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Biden closing in on final decision on vice presidential running mate

The presumptive Democratic nominee could announce a final decision by the middle of next week or sooner, although sources say his only real deadline is the convention, which starts Aug. 17.

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joe Biden is closing in on a final decision on his choice of a running mate, four sources familiar with the matter told NBC News, as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee huddled with family at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, this weekend.

The sources said Biden could announce a final decision by the middle of next week or sooner and stressed that while he has blown past several self-imposed deadlines, his only real deadline is the Democratic National Convention, which begins Aug. 17.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer traveled to Delaware last weekend for a private meeting with Biden, NBC News confirmed.

A source familiar with the process said the other women in the final round of consideration include Sen. Kamala Harris and former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice. Multiple sources said Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Duckworth could not be counted out.

None of Biden's major political decisions have been made without a family meeting. One adviser said the input of the Biden clan would be important to him again now as it was with the decision to run more than a year ago, even if it cannot happen in the same typical way, with all gathered in one place around the dinner table.

Biden stoked frenzied speculation this morning when, during a bike ride, he said, “Yeah, I have,” in response to a Fox News reporter's asking if he has picked a running mate. When the reporter asked, “Who is it?” Biden responded, “You.”

The Biden campaign said he was joking. A senior adviser to the campaign, Symone Sanders, tweeted: “Can’t believe anyone thought we would break this news with FOX while Joe Biden is on a bike ride.”