WASHINGTON –Suspense built Tuesday afternoon as people awaited an announcement on who presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden would choose as his running mate.
The former vice president’s campaign broke the news officially with a campaign text. Not a single reporter “scooped” the news that it was Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who was selected.
News broke earlier Tuesday that Biden had finally selected his vice president after weeks of speculation.
Early Tuesday afternoon, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, co-chair of the Biden vice presidential vetting team, was asked by Fox News’ Dana Perino how “imminent the decision” was and if she could “walk her dog in the next two hours.”
Garcetti responded: “I can’t say anything. But I wouldn’t walk that dog unless it was just outside. I think you might need to relieve him close to home.”
The news broke just about two hours later, with the text landing around 4:15 PM ET.
And in the time-gap leading up to the announcement, it spread on Twitter that some of the potential contenders had already been informed by the campaign that Biden had chosen someone else.
Those announcements broke one-by-one, with journalists reporting California Democrat Rep. Karen Bass, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and former Georgia state Rep. Stacy Abrams were out, causing Washingtonians and anxious reporters to constantly refresh their Twitter feeds.
Igor Bobic, a politics reporter at the Huffington Post, tweeted, “What Time Is The Vice President”?
Andrew Solender, a reporter at Forbes covering politics, pleaded, “Can a Biden aide please just “accidentally” tweet out the announcement and end this already”?
“OMG the NYT just announced the VP is: A TIE between Warren and Klobuchar,” Kiera Manser, who is with the Center for American Progress, joked.
In the moment’s leading up to Biden’s announcement, his campaign built suspense.
TJ Ducklo, Biden’s national press secretary, tweeted, “Slow day, @AndrewBatesNC want to catch a socially distant movie this afternoon?” at Biden’s Director of Rapid Response.
Bates also reposted an earlier tweet that read,”News from Delaware: I’m late to this but the @PopeyesChicken sandwich really is choice. Highly recommend,” with three sirens fronting the post.
Symone Sanders, a senior adviser to Biden, tweeted their common go-to response: “JOHN IDK IF THEY HEARD YOU BUT…text FIRST to 30330. Then y’all will have all the information!”
Sanders was referring to campaign-text alerts sent out by the Biden campaign. The news came via one of these alerts.
Author and activist Meena Harris, who is Kamala Harris’ niece, tweeted, “Damn he really did text y’all first tho.”
After the announcement, several hashtags immediately started trending, including “#BidenHarris2020″, #kamalaharris” and #YesWeKam,” after actress Kerry Washington tweeting the phrase.
Sanders continued to reshare several posts pointing to the non-leak of the story, tweeting about one: “GIVE US OUR FLOWERS!” with the laughing emoji.
Biden’s announcement was historic, making Harris the first Black woman and first Asian American person on a major party’s presidential ticket.
Contributing: Rebecca Morrin