“I’ve made very clear that when I look in the mirror in the morning, I realize who and what I am, I have three daughters, two granddaughters and I am very supportive of an African American woman on the ticket. I’m very supportive of that,” he said. “But I also know that in order for there to be a winning ticket, the chemistry has to be there.”
Asked whether Biden risks alienating African American voters — or failing to excite them to go to the polls — by not choosing a black woman as a running mate, Clyburn bristled.
“Us African Americans, most of us grew up in the South, those of us who didn’t grow up in the South have roots in the South, one of the things we live by: one should never cut off one’s nose to spite one’s face. One should never,” Clyburn said. “I’m still saying, my preference is an African American female and that’s just my preference.”
Harris has worked to move past the PR missteps and staff drama that surrounded her own campaign, keeping a tight lid on her return to the trail and March endorsement of Biden.
She overhauled her political team and is now working closely with Mindy Myers, the veteran Democratic strategist; Sabrina Singh, a senior adviser who previously was a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee before joining the presidential campaigns of Cory Booker and Mike Bloomberg; and Rohini Kosoglu, a former Harris chief of staff who later worked on her presidential campaign. Julie Chávez Rodríguez, a national political director on the Harris campaign, and Jalisa Washington-Price, the South Carolina state director, are also advising Harris.
Harris’ post-campaign emergence has mostly centered on her legislative efforts, including a heavy focus on dealing with the coronavirus. She’s pushing for a task force to address racial disparities in the number of cases and deaths, and working on a separate effort to ensure all communities have access to testing and treatment. With Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Harris introduced a bill to send a monthly $2,000 check to people who make less than $120,000. Another Harris effort with Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) is focused on helping small businesses.
Before the debate in Miami, Biden and Harris got to know each other through Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015 at age 46. The following year, Biden, along with President Barack Obama, endorsed Harris for Senate over another Democrat ahead of the party’s national convention.
After Biden swore her in to the Senate early the next year, Harris suggested they get together for regular coffees. The meetings didn’t happen, but there were seemingly chance encounters on the street and at train stations that staffers captured for social media, fueling speculation from supporters about their possible future together. The first debate tested their connection, and soured Harris among some key Biden advisers and top donors.