee.” With Abrams’ rising star power within the Democratic Party, she would add much-needed diversity — and youth (she’s 46) — to Joe Biden’s presidential ticket.
2. Keisha Lance BottomsSource:Getty
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms began being officially considered for vice president following her masterful showing of leadership as her city protested racism and police violence. She swiftly oversaw the punishment of officers who brutalized a pair of young Black people before firing a city police officer who shot and killed an unarmed Black man, all in less than two weeks’ time.
Bottoms, a 50-year-old former judge, has taken a leading role in the national conversation about race and policing as well as being an outspoken critic of Georgia’s plan to reopen the state as it battles the coronavirus pandemic. Through it all, she has ramped up her rhetoric against Donald Trump, adding to her allure as a possible vice presidential running mate for Biden.
3. U.S. Rep. Val DemingsSource:Getty
Val Demings, the current Florida Congresswoman and former chief of police in Orlando — the first woman to serve in that capacity — endorsed Biden’s presidential candidacy, stoking the flames of speculation over the two of them teaming up to face off against Trump and Mike Pence in November. Demings made a name for herself as one of the House impeachment managers when Democrats helped impeach the president.
4. U.S. Sen. Kamala HarrisSource:Getty
After Kamala Harris suspended her campaign, she immediately became a viable option to be tapped as a potential vice-presidential running mate. Many candidates have been stealing from her campaign playbook – literally and figuratively – underscoring how much stronger she would make a Sanders Democratic ticket. There is also the fact that she has been one of Trump’s most staunch critics who played a major role in the Senate impeachment trial despite its outcome. The combination of the above makes Harris a formidable political ally that theoretically increases the chances of beating Trump, which Democrats have said all along is their primary objective.
5. New York Attorney General Letitia “Tish” JamesSource:Getty
Letitia “Tish” James has emerged as one of the nation’s top attorneys general. The fact that she’s from Trump’s hometown and has initiated crucial investigations into the president’s finances — the latter of which Sanders and other Democrats have placed a heavy focus on — can’t be ignored when discussing why James would strengthen any ticket, but especially Biden’s. She might not have widespread name recognition, but the Howard University Law School graduate would almost definitely inspire Black voters to continue rallying behind Biden, something that would help ensure victory on Election Day.
6. Michelle ObamaSource:Getty
Does this choice really need an explanation? Trump has attacked the Obamas to no end, but the arguably better half of the first Black first family running alongside Biden would likely put the fear of God in the current president’s campaign for re-election. Michelle Obama knows the ins and outs of presidential life and can be an undeniable asset to any candidate. While the chances of Biden picking her — and her accepting — would be a longshot, the 2016 election has shown the country why it should never eliminate any possibility from becoming reality.
7. U.S. Rep. Ayanna PressleySource:Getty
The outspoken freshman Congresswoman from Boston has been one of the strongest supporters for her fellow Massachusetts politician Elizabeth Warren. But now that Warren has dropped out, choosing Ayanna Pressley would be a boon with Black voters as well as Warren’s supporters, theoretically bolstering an already strong following and campaign. Pressley has been the subject of Trump’s racist attacks, too, something that a Biden-Pressley team could use to their advantage to galvanizing voters who have no tolerance for bigotry in the Oval Office.
8. U.S. Rep. Terri SewellSource:Getty
The Congresswoman from Alabama went hard at Trump and his associated during the House impeachment hearings, which automatically qualifies her to be a vice-presidential candidate for anyone. And with the fact that Republicans have won Alabama in every presidential election since 1980, bringing Terri Sewell on board with Team Biden could help make history in more than one way.
9. Nina TurnerSource:Getty
Picking the former Ohio state senator who served as one of Bernie Sanders’ top campaign advisers and surrogates would be a clear play to win over Sanders’ supporters whose votes could prove to b the difference on Election Day. Choosing Nina Turner would be a longshot, but politically it could make sense.
10. U.S. Rep. Maxine WatersSource:Getty
This one is a long shot since she’s even older than Biden is. But if there was ever anyone up for the fight against Team Trump, it’s Auntie Maxine, who has been a consistent thorn in the president’s side and one of the most vocal supporters for removing him from office. Can you imagine a debate featuring Mike Pence against Maxine Waters? We’re here for it.
11. Oprah WinfreySource:Getty
Since America is really interested in electing TV stars, it obviously gets no bigger than Oprah Winfrey. The media maven has already said she’s not interested in running for president, so presumably becoming a vice-presidential candidate is also out of the question. But, again, if the objective is to beat Trump and Biden calls on Oprah to help him do so, you never know how she might respond.