When Joe Biden pledged at the final Democratic primary debate to select a woman as his running mate, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth was rarely mentioned as a contender. But that is changing as Biden and his campaign move closer to a decision that is expected to come early next month.
Duckworth, 52, is among the broad tier of those being vetted by the Biden campaign. She would be the first woman of color nominated for that high office if chosen. She has served as the junior United States senator for Illinois since 2017. An Iraq war veteran, Duckworth was the first Thai-American woman elected to Congress, the first female double-amputee in the US Senate and the first senator to give birth while in office.
Biden’s announcement that he would pick a woman in March was largely greeted with cheers, but the terms of an intra-party debate over representation at the top of the ticket have sharpened over the past few months. The question now — one that has been amplified by more than a month of anti-racist protests around the country — is whether Biden should narrow his slate to women of color — and, more specifically, Black women.