Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms a favorite for VP
With pressure continuing to grow on the Biden campaign to select a woman of color as his VP nominee, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has become a real contender.
Bottoms was an early supporter of Biden, traveling to Iowa to campaign on his behalf in February and endorsing him right after California Sen. Kamala Harris accused him of supporting racist policies. She is one of the first leaders of a major city to endorse the former vice-president.
The fact that Bottoms picked Biden out of a crowded presidential primary field of candidates will not go unnoticed. Bottoms said she thought Biden was the best person to defeat President Donald Trump when she issued her endorsement.
“She brings the gender, racial, regional and generational balance to the ticket,” said Tharon Johnson, a Bottoms adviser. “The Biden campaign has to look at it through a non-traditional lens to not just appeal to the base but also to disaffected college-educated women. And she can do that.”
During the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Bottoms has gained national attention. She took on her state’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp when he became the first governor to rollback coronavirus restrictions in April. Bottoms told the people of Atlanta to ignore the governor and continue sheltering in place. She also made headlines when she gave an emotional late-night plea to protestors to end the looting.
“What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos. A protest has purpose,” Bottoms told the crowd.
Biden praised Bottoms during a roundtable he held with mayors of large U.S. cities earlier this month.
“I’ve watched you like millions and millions of Americans have on television of late,” Biden said. “Your passion, your composure, your balance has been really incredible.”
Bottoms says she wants Biden to pick whoever will help him beat Donald Trump and if that’s her she’d be honored.
“I want Vice President Biden to choose the person who he thinks will help him best beat Donald Trump in November, and so if it’s me, I would be honored,” Bottoms told National Public Radio in April. “But if it’s a green martian that helps him get over the finish line, then I think that’s who he needs to go with.”
Bottoms is the daughter of R&B songwriter Major Lance. She served as a judge and a city councilwoman prior to being elected mayor in 2017.
Biden has already promised to select a female running mate. Others being considered are U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Tammy Dukworth; former national security advisor Susan Rice; Congresswoman Val Demings; and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
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