Why all the activity all of a sudden? With Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders finally ending his campaign last week, it’s now seen as totally acceptable to openly express interest in being Biden’s second-in-command. And so, people are jockeying. A lot!
To that end, I am now going to be releasing my new and updated rankings of the Top 10 women — Biden has pledged to pick a female VP — who might be the Democratic vice presidential nominee, every Thursday until the choice is made.
My latest rankings are below. The number one ranked woman is the likeliest VP selection as of today.
10. Stacey Abrams: If past is prologue, actively campaigning to be the VP pick virtually ensures that Abrams won’t get it. (Historically, acting as though you are almost entirely unaware that there is even a vice president to be picked is a recipe for success.) That said, Abrams is a young (46), African American woman who came within a few thousand votes of winning the Georgia governorship in 2018. (Previous ranking: 9)
But there’s no question how central Wisconsin will be to the electoral maps of both Biden and Trump. And Baldwin just got reelected to the Senate from the state with 55% in 2018. (Previous ranking: 7)
7. Tammy Duckworth: The Illinois senator continues to fly under the national radar when it comes to the VP selection process. She’s not on national cable TV much and not giving interviews where she floats herself as a possibility.
6. Susan Rice: I’d left Rice, who served as ambassador to the United Nations and national security adviser in the Obama administration, off my first two sets of VP rankings. I’ve been convinced — by people in a position to know these things — that was a mistake. On paper, Rice makes a lot of sense: An African American woman who is close to the Obamas and has one of the deepest reservoirs of national security knowledge in the country. Plus, at 55, Rice would represent the sort of generational pick Biden is looking for. (Previous ranking: Not ranked)
3. Catherine Cortez Masto: The Nevada senator just makes a lot of sense for Biden. She has the experience he is looking for (she was attorney general in the state before being elected to the Senate in 2016). But at 56 years old, she also makes sense as a generational bridge for him.
Plus, she is one of the highest-ranking Latina elected officials in the country, at a time when that population is booming and Biden hopes to capture those voters in key swing states like Colorado, Florida and, yes, Nevada, in November. (Previous ranking: 4)
2. Amy Klobuchar: If Biden was watching the presidential campaign the Minnesota senator ran in 2020 — and he was — then he knows that she has a long track record of electoral success in the Midwest, favors his pragmatic approach to politics and is a very good debater. She’s also far better known today than she was 18 months ago — and better liked. (Previous ranking: 3)
1. Kamala Harris: Like Cortez Masto, Harris is in the absolute sweet spot between age and experience. She’s 55 — a full two-plus decades younger than Biden — but also is old enough to have served as, among other things, the attorney general of California. She is also the most prominent African American elected official in the country right now, and given how central black voters were to Biden’s primary win, that’s a huge advantage for her. (Previous ranking: 1)