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Joe Biden to name VP selection panel by May 1

The Boston Globe logo The Boston Globe 4/22/2020 Annie Linskey
a man wearing a suit and tie: Former vice president Joe Biden spoke at an event in Flint, Mich., in March. © Carolyn Van Houten Former vice president Joe Biden spoke at an event in Flint, Mich., in March.

Former vice president Joe Biden said he intends to name the panel of advisers who will help him select a running mate by May 1, offering the nugget early Wednesday morning via an appearance on ‘‘The Late, Late Show with James Corden.’’

Announcing the committee would officially launch Biden’s search for a vice president candidate, a process that has already quietly begun with allies of various contenders making their case to Biden’s advisers. Biden has said that he will select a woman for the role and that he expects to whittle down the list of contenders to two or three by July.

Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, also listed qualities he’s looking for in a running mate, utterances that are closely watched by allies of the contenders.

‘‘The first the most important quality is someone who — if I walked away immediately from the office for whatever reason — that they can be president,’’ Biden said. He added that he wants the public to be able to see his pick as ‘‘capable of being president of the United States tomorrow.’’

He also said that former president Barack Obama’s advice has long been ‘‘pick someone who has some background or some competence that may not be your strong point’’ and who could be trusted with presidential authority in some subject area.

Biden added that his pick also must be ‘‘intellectually simpatico’’ so that it’s clear that the vice president speaks on behalf of the president.

Already there’s considerable speculation and jockeying over who he'll pick. Names that are frequently mentioned include former competitors like Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). He’s also believed to be eyeing Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and former Georgia Democratic nominee for governor Stacey Abrams.

Klobuchar appeared as a guest on Biden’s podcast this week and will headline a ‘‘Women for Biden’’ virtual town hall for Biden on Thursday. Last week Warren endorsed Biden and let him send a fundraising email to her lucrative list of supporters. And Harris appeared with Biden this month at a virtual fundraiser.

Whitmer has also been a podcast guest. And Abrams has been perhaps the most outspoken potential shortlister, telling Elle Magazine this month that she would be an ‘‘excellent running mate.’’

Slideshow by photo services

Biden jokingly added another name to the list Wednesday morning, saying he would chose Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the comedian who starred in ‘‘Veep,’’ the show about a fictional female vice president.

Corden also quizzed Biden, who is 77, on whether he'd serve two terms, noting that some have speculated he would only stay in office for four years.

‘‘I promise I won’t serve more than three terms,’’ Biden quipped. Biden then played pundit, explaining: ‘‘If one were to say that ‘I'm only going to serve four years,’ you’re immediately a lame duck president and everything changes.’’

He added that if he’s elected president, he would make a decision about a second term ‘‘three years out.’’

‘‘The American public should have confidence I'll be completely, thoroughly candid with them about the state of my health. They'll be able to judge my energy level. They'll be able to make that judgment,’’ Biden said.

During the appearance, which was taped Tuesday, Biden critiqued President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying the president appeared to be moving in slow motion.

And he said he’s hoping to make some changes to the way he’s campaigning in quarantine: Biden said he’d like to do some of his future video appearances from outdoors rather than always staying in a basement studio.

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