The California senator is considered a potential running mate for Joe Biden. But unlike other possible contenders, she has avoided making a pitch for the ticket.Senator Kamala Harris has often been mentioned as a leading contender to be Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s running mate.Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York TimesMay 11, 2020Updated 9:25 a.m. ETSix years ago, when President Barack Obama had to replace his departing attorney general, he offered the job to Kamala Harris, who led the California Justice Department — the first woman to occupy that role in its history.Ms. Harris declined the promotion for several reasons, according to advisers from the time. She had not served a full term. She had her sights set on a higher profile in the Senate or as governor of California. Some envisioned a future presidential run. In that view, the job was a political dead end for a motivated and barrier-breaking figure. It also highlighted a personal trait: She would not be pressured into a position she did not want.Today, Ms. Harris — now a senator from California who ran for president last year — finds herself at another political crossroads, and is approaching it with similar caution. Though she is among the favorites to become Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s vice-presidential nominee, joining him on the Democratic ticket to try to defeat President Trump, she has kept a noticeably lower profile than other possible contenders.In several interviews, Ms. Harris has said she would be “honored” to serve with Mr. Biden, but there is no public campaign similar to that carried out by Stacey Abrams, the former candidate for governor in Georgia. There is no surrogate lobbying effort like the one for Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, which includes direct polling presentations. Instead, even people close to Mr. Biden — often bombarded with pleas from those vying to be his running mate — have remarked about how little they have heard from Ms. Harris and her allies.Representative Ruben Gallego of Arizona, who endorsed Ms. Harris in the Democratic primary race, said the approach was intentional. Ms. Harris’s Washington backers believe that the
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