Book claims Biden suspected Harris of undermining chief rivals for VP slot in 2020

The process through which then-candidate Joe Biden vetted and chose his running mate during his 2020 campaign is the subject of a new book from a pair of New York Times reporters who claim that the presidential hopeful harbored suspicions that then-Sen. Kamala Harris was actively sabotaging those she perceived as serious rivals for the vice presidential nod as the Washington Examiner reports.

In their forthcoming volume, This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future, journalists Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns revisit the deluge of negative press received by some of Harris’ competitors for the number-two spot on the Democrat ticket.

Acknowledging that the national political vetting process is always intense, it seemed to take on new rigor on 2020 when it came to a number of serious contenders for the VP role, according to the authors, who suggested, “something about this seemed more deliberate, even targeted.”

The duo observed that the harshest scrutiny appeared to be “aimed at all of the most formidable Black women under consideration, except for Kamala Harris.”

It was, the writers assert, well-known that Harris’ team worked hard to generate and disseminate nasty opposition research materials on others rumored to be on Biden’s short list, with California Rep. Karen Bass (D) and former national security adviser Susan Rice among those subjected to this type of treatment.

“Even Joe Biden wondered aloud: Was Harris’ team driving this?” wrote Martin and Burns, also noting that “Biden was startled by some of the intra-state factional attacks on Harris by her fellow Democrats, including members of the state’s large congressional delegation.”

The under-the-radar scheming employed by Harris’ supporters was not limited to promulgating negative stories about her rivals, as it was reported at the time by The Intercept that her Wikipedia page, for example, had undergone a flurry of suspicious edits in the summer of 2020, designed to scrub aspects of her past thought to pose a threat to her ambitions to become Biden’s VP pick.

Though Wikipedia editorial staff caught on, with one editor in particular chiding user “Bnguyen1114” for seeming to have “gone through a database of press releases from Harris’ office, cataloging every single one and adding it to the article” and noting “[t]hat is not now we write encyclopedic articles,” the wannabe VP’s minions were largely undeterred.

In the end, the less-than-honorable tactics employed by Harris and those aiding her political ascent unfortunately paid off, as close Biden adviser Ron Klain was apparently unbothered by such unsavory methods and helped pave the way for her eventual selection.