Joe Biden commits to picking a woman as US vice president | News | DW | 16.03.2020
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Joe Biden commits to picking a woman as US vice president

Joe Biden has pledged to pick a woman running mate if he wins the Democratic nomination. His opponent Bernie Sanders, however, didn't make a firm commitment but said he would, "in all likelihood," do the same.

The frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden, on Sunday committed to naming a woman as his vice presidential candidate if he were to win the party nomination.

"If I'm elected president, my cabinet, my administration, will look like the country, and I commit that I will in fact appoint a woman to be vice president," Biden said during a one-on-one televised debate with his opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders. 

He also repeated the pledge he made during last month's debate, to appoint a black woman to the US Supreme Court, if he were to get the chance as president.

The Democratic primary race has turned into a two-man contest between Biden and Sanders, both white men in their seventies.

Read more: Coronavirus: US states postpone presidential primaries

Sanders' response

While Biden had previously hinted at picking a woman or a person of color as his running mate, he made a definitive commitment for the first time during Sunday's debate. He made the assertion in response to a question on how he would handle women's health issues.

Sanders, on the other hand, didn't make a firm commitment when asked whether he would do the same. "In all likelihood, I will. To 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. So my very strong tendency is to move in that direction," he said.

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Possible choices

The contest for the Democratic nomination started as one of the most diverse, including a record-breaking six women, many of whom could be among Biden's choices.

Read more: Joe Biden wins four US states on 'Big Tuesday,' reaches out to Bernie Sanders

Asked during a campaign stop in November about the running mate candidates he'd consider, he mentioned a few names, but added that it was premature. "I could start naming people, but the press will think that's who I picked," Biden said. He did, however, name Stacey Abrams, a former Georgia lawmaker who lost the governor's race in 2018.

Only two women have been chosen as running mates for presidential nominees of the two major US parties. In 1984, Democratic nominee Walter Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, while in 2008, Republican John McCain chose Sarah Palin to be on the ticket with him. Both lost their elections.

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In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be the presidential nominee of a major US political party. She lost the election to Donald Trump.

adi/sri (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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