In over two dozen interviews with CNN lately, members of Congress, leading Democratic donors, Biden allies and many others near the vice versa vetting procedure mentioned California Rep. Karen Bass, the 66-year-old seat of the Congressional Black Caucus, has gained real traction at the late phase of the search. Amid furious last-minute and speculation concerning Biden’s historic choice, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Susan Rice, Barack Obama’s former national security advisor, are also thought to be one of the most serious contenders. The research is still run under intense secrecy, with many leading campaign consultants from the dark about the vetting procedure. Several additional women Also Have gone through extensive examination by the Biden group, such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Florida Rep. Val Demings and Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth. Others, such as Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham also have received different levels of scrutiny by the vetting group.Biden’s team has yet to inform any of those girls they have considered in earnest for its presidential role they are officially out of their running, people knowledgeable about the process stated, with one source saying 11 girls continue to be officially being contemplated. Bass’ new development among the best contenders has been plagued by intensive calling on her behalf with a number of her colleagues at the House including powerful California Democrats and leading donors. Her star has climbed following Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged weeks past that Bass shouldn’t be overlooked.They’ve achieved to members of Biden’s inner circle in recent weeks, which makes an impassioned case for why the congresswoman shouldn’t be overlooked in the research procedure. Her backers have painted her universally liked and respected member of the home, a team player with experience dealing with Republicans and directing a nation legislature, an African woman using a compelling biography suspended in humble beginnings and especially, a secure political decision who wouldn’t rock the ship. “I think Karen was under depended as Day One,” said Steve Westly, the former California state control and important Biden fundraiser, who stated he’s happy to find the two Bass and Harris on Biden’s shortlist. “Everybody enjoys Karen Bass. People are scratching their heads saying, who’s this lady?” he explained. “When you have been of the legislature for a country that is double the inhabitants of New York and also the world’s fifth largest market, you are aware of how to deal with media, you comprehend the market. I believe she’s more powerful than people believe.”Pelosi, who’s near a number of the contenders, doesn’t have a favorite candidate in the hunt, aides insist.Another unmistakable energetic that’s emerged lately: an intensive attempt by some Biden allies to torpedo Harris’ likelihood of being picked. Even as Biden has openly commended Harris lately, a number of his fans — both in public and private — have continued to raise questions throughout the media, occasionally using sexist speech, about if Harris are a trusted team participant, frequently bringing up Harris’ famous attack on Biden at a Democratic main debate over the dilemma of busing. 1 Democratic aide together with knowledge of the research procedure offered this dull observation: “Biden allies ‘ are laying the groundwork for the president to really have a reason to not pick her.”In several media accounts, Biden allies have assaulted Harris’ motives. Florida donor John Morgan lamented that Harris “will be running for president that the day of their inauguration. For me personally, friendship and loyalty ought to indicate something,” Chris Dodd, a part of Biden’s VP vetting group, allegedly complained to a donor which Harris showed “no guilt” when asked about her famous clash with Biden about the discussion stage. Former Pennsylvania Gov. and Biden supporter Ed Rendell, who stated he does not have a favorite from the hunt for a running partner, said in a meeting that Bass is regarded as a “very safe alternative” in a manner that Harris simply isn’t. “Kamala can rub some folks the wrong way. Karen Bass isn’t very likely to accomplish this,” Rendell said. “The number one rule for choosing the VP? Don’t harm.”Biden certainly came ready to defend Harris in a media conference on Tuesday at Wilmington, Delaware, with a photo of a notecard list these bullet points beneath Harris’ title: “Don’t hold grudges.” “Campaigned with me & Jill.” “Talented.” “Great assistance to effort.” “Great esteem for her.” The recent attacks on Harris have prompted cries of sexism. “This isn’t about whining that we’re not being treated fairly, although I would argue these women are not,” said Karen Finney, a top aide to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. “We know that it’s an old trope to say that you can’t trust an ambitious woman.”Harris herself told women on a Black Girls Lead 2020 conference stream Friday, “There will be a resistance to your ambition, there will be people who say to you ‘you are out of your lane,’ ” addressing the attacks on her trustworthiness and ambition for the first time this week. “They are burdened by only having the capacity to see what has always been instead of what can be. But don’t you let that burden you,” she said, adding that she’s experienced it her whole careerThe Biden campaign has largely declined to publicly engage the criticism leveled against Harris until this week, when campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon responded to a report that Harris was seen by some as too ambitious.”Ambitious women make history, change the world, and win,” Dillon wrote on Twitter. “Our campaign is full of ambitious women going all out for Joe Biden. He will make this decision, and this is clear: whoever he chooses from the very qualified options to help him win & unite the country, she’ll be one too.”One reason Harris has been under fire is that she has long been viewed as a favorite to be Biden’s running mate. Her supporters point to the that she was already vetted on the national stage as a presidential candidate and unlikely to surprise the campaign with any last-minute unknowns. While her 2020 campaign ended well before the Iowa caucuses, Harris’ backers maintain that she gained a loyal following while running for the White House, and that she would make history as the country’s first Black and Asian vice-presidential candidate. Meanwhile, Rice’s emergence as a serious contender has surprised some in the Biden world, given her limited campaign experience. But her close allies point to her governing credentials from her time in the executive branch and her deep foreign policy background at a time of global turmoil. They also say Biden’s years-long working relationship with Rice is not to be underestimated, particularly given how he has emphasized wanting a partner who is “simpatico with me.””If there ever was a time to pick someone without campaign experience, this would be the year,” a Cabinet member from the Obama administration, who knows Rice well, told CNN. “Susan would be the best governing partner.” With the months of intensive vetting now drawing to a close, the final decision is left to Biden and his wife, Jill, who has emerged as one of his closest advisers in the process. She has held virtual campaign events with nearly all of the potential candidates, but has not participated in any of the interviews conducted by the search committee, according to people with knowledge of the process. The Biden campaign has also started building out the team that will staff the future vice presidential pick, a source close to the campaign said, but would not detail who will be involved.When Biden told reporters earlier this week that he would choose a running mate in the first week of August, two aides told CNN that the timing of an announcement was more likely to be pushed back until the week of August 10. But Biden’s advisers gave him a deadline of next week to make up his mind, a person familiar with the process said.Biden enters the final stretch of deliberations as the country confronts a dire public health crisis and a economic recession. President Donald Trump’s approval rating has taken a serious hit over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic — a reality that close allies say should offer Biden the room to choose a running mate without weighing as much as he might in any other election cycle the political and electoral advantages that a specific running mate could offer. “They don’t need to swing for the fences; they don’t need it to be a distraction. They don’t need to go with someone that is not tested or someone who’s flashy or random,” one Biden supporter in close touch with his inner circle said. “If he’s decided, he hasn’t advised anyone,” a longtime friend of Biden told CNN. “But knowing him, he is going to not make a final decision until the very last moment.” This story has been updated with comments Kamala Harris made Friday and additional reporting on Nancy Pelosi’s approach for this VP selection.CNN’s Arlette Saenz along with Annie Grayer contributed into this report.