Biden Adds Congressional Black Caucus’s Karen Bass to VP List

Representative Karen Bass, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, is being vetted by Joe Biden’s vice presidential search team, a person familiar with the process said.

Bass has represented parts of Los Angeles in the U.S. House for a decade and has led the Black caucus since last year. She is a later addition to the pool of candidates that Biden is considering to be his running mate, a sign that he’d like more options to consider in a process that he and his campaign have said will likely come in August.

The congresswoman has more experience in the government than many of the other contenders, including first-term California Senator Kamala Harris, former national security adviser Susan Rice and second-term Florida Representative Val Demings. Second-term Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham are also still in the mix.

But Bass also has a much lower national profile than Harris and Warren, as well as other women whom Biden is considering. She also has not had the media scrutiny and public vetting that Harris and Warren faced during their own bids for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police last month and the racial unrest that followed have led to increased pressure for Biden to choose a Black woman. In addition to Bass, Harris, Demings and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms are among the Black women who are still engaged in the vetting process. CBS News first reported that Bass was being vetted.

The 2020 vice presidential nominee decision also has taken on added weight given that Biden, who turns 78 in November, will be the oldest president ever sworn in if he wins the election.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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