Rep. Jim Clyburn’s endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden in South Carolina's Democratic primary arguably pushed Biden to major wins on Super Tuesday and most primaries since. The surge sent Biden closer to the Party’s nomination.
Now, Clyburn, the highest ranking African American member of Congress, says it would be in Biden's best interest to pick a Black woman as his running mate in the 2020 election.
"I really believe that we've reached a point in this country where African American women need to be rewarded for the loyalty that they've given to this party," Biden said in an interview with NPR this week.
While four Black women made Clyburn's short list of suggestions, there are still a few more who made our wish list to stand by either Sen. Bernie Sanders or Biden's side to lead country forward.
Sen. Kamala Harris made the top of the list. The former 2020 presidential candidate has publicly endorsed Biden despite going toe-to-toe with him during several debates.
Harris has called Biden “a public servant who has always worked for the best of who we are as a nation,” cementing the possibility of her coming on as a potential running mate.
Before joining Congress in 2016, Harris spent several years as Attorney General of California. During the 2008 housing crisis, she helped to establish a $25 billion settlement deal with the nation’s largest mortgage companies that gave relief to 84,000 families in the state. While in the U.S. Senate she served on several important committees including the Judiciary, Intelligence and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees.
Stacey Abrams was a second mention and is also a favorite in political circles. The former Georgia state legislator ran for governor of Georgia last year, but lost by the smallest of marhins to then-secretary of state Brian Kemp in a controversial election with broad charges of voter disenfranchisement.
Since her defeat, Abrams has created a watchdog organization called FairFight.org that moves to ensure voter rights are upheld. Seen as one of the Democratic party's brightest stars, Abrams has already said that she would be open to joining the Democratic ticket for vice-president. And, she's not completely ruling out a future run for top spot either.
Rep. Marcia Fudge was also one of Clyburn’s mentions. The Ohio representative had been chair of the Congressional Black Caucus in the 113th Congress. Before she was elected, she was the first woman and African American mayor of the Cleveland suburb Warrensville Heights.
In Congress, she served on the Education and Labor, Agriculture, and House Administration committees. And there's no doubt she'll get the support of her sisters as the former president of Delta Sigma Theta sorority from 1996 to 2000.
Rep. Val Demings of Florida was Clyburns’s fourth recommendation. You may have seen her recently as the only Black woman appointed as a manager of the impeachment of Donald Trump in January.
Demings believes that there are many women of color who would do an amazing job in the position.
“I am pretty honored that my name is being mentioned in those circles,” Demings said on the podcast "Signal Boost with Zerlina & Jess on SiriusXM."
After a redistricting in state’s 10th district, she was elected in 2016 and was only the third Democrat to win the seat since it was created in 1973. Since being in office, she has taken an active role in crafting sensible gun control legislation. She also sits on the House Judiciary along with the Homeland Security, and Permanent Select Intelligence committees and has thrown her support behind Joe Biden.
Rep. Karen Bass, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, gave her endorsement to Biden, saying he is “the best person” to beat Donald Trump and lead the nation.
Bass has a track record stretching back to her response to the crack epidemic in the 1980s by founding South Los Angeles group Community Coalition. After terms in the California assembly, including its speakership, she moved on to the House of Representatives where she sits on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees.
Keisha Lance Bottoms was one of the first to endorse Biden, giving him her nod back in June 2019 and officially becoming a Biden surrogate.
As mayor of Atlanta, she led the city’s elimination of cash bail bonds, spoke out against immigration raids and closed the Atlanta City Detention Center to ICE detainees. She also created Atlanta’s first Department of Transportation, launched it’s 100 Men to Mentors initiative, in the footsteps of President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” program and issues a 30 percent pay raise to police officers. She also stewarded and led the successful staging of Super Bowl LIII last year.
Rep. Maxine Waters, was not one of the women on Clyburn’s list, but she is a long-term, popular member of Congress and one of Trump’s most vocal adversaries.
The California congresswoman is currently in her 15th term in office and served as Congressional Black Caucus chair from 1997 to 1998. During her time in the California assembly, Auntie Maxine was a leading voice in divesting from South Africa during the apartheid era. In 1996, she called for a Justice Department investigation of the crack epidemic, although the agency said it found no evidence of CIA involvement. She currently sits on the powerful House Financial Services committee and had previously sat on the Judiciary committee. After over 40 years in politics, Waters has the knowledge and chops to lead Biden on the right path.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley also was not on Clyburn’s list and was actually a major supporter of Sen. Elizabeth Warren. But in her freshman term representing Massachusetts 7th District, as the first African American woman to do so, she has been very active in progressive movements in Congress and can bridge the gap between Biden and the progressive, Bernie Sanders voter.
Last year, she and Sen. Cory Booker introduced the Healthy MOMMIES Act, which is legislation to give Medicaid coverage for pregnant women and new mothers from 60 days to a year from birth. She also proposed a constitutional amendment that would have lowered voting age from 18 to 16, although it was defeated in congress.
Biden: Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images and Sanders: Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images