Last night at the Democratic presidential debate between former VP Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, Biden said that he is committed to picking a woman as his vice-presidential running mate.
Biden’s announcement happened on the heels of women's organizations and progressive leaders pressuring the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to include women in the presidential race, including calling for the eventual Democratic nominee to select a woman running mate, appoint a majority-woman cabinet, and to center issues such as paid family leave in the Democratic platform.
"There must be a woman on this ticket," Cecile Richards, the former head of Planned Parenthood for America and founder of political advocacy group Supermajority, told The New York Times. "What is really important to see is representation, a commitment to the issues that women care about, and a commitment to do something about it."
Biden has previously said he would prefer a running mate "of color and/or a different gender." Now, the speculation about who his VP pick will be has started in earnest: Will he choose Sen. Kamala Harris, with whom he sparred during past debates? Or will it be Stacey Abrams, in an olive branch to progressive voters? Perhaps he will give a nod to moderate Midwesterner Sen. Amy Klobuchar, whose endorsement very likely helped him win the Minnesota primary.
Biden's running mate would be only the third woman, after Sarah Palin in 2008 and Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and the second Democratic woman to be a major-party vice-presidential nominee, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.
"In a year in which six women vied for the presidency, four of whom are United States Senators, it shouldn't be surprising that the nominee would select a woman as his running mate," CAWP director Debbie Walsh said in a statement provided to Refinery29. "The energy of women activists, candidates, and voters drove a Democratic wave in the 2018 elections; it would be foolish not to try and harness that energy in 2020."
Many eyes are also on Sanders, who, unlike Biden, has not committed to picking a woman as vice president. Instead, he said he would "in all likelihood" choose a woman for the role, but reminded everyone that he believes ideology is more important than representation. "For me, it's not just nominating a woman. It is making sure that we have a progressive woman, and there are progressive women out there," he said during the debate.
Ahead, read about the women who could potentially become Biden's vice president.