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Sen. Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran, confirms she was interviewed by Biden team for VP slot

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on March 13, 2019.

JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES

By ANNIE LINSKEY | The Washington Post | Published: July 30, 2020

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., confirmed Thursday that she has been interviewed by Joe Biden's team to be the Democratic Party's vice presidential nominee.

"I have been interviewed, yes, I'm on Team Biden," Duckworth said during a Washington Post Live interview with reporter Robert Costa. "But it really doesn't matter what position I play as long as we get Joe Biden elected."

The senator was referring to talks she's had with the panel that Biden convened to vet his positional picks, said a person familiar with the selection process who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly about the process.

Duckworth said the interview process has been "positive." She also made clear that she has been in frequent touch with Biden, saying she's "always loved interacting with Vice President Biden."

"He's a military family member, and he and Dr. Biden have been wonderful for our military men and women throughout their careers," the senator said of Biden and his wife, Jill.

Biden has said he will decide on a running mate by next week. Duckworth is one of about a dozen women he's considering for the post.

She is a military veteran and Purple Heart recipient who lost her legs in Iraq in 2004 after the helicopter she was co-piloting in was shot down by Iraqi insurgents.

She's considered a dark horse for the vice presidential slot in part because of her low national profile, but some of Biden's advisers have been promoting her as an option.

Duckworth faced criticism from Republicans this month when she urged having a "national dialogue" about tearing down statutes of George Washington, who was an enslaver. Although Biden does not support removing statues of Washington, he defended her from those attacks, saying it was "disgusting, sickening" for Republicans to question her patriotism.

Politically, Duckworth has impressed some Biden advisers because of her 15-percentage-point victory over Republican incumbent Mark Kirk in 2016. She won by large margins in the cities as most Democrats do but also did relatively well in more rural parts of the state.

But Duckworth is little-known nationally — which could make it easier for Republicans to define her. She first entered Congress in the House of Representatives in 2013.

She was born in Bangkok, and her mother has Thai and Chinese heritage.

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