In an interview with MSNBC broadcast on Friday, House Majority Whip James Clyburn said that Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, needs to select a running mate who has “a lot of passion,” The Hill reported.
Clyburn argued that Biden’s vice-presidential pick needs to be a passionate politician capable of turning out the vote in November.
“He has much more compassion than he exhibits passion. So he needs a running mate with a lot of passion to connect to voters,” the South Carolina Democrat said.
“Biden has the greatest heart that I’ve ever encountered in politics. He is not a ‘rah rah’ guy that will motivate people. But he is the kind of guy you want to help put the policy together.”
Although he dominated in the presidential primaries, Biden does not seem to excite the party base. Per The Associated Press, most polling suggests that there is a large enthusiasm gap between Biden supporters and those who back President Donald Trump.
In fact, surveys show that the Democrat’s supporters are largely motivated by opposition to Trump, rather than support for their party’s candidate.
Biden — who vowed to pick a woman as his running mate — is expected to make an official announcement in the coming week.
Senators Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois are reportedly on the former vice president’s shortlist. Reps. Val Demings of Florida and Karen Bass of California, and former national security adviser Susan Rice are also thought to be on Biden’s list of potential veeps.
Harris is reportedly the frontrunner. According to those close to Biden’s campaign, the former White House hopeful is viewed as a safe choice. The Democratic nominee is ahead of Trump in most national and battleground state polls and his team would, apparently, rather not take any chances or risk alienating key voter groups.
However, some Democratic insiders believe that Harris would not be the safest choice amid the Black Lives Matter protests due to her law enforcement background. Prior to being elected to the U.S. Senate, she served as district attorney of San Francisco and California attorney general.
When asked whether Biden should look for a competent campaigning partner or a good governing partner, Clyburn argued that beating Trump should be the campaign’s top priority.
Clyburn said that Biden needs to “go about the business of doing the polling that’s necessary to see who would complement the ticket… and then let his head and heart take a look at this issue so that he can get to where he says is ‘simpatico.'”