Yesterday, Joe Biden named a presidential running mate. First-term California Senator Kamala Harris is his choice. She makes history as the first black woman on a major party’s presidential ticket.
Fifty-five-year-old Harris was born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother. Early in the presidential race, she campaigned for the White House. She ended her bid last year but quickly became a top VP contender.
Harris has been the California attorney general and a district attorney in San Francisco. During her presidential run, some liberals and younger black voters felt she wasn’t strong enough on issues of police brutality and racism in the legal system.
In a tweet, Biden called Harris a “fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants.”
Biden points to Harris’ somewhat middle-of-the-road record on issues such as healthcare and her background in law enforcement. He also acknowledges the vital role black voters have in his bid to defeat incumbent President Donald Trump in November.
“Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump,” he said yesterday.
A woman has never served as president or vice president of the United States. Two women have been nominated as running mates on major party tickets: Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Republican Sarah Palin in 2008. Their parties lost in the general election.
This year’s vice presidential pick carries increased importance. If elected, Biden would be 78 when he’s inaugurated in January—the oldest president ever. If he doesn’t run in 2024, his running mate would likely become a front-runner that year.
Harris joins Biden at a moment of national crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to the deaths of more than 166,000 people in the United States. Business closures and disruptions have caused severe economic problems. At the same time, many Americans are protesting racism and police brutality.
(Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, left, and then-candidate Senator Kamala Harris shake hands after a Democratic presidential primary debate on September 12, 2019. AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)