Joe Biden's announcement of his running mate has to come soon—the Democratic convention gets underway in less than two weeks on August 17. As the vetting process winds down, Biden has dropped a few hints, including that four Black women are on his short list. But now the buzz is focusing on two of those women in particular, Sen. Kamala Harris and Susan Rice, former UN ambassador and national security adviser to President Obama. Coverage, including a controversial post about the process by a Virginia mayor:
- Down to two: Axios, while tacking on the caveat that only Biden himself knows for sure, reports that the choice has indeed narrowed to Harris and Rice. It has another Black woman, Rep. Karen Bass, in third. The piece notes that the selection of Rice would come with a bonus—"the enthusiastic presence of both Barack and Michelle Obama on the campaign trial."
- Ditto: Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro also has Harris and Rice as the final candidates, per Fox News.
- GOP preference? Politico reports the Trump campaign wants Biden to pick Rice. "She is absolutely our No. 1 draft pick," says an anonymous Trump campaign official. The idea is that she will fire up the GOP base by become a "'deep state' villain," writes Anita Kumar. For example, expect the Benghazi controversy to be fully revetted, though Axios notes that Rice would try to mitigate that by raising the issue herself and explaining that misstatements she made were the result of faulty intelligence she received.
- Tucker, too: Fox's Tucker Carlson opened his Monday show with a rant against Rice, and he also is out with an opinion piece against her. He sees Rice as the top candidate at the moment.
- Mayor's post: Amid the widespread speculation that Biden will pick a Black woman, the mayor of Luray, Virginia, reposted a meme on Facebook reading, "Joe Biden has just announced Aunt Jemima as his VP pick.” The backlash has been furious, but Barry Presgraves tells the Page Valley News, "Hell, no, I'm not resigning." He deleted the post and says he doesn't understand the "fuss" it's caused. "I saw it last week, and I thought it was funny," he says. City council members may censure him or ask him to resign. The meme also plays off the news that Quaker Oats was ditching its Aunt Jemima logo.
- And sexism: The AP has a story about how all the female candidates are being subjected to stereotypes: For example, Rice has been told she doesn't smile enough, and Harris has been faulted for being too ambitious and not apologetic enough for earlier attacks on Biden. “The fact is that although we’ve come really far in the last 100 years, we haven’t come far enough for women candidates to be treated with the same level of decency as the male candidates are," says Donna Brazile, a former Democratic National Committee chair.
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