Senator Kamala Harris has plenty of baggage within her own party stemming from her time as a prosecutor and attorney general in California, where she has been accused of being too harsh on non-violent criminals and pursuing policies that had disproportionately harmful impacts on communities of colour. Yet, she is still widely seen as the frontrunner to become the Democratic Party's vice presidential candidate.
Ms Harris has at least one distinct advantage over Susan Rice, the former Obama-era ambassador to the United Nations and national security adviser who also is among those in the running to join Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on his ticket as vice president, possibly as soon as this week.
Ms Harris isn't a target of Republican congressional investigations.
Ms Rice is the target of not one, but two, including a probe in the Senate Judiciary panel on which Ms Harris sits.
And while the bulk of Democratic voters think those Senate investigations into the conduct of Ms Rice and other Obama-era national security officials – including Mr Biden – during a 2016 probe into all things Trump and Russia and that investigation's offshoots amount to little more than partisan nonsense (or aren't even aware they're happening), the Biden campaign should know by now that Republicans will use whatever ammunition they get their hands on and fire at will – day after day, with hearing after hearing.
The political aim of these investigations is not to persuade Democratic voters of anything – it's to energise and turn out the Republican base by painting a possible Biden presidency as one full of corrupt players.
The Republican message to that effect doesn't appear to be sticking – so far, at least.
Donald Trump is trailing Mr Biden by several percentage points in most recent polls, both nationally and in key swing states such as Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
Ms Rice's addition to Mr Biden's ticket may not change those numbers overnight, but some Democratic strategists worry that the benefits of choosing her to be his No 2 – despite a foreign policy résumé that's more impressive than likely any black Democrat in history – don't outweigh the political risks.
"It doesn't matter if what the Republicans are accusing her of is bulls**t. What matters is people turning on Fox News every day and seeing 'Susan Rice' and 'corruption' and 'Obamagate' down at the bottom of the screen," one veteran Democratic campaign strategist told The Independent.
If Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham and Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson "are on the TV every day yelling about it, a lot of people will eventually start to believe there's something ... sinister there, even if they can't explain what it is. ... Like Hillary's emails," the strategist said, referring to the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate's private email server that she used to conduct some official government business while serving as Secretary of State.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded in a report last year that political bias did not influence the course of the investigations into Mr Trump and his associates in 2016 that Ms Rice helped shepherd.
John Durham, the federal prosecutor tapped by Attorney General William Barr to review officials' conduct during those investigations, has filed no indictments and reportedly does not plan to before Election Day in November.
Still, Mr Graham and Mr Johnson already have the cannons loaded, poised to swivel them towards Ms Rice the moment she becomes politically relevant. Which could be very soon – or not at all.
"They have the subpoenas already written, I guarantee you. They're just waiting to deliver them when it becomes politically appropriate for them," Kurt Bardella, a former senior Republican House Oversight Committee aide and chief spokesman, told The Independent.
In June, Republicans on the Judiciary panel, on a party-line (12-10) vote, granted Mr Graham sweeping authority to subpoena Ms Rice and dozens of other former intelligence officials who served under former President Barack Obama, including former FBI Director James Comey and former CIA Director John Brennan.
Mr Rosenstein oversaw former special counsel Robert Mueller's 22-month investigation into Russian election interference, a Justice Department venture Republicans are now claiming was predicated on false pretences.
Ms Yates faced a grilling on the FBI's use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to obtain warrants on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page in 2016; the FBI's counterintelligence operations probing former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn; and other facets of Mr Trump's unfounded "Obamagate" conspiracy theory, which maintains that his Democratic predecessor and his intelligence chiefs sought to entrap incoming Trump officials in legal controversy to kneecap his presidency from the start.
So far, these hearings have not become an essential part of the 2020 political narrative in the same way Ms Clinton's emails and involvement in the Benghazi affair did in 2016.
If Mr Biden selects Ms Rice, it would immediately breathe new life into them. And distract from the Biden campaign's sales pitch on why Ms Rice should be the country's first black and first female vice president.