August 18, 2020 at 7:37 AM EDT
Can Jill Biden help Joe beat Trump?
On the chaotic day Joe Biden called Sen. Kamala D. Harris to ask whether she would be his running mate, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s phone rang. As one of four co-chairs on Biden’s vice-presidential selection committee, Garcetti was one of a handful of people privy to that extensive and secretive process. On the other end of the line was someone even more involved in the decision: Biden’s wife of 43 years, Jill Biden.
So central was Jill Biden’s role in the process that the selection committee had presented its initial findings to the Bidens as a pair. With Jill’s input, Joe narrowed the field of more than 20 to the 11 whom he then interviewed one on one. Joe called the other contenders to tell them Harris was his choice, and Jill was the one calling the four selection committee co-chairs to tell them the news.
The extent of Jill Biden’s influence on big decisions in her husband’s campaign to unseat President Trump is both mysterious and not. “It’s a marriage” is her standard line, which is to say, of course they’ve talked about this, they bounce things off each other all the time, and we don’t get to know the details.
By Jada Yuan and Annie Linskey