‘Selfishly’ We Need Her Here, Michigan Democrats Hesitate on Whitmer as Biden’s VP

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. — With Joseph R. Biden Jr. expected to announce his choice of running mate in the coming days, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan has suddenly joined the pack of leading contenders in the home stretch — a turn that has some Democrats in the state excited, but has left others concerned about how they, and Michigan, might fare without her.

Talk of her 11th-hour political momentum began after she took a secretive, chartered flight to Delaware from Lansing, Mich., this month for a two-hour conversation with Mr. Biden, a trip first reported by The Associated Press.

That Ms. Whitmer, a well-regarded Democratic governor of a battleground state, could vault into the top circle of contenders shows just how fluid Mr. Biden’s selection process has been — but it also illustrates the complex considerations involved in choosing a running mate based on her record during a crisis, one that shows no sign of ending soon.

Ms. Whitmer’s spokeswoman, Tiffany Brown, declined to comment on the vice-presidential speculation or her boss’s travel schedule.

While much of the attention around Mr. Biden’s impending decision has focused on the energy that high-profile candidates like Senator Kamala Harris of California could bring to the campaign, Ms. Whitmer’s supporters say that her response to the coronavirus in Michigan makes her an appealing running mate for a contender looking to contrast himself with President Trump.

“I think she deserves it and she’d be phenomenal,” said Barry Goodman, a lawyer who sits on the finance committees for the campaigns of both Ms. Whitmer and Mr. Biden.

The NewYork Times

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