Former White House national security adviser Susan Rice on Sunday defended her qualifications to become presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, arguing she had accumulated substantial campaign experience despite never having held elected office.
The remarks from Rice, Biden’s former Obama administration colleague, came on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” after host Andrea Mitchell asked her how Americans should feel about potentially supporting a vice presidential candidate with no background in electoral politics who had not previously run a national campaign.
“Well, Andrea, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, right?” Rice replied. “Joe Biden needs to make the decision as to who he thinks will be his best running mate. And I will do my utmost, drawing on my experience of years in government, years of making the bureaucracy work.”
Rice also said she had “worked on multiple campaigns” including presidential bids, and had hit the campaign trail as a surrogate in past election cycles. “I’m going to do everything I can to help get Joe Biden elected and to help him succeed as president, whether I’m his running mate or I’m a door knocker. I don’t mind,” she added.
Rice is widely viewed as a top contender for the role of running mate to the former vice president, boasting an extensive executive branch resume and knowledge of international affairs.
She served on the National Security Council and at the State Department in President Bill Clinton’s administration, and she was President Barack Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations before becoming his national security adviser.
Her standing on Biden’s shortlist is believed to have improved since nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality have heightened public pressure on the campaign to select a Black woman as his running mate. Rice is African-American.
But Rice’s relative lack of familiarity with the rigors of retail politics has been noted as a potential vulnerability to the Biden campaign, as has her involvement in crafting Obama-era foreign policy fiercely condemned by congressional Republicans.
Biden revealed during a primary debate in March that he would select a female running mate and said last week he will make his final decision in “early August” ahead of the Democratic National Convention, which is set to take place in Milwaukee from Aug. 17-20.
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