According to an upcoming book from two New York Times reporters, first lady Jill Biden expressed frustration that Kamala Harris was the top choice for vice president.
An excerpt from Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns’ forthcoming book, “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future,” describes the vice-presidential nomination process during Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign.
The authors wrote of a conversation Jill Biden had after she learned Harris became a leading candidate to serve as Biden’s running mate: “‘There are millions of people in the United States,’ she began. ‘Why,’ she asked, ‘do we have to choose the one who attacked Joe,” per report.
However, several from Biden’s inner circle supported Harris on the ticket. Ron Klain, who is now the White House chief of staff, had been tasked with vetting vice presidential candidates and told Biden early on that Harris was most qualified for the job as she had sought the presidency herself, according to the book.
“Yes, Harris had attacked Biden more harshly than any other major candidate in the Democratic primaries. Yes, the Biden family had seen it as a smear and a betrayal. In Klain’s assessment, that would work to Biden’s advantage. Choosing Harris will show people that you are magnanimous and forgiving, Klain told Biden. It will show the country just what a unifying leader you can be,” the book states.
Biden’s own reservations to select Harris as a running mate is one more thing the book also highlights. Noting her “past romantic relationship with Willie Brown, the former San Francisco mayor who had appointed Harris to a pair of minor political positions,” the book said Biden described the behavior “as the kind of thing that should be off limits.”
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, as well as activists and members of Congress from across the country, were others who were considered as a Biden running mate, as discussed in the book.
Stacey Abrams was another candidate who pushed hard for the role, did “not pass the test” and was seen by Biden’s advisers as a lost cause after she failed to win the Georgia gubernatorial race in 2018, according to the book.
“Abrams fought hard to win real consideration but never overcame the experience issue” that Biden’s advisers warned him about, claims the book.
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