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Joe Biden says he will pick a woman for vice president

Bernie Sanders indicated he would likely do so, too — but wasn’t as certain.

Joe Biden participates in the Democratic debate in Washington, DC on March 15, 2020.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
Li Zhou is a politics reporter at Vox, where she covers Congress and elections. Previously, she was a tech policy reporter at Politico and an editorial fellow at the Atlantic.

Former Vice President Joe Biden made a significant commitment during the debate on Sunday: He pledged to make a woman his running mate.

When faced with a question about how his administration would promote women’s rights, Biden indicated that part of his efforts would include the selection of vice president. “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,” he said.

Sen. Bernie Sanders also signaled that he would likely select a woman, but did not do so with the same certainty. “In all likelihood, I will,” he said. “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.”

This statement marks the first time that Biden has explicitly said his vice presidential pick will be a woman and it’s a notable announcement as he and Sanders continue to duke it out for the nomination.

Given both Biden’s and Sanders’s respective ages, the focus on their vice presidential selections has been even more heightened than it has been for candidates in the past. This past cycle, there have also been many questions about how the most diverse Democratic field the party has ever seen — which included six women — has since been winnowed to two white men in their late 70s.

Biden’s decision to choose a woman guarantees that there will be a woman on the Democratic ticket and ensures at least some representation via this choice.

There have been several names floated as possible running mates for Biden including former 2020 candidate Sen. Kamala Harris as well as former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. As The Cut reported earlier this month, there are a number of Democratic women including Sen. Maggie Hassan and former deputy attorney general Sally Yates, who have been mentioned by Biden, too.

There’s never been a woman president or vice president in US history, and if Biden wins the nomination, his running mate would only mark the fourth woman ever to be on the ticket.