Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential campaign on Thursday announced the leaders of his vice-presidential selection committee, moving his search for a running mate into a new and more serious phase.
To lead the search, Mr. Biden’s campaign tapped former Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and a friend of Mr. Biden’s who campaigned with him this year; Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, Democrat of Delaware; Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles; and Cynthia C. Hogan, a former White House and Senate counsel to Mr. Biden. Mr. Garcetti and Ms. Blunt Rochester are also co-chairs of Mr. Biden’s campaign.
“I would assume that that committee’s going to be doing outreach and talking to different stakeholders as well as vetting candidates,” Ms. Blunt Rochester said on Wednesday, before her role was announced.
News of the selection committee comes as elements of the vice-presidential race play out in plain sight. Mr. Biden has been clear about his core requirements for a running mate: that he be “simpatico” with that person on major strategic matters and key priorities, and that she be prepared and experienced enough to assume the duties of the presidency immediately, if needed. He has also mentioned by name or alluded to a long list of possible contenders.
Several potential running mates, including Senators Kamala Harris, of California, and Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota, have campaigned recently on behalf of Mr. Biden, and Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia House minority leader and 2018 nominee for governor, has been especially vocal about her interest in the role. And a number of prominent Democrats have spoken openly about their preference for a woman of color on the ticket with Mr. Biden.
“Whatever that process is, it needs to work its way out to see who rises to the top,” said Ms. Blunt Rochester, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, when asked if she had a preference on whether Mr. Biden should select a woman of color. “That’s probably the best I can answer right now, but I know there’s a lot of desire out there, and I’ve heard it from different groups as well.”
The co-chairs of the selection committee are expected to work with a network of vetting teams led by Bob Bauer, who served as the White House counsel under President Barack Obama; the Biden campaign’s general counsel, Dana Remus; and Lisa Monaco, a former Homeland Security adviser in the Obama administration, according to a release from the Biden campaign.
Mr. Dodd, who has spoken with Mr. Biden about his future running mate, said last month that traditionally there were “certain people you’d seek out to conduct the vetting process and so forth.”
“I think he’d like to hear from a broader spectrum of people,” he said, adding, “I want to see who Joe feels comfortable with.”