Biden opens up on typically private running mate search

A presidential nominee’s search for a running mate has traditionally been shrouded in secrecy.

But as Joe Biden begins his official hunt for a vice presidential nominee, he’s being vocal about the selection process.

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And at times, the former vice president’s having some fun with it.

“Julia Louis-Dreyfus is gonna be like my person. … I think she has all the experience in the world. I’m not sure she’ll do it, but I’m. That’s my … choice. That’s who I’m going to pick,” Biden joked during an appearance Tuesday on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” on CBS.

The actress and comedienne of ‘Seinfeld’ fame played the vice president on the long-running and popular political satire television series “Veep.”

A night earlier, Biden chuckled during an interview with a local newscast in Pittsburgh when he was asked if he’d choose former first lady Michelle Obama as his vice presidential nominee.

“I’d take her in a heartbeat. She’s, she’s brilliant … she knows the way around. She is a really fine woman, and the Obamas are great friends,” Biden answered. “I have great, great admiration for [her], she’s brilliant. She’s wonderful.”

But the former vice president added that “I don’t think she has any desire to live near the White House again.”

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But Biden’s also sharing details on how his vetting process will work – and the timing.

“We’re gonna probably be announcing the setting up of that committee, which we’re doing now, picking the people who would agree to serve on it. And we’ll be announcing the formation of that probably by, I assume, by May 1st. We’ll have that done. And my guess is it’s going to take until sometime … in July. We’ve narrowed it down after the background checks as to who the one, two, three people are,” Biden explained in his late-night talk show appearance.

With the Democratic National Convention pushed back a month from mid-July to late August due to health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, Biden and his team have some extra time to choose and name a vice presidential nominee.

The top two lawyers on the Biden campaign – Bob Bauer and Dana Remus – are expected to be key players on that committee, along with a number of top advisers to the former vice president.

Another person advising Biden on the selection process is his one-time boss for eight years – former President Barack Obama. Biden told donors at a virtual fundraiser two weeks ago that he had asked his old boss for advice on choosing a running mate.

“So I called President Obama, not as to who but how soon you have to start,” the former vice president shared.

And in his weekly campaign newsletter, Biden emphasized that “I learned from the best — Barack Obama — on what to look for.”

“When it comes to the Vice Presidency, I’m looking for someone to be a partner in progress. Someone who’s simpatico in how they see the challenges the country faces. Someone who is ready to be president at a moment’s notice,” Biden said.

And Fox News has confirmed that Biden advisers have held conversations with former Attorney General Eric Holder, who ran Obama’s 2008 running mate selection process.

Biden’s also speaking out about some of the prospective vice presidential nominee candidates.

As he introduced Gov. Gretchen Whitmer two weeks ago on his “Here’s the Deal” podcast series two weeks ago, he raved that the Michigan Democrat “is an outstanding governor. She is one of the most talented people in the country in my view.”

And teaming up with Sen. Kamala Harris of California recently on a virtual fundraiser, Biden said “I’m so lucky to have you be a part of this partnership going forward.

“Working together, we can make a great deal of progress,” Biden added. “I’m coming for you, kid.”

Biden’s publicly mentioned that he’s held conversations with some of the likely leading contenders on his list – including Whitmer, and Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. And Fox News confirmed that Biden’s also talked on the phone multiple times in recent weeks with Harris.

While Biden’s speaking out, so are some of the potential vice presidential nominees.

Former Georgia House Democratic leader and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams touted in an interview with Elle Magazine that “I would be an excellent running mate. I have the capacity to attract voters by motivating typically ignored communities. I have a strong history of executive and management experience in the private, public and nonprofit sectors.”

Both Warren and Harris have said during interviews that they would take the job if picked by Biden.

But Klobuchar’s keeping it closer to the vest, telling Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich on Tuesday that “I am so focused on helping the people in my state and our country. And so I’m not going to engage in those hypotheticals.”

But the senator emphasized that Biden “was a good vice president for eight years. He has a good sense that you need someone that can step in the shoes of the president, someone that can govern, someone that he’s compatible with. So I know he’ll make that decision on his own.”

Fox News’ Jacqui Henrich and Tara Prindiville contributed to this report.

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