Kamala Harris is Joe Biden's running mate

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes, Veronica Rocha and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 11:53 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020
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4:09 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Biden told Karen Bass she won't be his VP, source says

From CNN's Dana Bash, Jeff Zeleny and Dan Merica, Kate Sullivan and Eric Bradner

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP

The Biden campaign has informed some of the women the former vice president’s team vetted about his choice of running mate, three sources familiar with the matter tell CNN

Rep. Karen Bass of California was told by Joe Biden himself that she was not the pick, a source familiar tells CNN.

Bass had a relatively low-profile relative to the other VP contenders under consideration. She is serving her fifth term representing California's 37th Congressional District, which is based in Los Angeles County, and is the current chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

She was first elected to Congress in 2010, and represented the state’s 33rd Congressional District for two years before redistricting occurred. In addition to chairing the CBC, Bass serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where she is the chair of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations, and the House Judiciary Committee. She is also the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth. 

Prior to serving in Congress, Bass represented the 47th District in the California State Assembly from 2005 to 2010 and became the first Black woman to serve as Speaker of the California Assembly. She previously served as the Assembly Majority Whip and Majority Leader. 

Before running for office, Bass spent several years working as a physician assistant in one of the nation’s largest trauma centers in Los Angeles. 

The other contenders: The former vice president has spoken directly to the final contenders, according to people familiar with the process, through either face-to-face meetings or remote conversations.

Officials would not say which of the candidates visited Biden in person, but CNN confirmed last week that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had flown to Delaware for a meeting. California Sen. Kamala Harris and former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice are among the others seen as the most serious contenders.

CNN had previously reported that Biden was also believed to be considering Bass, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, people familiar with the search say.

3:46 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Biden team dismisses possible Trump campaign attacks ahead of VP announcement

From CNN’s Sarah Mucha and Betsy Klein

The Joe Biden campaign sent along this statement from campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates, preemptively dismissing any attacks from the Trump campaign ahead of the announcement of his running mate:

"The Trump campaign has already discredited their attacks before we're even out of the gate by announcing that regardless of who Joe Biden nominates, they'll strain to depict the VP candidate as 'radical'  — just like they've tried and failed to do with Biden himself for months. In other words, they've flat out admitted they will lie."

In a wide-ranging interview this morning on Fox Sports Radio, President Trump declined to weigh in on who Biden should pick as his running mate, suggesting it’s not that important but quickly backtracking to defend his own vice president.

“I will say this, people don't vote for the vice – you know, this is history. This isn't necessarily me, this is history because we have a great Vice President. Mike Pence has been incredible, actually. He's been a great Vice President and, a really, really good job in everything I've given him and, but people don't vote for the Vice President, they really don't,” he said.  

As for Biden, he said, “I don’t think it’s going to matter. Joe’s gonna have to stand on his own two feet,” but later suggested “maybe with him it probably matters much more than it does for the obvious reason,” an apparent reference to Trump’s continued attacks on Biden’s mental acuity.

5:38 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

What a presidential candidate's running mate says about them

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

Then-Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama and then-Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden appear on stage at the end of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, in August 2008.
Then-Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama and then-Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden appear on stage at the end of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, in August 2008. Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Potential presidents say a lot about themselves while choosing a number two.

A party nominee might choose a vice president who doubles down on their own appeal — like when Bill Clinton chose the youthful, centrist Southerner Al Gore — or to counter their own weak spots: John F. Kennedy picked Lyndon Johnson, balancing his Northeastern liberal credentials with a conservative Southerner who could deliver his home state of Texas. The last three vice presidents, Dick CheneyJoe Biden and Mike Pence, offered governing experience to balance out relatively green presidents. The devout Pence also reassured evangelical voters about Donald Trump's hardly pious behavior.

Biden, after 50 years in Washington, doesn't have to worry about inexperience — but youth could certainly be a consideration. He's already promised to pick a woman, reflecting palpable anger in the Democratic Party over Hillary Clinton's defeat and a sense that sexism was partly to blame.

Going with one of several Black candidates for vice president could offer further historical redress. But for ideological balance, he could choose someone like Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a champion of the left, to set against his own moderate credentials.

Then there are the practical considerations: Biden would be the oldest president inaugurated for a first term, and he has acknowledged the possibility that his vice president could be called upon to take over. That's one reason why a super-capable White House insider like Susan Rice, who would be a controversial political pick, has seen her star rise. It also helps if presidents and vice presidents get along, which usually means the number two stifling their own ambitions. Sen. Kamala Harris of California, long one of the favorites for Biden's vice president spot, rejects claims that she might be a little too interested in the 2024 nomination.

Above all, Biden must avoid damaging his own hopes. In 2008, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona shocked the political world by choosing a little-known Alaskan named Sarah Palin. It worked great when the self-described "pit bull" gave an electrifying convention speech. But soon she was being lampooned on late-night TV. Few saw her as a potential president, and the ticket soon lost to Barack Obama and his more effective pick — Biden.

Read the full analysis here.

Editor's note: This was excerpted from the Aug. 3 edition of CNN's Meanwhile in America, the daily email about US politics for global readers. Click here to read past editions and subscribe.

3:19 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Here's what the VP pick's staff will look like

From CNN's Arlette Saenz, Jeff Zeleny and Dan Merica

With an announcement expected as early as today, a Joe Biden campaign official told CNN on Tuesday that they have assembled the staff for Biden's future running mate.

Here's who will be on the staff:

  • Karine Jean-Pierre, who joined the Biden campaign as a senior adviser in May, will lead the running mate's team as chief of staff. Jean-Pierre had previously worked for Barack Obama and Martin O'Malley's presidential campaigns.
  • Two veterans of the Obama-Biden administration are also joining the team. Liz Allen, who served as deputy communications director for Biden as vice president as well as deputy communications director in the White House, is joining as communications director to the running mate.
  • And Sheila Nix, who was chief of staff to Biden's reelection campaign in 2012 and served as Jill Biden's chief of staff in the White House, will be a senior adviser to the running mate and spouse. The vice presidential pick is expected to also add a few of her own advisers to the team.

Whoever Biden settles on will be a history-making choice in her own right, becoming only the third woman to be nominated as a vice presidential candidate for a major party's ticket.

3:58 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Biden has selected his running mate and could announce as early as today

From CNN’s Jeff Zeleny

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has selected his running mate, revealing to top advisers on Tuesday the woman he will invite to join his ticket, two people familiar with the matter tell CNN.

He is poised to make the announcement as early as today.


3:05 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

What we know of Biden's search for a running mate

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny, Dan Merica and MJ Lee

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden's search for his vice presidential running mate was conducted under strict secrecy, with most campaign aides, donors and even many longtime Biden friends intentionally kept in the dark.

People close to the process said it was heavily influenced by the nation's reckoning on racism.

Biden said July 21 that he was considering four Black women to be his running mate, and had been receiving extensive vetting briefings about each potential candidate.

"I am not committed to naming any (of the potential candidates), but the people I've named, and among them there are four Black women," Biden told MSNBC's Joy Reid on "The ReidOut."

Biden said he was getting a "two-hour vetting report" on each of his potential picks, and that he and his team have gone through "about four candidates" so far.

"Then, when I get all the vetting done of all the candidates, then I'm going to narrow the list, and then we'll see. And then I'm going to have personal discussions with each of the candidates who are left and make a decision," Biden said.

CNN previously reported that Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Rep. Val Demings of Florida, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice and Rep. Karen Bass of California were among the Black women being considered.

Biden had announced that he would choose a woman as his running mate.

Separate teams of lawyers assigned to each of the contenders neared the closing stages of reviewing three distinct types of records — written, financial and medical — in their background checks, according to people involved in the process.

The search was a dynamic one, though, which has evolved significantly from when it started. The goal was to have an array of options for Biden, particularly if an early favorite runs into complications.

With reporting from CNN's Kate Sullivan and Sarah Mucha


3:05 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Here's why the 2020 election actually starts in less than a month

Analysis from CNN's Harry Enten

Bill Wechter/AFP/Getty Images
Bill Wechter/AFP/Getty Images

Election day 2020 is now less than three months away. In reality, however, the election starts in less than one month; on September 4, North Carolina will begin sending absentee ballots to voters.

The fact is that we no longer have one election day in this country, especially in the age of coronavirus. And with a record number of voters saying they'll be voting via absentee (or mail) or early in-person, it could mean that President Trump has less time to make up his deficit against former Vice President Joe Biden.

North Carolina is one of many states that starts sending its absentee ballots out more than a month before Election Day actually occurs. In fact, states containing more than a combined 350 electoral votes will begin shipping absentee ballots out to voters a month or before the election begins.

This list of states includes a number of contests that, at this point, look to be competitive on the presidential level: Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin.

All of these battleground states except for Texas have no excuse absentee or mail-in voting. In fact, Texas is the only battleground state overall that won't have no excuse absentee voting or allow coronavirus as an excuse to cast a ballot by mail.

Read the full analysis here.

2:49 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Biden and his VP pick will formally accept Democratic nominations next week

From CNN's Kate Sullivan, Jessica Dean and Dan Merica

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic party's presumptive nominee, is set to accept the party's nomination and deliver his acceptance speech next Thursday during the Democratic National Convention held in a virtual setting. The vice presidential nominee will do the same a night earlier.

The event was originally going to take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but due to the pandemic and safety concerns, Biden and keynote speakers will not be traveling to the city and speeches will be streamed from multiple locations on video. Biden will accept the nomination from Delaware.

The convention will feature just two hours of prime time programming on each of the four nights. The decision to limit the programming, which will be streamed online and aired by TV networks, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET each night is one of the starkest signs yet of how unconventional this year's gathering will be in the age of the coronavirus compared to previous conventions, typically filled with various events and speakers for many hours each day.

The convention's speaking line-up will include former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, former president Bill Clinton and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Democratic National Convention has announced "Uniting America" as the theme for its four-night convention that will seek to argue why Democrats believe Biden is the candidate to lead the US out of a global crisis, contrasting his leadership style with that of President Trump.  

Each night has a different sub-theme that ultimately points to that central message: "We the People," "Leadership Matters," "A More Perfect Union" and "America's Promise."  

A scaled-back event: Democrats announced in June that they would scale back this summer's convention considerably and advised state delegates not to travel to Milwaukee. Officials had already pushed back the convention by a month as the country grappled with spiking coronavirus cases and deaths.

In July, organizers informed state parties and convention delegates that they would allow for nearly two weeks of virtual voting ahead of the convention.

The Democratic National Convention Committee also said that members of Congress should not plan to travel to this summer's party convention, following its previous guidance that all members of state delegations should plan to participate this year remotely.