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Biden names four campaign allies to vet his would-be election running mates

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Tipped: Gretchen Whitmer is a potential running mate for Mr Bidenand

Tipped: Gretchen Whitmer is a potential running mate for Mr Bidenand

Tipped: Gretchen Whitmer is a potential running mate for Mr Bidenand

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is assigning four close campaign allies to head up the process leading to one of his most important decisions - picking a running mate.

Mr Biden, who served as Barack Obama's vice-president, chose one of his former Senate colleagues, two elected politicians of colour and a former aide to run a panel scouring the backgrounds of those who could be the first female United States vice-president.

The panel's co-chairs are US Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, former US Senator Chris Dodd and aide Cynthia Hogan, his campaign said in a statement yesterday.

The former vice-president has vowed to choose a woman for the role and hopes to complete vetting by July.

His choice has spurred special interest among voters on the campaign trail, who regularly ask who he will pick and sometimes express concern whether Mr Biden (77) would serve the maximum of two terms of four years each if elected president.

"These four co-chairs reflect the strength and diversity of our party, and will provide tremendous insight and expertise to what will be a rigorous selection and vetting process," Biden's campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon said.

None of the names is a surprise. Mr Dodd, now an independent lawyer, was a long-time Senate colleague and friend of Mr Biden's. Ms Hogan was Biden's top lawyer when he was vice-president and was also involved in the process to get Mr Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, confirmed in the Senate. Ms Blunt Rochester and Mr Garcetti are already co-chairs of the campaign, regularly serving as spokespeople for Mr Biden.

Ms Blunt Rochester is from Mr Biden's home state of Delaware and is black. Mr Garcetti, who is Latino, is talked about among possible future Democratic presidential candidates. Both ethnic groups are critical voting groups for Democrats.

Another of the broader campaign co-chairs, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, is among those Mr Biden is thinking about picking as a possible running mate.

Others tipped for consideration include Senators Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. Each once fought Mr Biden for his party's presidential nomination.

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The committee will closely scrutinise possible candidates for actions that could imperil Mr Biden's election odds ahead of his November 3 face-off with Donald Trump.

The chairs will consult "a network of vetting teams" led by Bob Bauer, a lawyer and long-time friend of Mr Biden, campaign general counsel Dana Remus and former homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco.


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