How Will Biden Choose a Running Mate? Look to the Obama Model

Part of the advantage of putting prominent Democratic leaders in charge of the search, as Mr. Obama did, is that it could help ensure broad acceptance of the eventual selection across a fragmented party.

Several Biden allies suggested it would be important for the search panel itself to reflect the diversity of the party, so that any disappointed constituencies feel at least that they were listened to in the process.

Traditionally, said former Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, a friend of Mr. Biden’s, there are “certain people you’d seek out to conduct the vetting process and so forth. I think he’d like to hear from a broader spectrum of people.”

That is a priority for Representative Cedric Richmond, Democrat of Louisiana and Mr. Biden’s national campaign co-chairman, who said that he expected to be part of the search process in some capacity, but that he was most concerned with ensuring any team reflected a range of views.

“Our candidate, since Day 1, has stressed diversity,” said Mr. Richmond, a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. “Diversity in terms of gender, in terms of race, in terms of age.”

“So I think the vice president’s search committee should reflect the vice president’s values in that sense,” he added.

Mr. Clyburn, for his part, said he did not want to serve on a search committee, though many prominent Biden allies have said that the Biden campaign should seriously consider Mr. Clyburn’s opinion on the matter, something they intend to do, Mr. Richmond said.

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