Mr. Biden is now determining his personal degree of comfort with a narrowed group of candidates, according to people in touch with the campaign.
Asked in an interview last week if Mr. Biden had ideas about who fit that bill, former Senator Harry Reid of Nevada said: “My knowledge is, I think he knows within two or three people who he feels comfortable with. He’ll have to narrow it down to number one. He’s the only one who can do that.”
Names frequently discussed in Biden circles over the last week, according to interviews with top Biden allies, include Ms. Harris, Ms. Rice and Ms. Bass, along with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. Some supporters also remain enthusiastic about Ms. Demings and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Duckworth among others, but acknowledge that there is a fluid process that only Mr. Biden, his wife, his sister and a few close longtime aides probably have full visibility into.
In the meantime, signs of a public rollout have surfaced. Mr. Biden’s campaign is increasingly considering how the eventual candidate should engage important political constituencies, and has sought input regarding the community leaders and organizations the running mate should contact, and what kinds of events she could do, according to multiple people familiar with the proceedings.
In a fund-raising appeal sent Thursday, Mr. Biden wrote, “I’d like to personally invite you to join me and my running mate for our first grass-roots fund-raiser together as the official Democratic ticket.” Details, the message said, will be sent “once they’re finalized.” Another fund-raising invitation hosted by Women for Biden — without specifics on date or time — was headlined, “introducing our running mate.”
Mr. Biden, for his part, has rejected the idea that his search process has been slower or messier than those of previous nominees.
“It’s been very orderly,” he said during an interview that aired Thursday with members of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists. “Every one of the women we’ve interviewed is qualified. And I’ve narrowed it down.”