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Biden announces running mate vetting committee

Joe Biden's presidential campaign announced the co-chairs of his vice presidential vetting committee Thursday. They are former Senator Chris Dodd, of Connecticut, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; and Biden's former White House and Senate counsel, Cynthia Hogan. 

Biden has stated that he would choose a woman to be his running mate, and these four co-chairs, along with former White House Counsel Bob Bauer, campaign General Counsel Dana Remus and former Homeland Security Adviser Lisa Monaco, who will be leading the vetting teams, will be carrying out the selection process. Bauer, Remus and Monaco will be providing Biden with background and information on the candidates, according to the campaign. 

On Wednesday, Biden said he expected to have the vetting completed by July, and then, "I'll be narrowing down who it is that I would ask to be my vice presidential running mate." He's also apparently keeping in mind advice from the man who tapped Biden to be his vice president.

"I need someone who's going to be, as Barack said, 'simpatico with me,' who is a real partner in progress and is ready to be president on a moment's notice. There are a lot of women out there with the experience to do that job."

Now, it's a matter of figuring out who those women are. To help him with this, Biden will have both people whom he has known and trusted for decades in Washington, as well as the voices of a younger generation of leaders. 

He has a four-decade-long friendship with Dodd, with whom he served in the Senate. When Biden was vice president, Dodd was the interim chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and helped the Obama administration secure passage of the nation's health care law, the Affordable Care Act. He is also the co-author of the Wall Street overhaul measure known as Dodd-Frank, which was passed after the 2008 financial crisis. 

Rochester, a fellow Delaware denizen, is the first African-American and first woman member of Congress to be elected from Delaware. She is also an assistant whip for the House leaders and sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. 

Garcetti is the president of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors and also leads a group of U.S. climate-focused mayors who are committed to the Paris agreement and addressing climate change. He's also a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO).

Hogan's relationship with Biden also dates back decades to the Senate, where she first worked with him on the Violence Against Women Act. She was the chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Biden chaired. During the Obama administration, she was charged with getting Sonia Sotomayor confirmed to the Supreme Court, and she later served in the White House as Biden's counsel.

-- Reporting by Bo Erickson and Ed O'Keefe

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