Joe Biden announced on Tuesday which he chose Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) As his companion.
Why is it important: It is a historical option. Harris is both the first black woman and the first Asian American woman to be on the grand party’s presidential ticket in America, and potentially the first female vice president if Biden beats President Trump.
Big picture: Harris is perhaps the safest option Biden can make of his last running mate. She has a national profile and experience with the electoral office, has been tested and tested in the Democratic presidential primary elections, and could have propelled Biden̵7;s fundraising.
- To come to a decision, Biden had to overcome the remaining tensions of the past and make peace with a fierce competitor.
- This move elevates Harris to the ranks of the next generation of Democratic leaders and could give her a huge advantage by 2024, if Biden is elected and decides not to run for a second term.
What he is saying: “I need someone who works beside me, who is smart, tough and ready to lead. Kamala is that person,” Biden declared in a statement.
- “I need someone who understands the pain so many people in our country are going through. Whether they lost their jobs, their businesses, their loved one because of the virus. This President. saying he didn’t want to be distracted by it. ‘He didn’t understand that taking care of the people of this country – everyone – was not a distraction – it was work. Kamala understood that. . “
- “I need someone who understands that we are in a war for the soul of this nation. And that if we get through these crises – we need to unite together for a better America. Kamala understands that. “
- “I met Kamala for the first time through my son, Beau. Both are Attorney General at the same time. He has a lot of respect for her and her work. I thought a lot about that. When making this decision. I have no more opinion than Beau’s and I’m proud to have Kamala with me on this campaign. “
- “Her achievement – fighting teeth and nails for the right thing – is why I chose her. No door Kamala won’t knock on, no stone she won’t open. out, if it means making life better – for the citizen. “
Harris tweeted after the news broke: “Joe Biden can unify the American people because he has spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he will build an America. Living up to our ideals I am honored to join him as our party’s candidate for the Vice President, and to do what is necessary to make him our Commander-in-Chief. “
What’s next: Biden’s campaign board said he and Harris will speak in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday about “working together to restore the soul of the nation and fight for working families to move the country forward.” . “
Between lines: The choice gives Biden a spouse with strong procedural skills, as Harris demonstrated at Senate hearings and during her most heatedly debated moments. That could help them come up with the case against Trump in the fall.
- But some Democrats will keep a close eye on her political skills, after her presidential campaign fails and a New York Times article describes a campaign rife with decisions. bad determination and backing.
- She also faced public and private questions from several Democrats about whether she was too focused on running for the presidency, though other Democrats said. Questions about her ambition were gender discrimination and inappropriate.
Plot: Harris, 55 years old, 20 years younger than Biden, was born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father immigrating to California.
- She attended Howard University – a history college for blacks – and went on to become a district attorney for San Francisco, California’s attorney general, and a US senator from California in 2017.
- Harris bolstered her national profile as she roasted Trump administration candidates and administrators, including Brett Kavanaugh, during a confirmation hearing at his Supreme Court in 2018.
- President Obama recognized her talent very early, in 2013 famously called her “talented”, “devoted” and “tough”.
She was seen as the go before she announced her presidential campaign in January 2019, but she was never able to capitalize on the initial impetus – except for one note. The public’s short opinion following Biden’s confrontation over school transfers was required by a federally a June debate.
As a presidential candidate, Harris has campaigned for the $ 500-a-month tax credit she calls “the biggest tax cut for the working class and the middle class in a generation.” She started out as an advocate for Medicare for All, but then moved on to an alternative that would have preserved the role for private insurance.
- In an October interview with “Axios on HBO”, she explained her decision: “I heard people say ‘Kamala, don’t strip my choice if I want a private plan. Please do not strip me of my choice. ” And I said, you know what? That is fair. “
- “I told my team, I knew we were going to take a political blow for it. … I knew I would be called a thief for that.”
- She also said in that interview that “of course” would be different when running for president as a black woman because in American experience, “is not a reference point for anyone. could do nothing, lack the capacity or be difficult to imagine. that someone we have never seen can do a job that has been done, you know, forty-five times by someone who is not that person. “
Harris has also faced some criticism based on the circumstances she argues and the policies she has enacted as California attorney general:
- She defended the death penalty as the attorney general, though personally against it.
- She has no view of Proposition 47, approved by the voters, that helps reduce some felony crimes into misdemeanors.
- She objected to a bill that required her office to investigate police shootings.
Reality check: Biden will be the one to set the policies if he wins – but Harris’s profile will be relevant if she is elected vice president, especially if she takes ownership of specific issues and projects as Biden did when he was Barack Obama’s vice president.
- It will also have to do with her own political future.
What to see: Harris’s acceptance speech at the Democratic congress would be her opportunity to introduce herself to the audience of voters during the general election – and show she and Biden will be able to work as how good a group.
Going deeper: Kamala Harris on Matters