Who will join Joe Biden’s ticket over the summer? We won’t know for some time, but that hasn’t stopped the speculation.
Given that Biden has committed to choosing a woman to be his running mate, the women who competed against him for the Democratic presidential nomination are getting a close look, including Senator Elizabeth Warren.
In fact, speculation about Warren began even before the official end of the presidential race, when she declined to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders as he challenged Biden for the nomination. But it’s gotten louder in recent weeks, with The Boston Globe, New York Times, and the Atlantic, among others, reporting that Warren is expected to be on Biden’s list of possible running mates.
Here’s a look at what those reports have said about Biden’s consideration of Warren:
Biden and Warren have spoken frequently during the coronavirus crisis, and her response has made her highly visible
The two have been speaking regularly as the coronavirus pandemic has killed tens of thousands and precipitated a collapse in the job market, the Globe reported last week. It comes as Warren’s policy-minded approach has put her at the center of economic relief efforts to the crisis: She’s credited with pushing to implement tougher oversight measures for federal bailout funds in the CARES Act, and some of her proposals have also made it into the recently passed $3 trillion HEROES Act in the House.
The work has made her highly visible despite being soundly defeated in the Democratic primary race just months ago and attracted support for her possible vice presidential bid among progressives like Representative Ro Khanna, the Globe reported on Friday.
Biden has praised Warren’s fund-raising chops
Biden is entering the general election race against President Trump at a significant cash disadvantage. The Trump campaign reported in mid-April that it had $240 million in cash on hand, while Biden, coming off an expensive Democratic primary fight, said it had $57 million. Biden has acknowledged that he faces long odds in catching up to Trump, especially since in-person fund-raisers are off the table for now.
So it was hard not to read into Biden’s praise of Warren earlier this week, when the Biden campaign employed one of Warren’s signature fund-raising strategies: A surprise call to a small-dollar donor.
“I used to call my contributors, but I never had as many until she endorsed me," Biden told a supporter on the call. "And so I’m counting on her a great deal, not just for her endorsement, but for her ideas and her leadership.”
Biden also attributed some of his fund-raising success at the end of April to Warren, and told donors that a two-day $5 million haul happened in part because Warren sent out a fund-raising solicitation to her campaign list on his behalf, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A tweet from President Obama was reportedly seen as something of a stamp of approval
One person that could play prominently into Biden’s VP decision? Former president Barack Obama. Though he has remained silent about Biden’s search, according to a report in the Atlantic, he’s “intrigued” by the prospect of a Biden-Warren ticket.
“He hasn’t made up his mind on the running-mate question, but a tweet at the beginning of April in which he praised Warren’s summary of the issues facing lawmakers was meant as a stamp of approval,” the magazine reported last week.
Some of Obama’s turns of phrase during his endorsement video might also offer some clues. As he spoke in a 12-minute video singing Biden’s praises, Obama echoed Warren’s campaign themes, calling for “real structural change" in America and going beyond “just tinker[ing] around the edges,” the Globe reported in April.
Warren’s political foils are making noise
Unsurprisingly, some of the Democratic donors who were not fans of Warren during the primary are worried enough about her possible inclusion on Biden’s ticket that they are lobbying Biden not to choose her, according to a CNBC report. The unnamed donors are pushing for Biden to choose a more moderate figure, like Senator Amy Klobuchar or Senator Kamala Harris, according to the report. Additionally, Warren is one of two targets, along with Harris, of a digital ad from a right-wing group attacking Biden’s possible VP choices, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
He previously considered her as a possible running mate, in 2015
In 2015, as Biden was mulling whether to mount a bid for the presidency, he met with Warren at the vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington. During the meeting, the Globe later reported, Biden suggested Warren “look around” the home, and added: “If I have my way, you’ll be living here.”
Of course, in the end, Biden decided against running for the Democratic nomination, and the conversation never progressed. But the idea of a Biden-Warren ticket was on Biden’s mind five years ago, and it could very well still be.