With the pandemic and widespread protests against racism and police brutality, Bottoms has gained national prominence and appeared regularly on cable news panels. The mayor is often listed as a top contender for Biden’s vice presidential pick, alongside Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and former national security adviser Susan Rice.
When protests erupted after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Bottoms herself participated in peaceful demonstrations. And in April, she was thrust into the spotlight when she criticized Gov. Brian Kemp’s push to reopen the Georgia economy, saying that she could not endorse his decision as the mayor of the state’s densest city and that the move endangered residents.
“I may not have the legal authority to override the state,” she had written in The Atlantic. “I do have the right to use my voice to encourage people to exercise common sense, listen to the science, follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and stay home, if at all possible.”