History has been made after presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden made the most important political decision of his career. The former Vice-President (8 years under Barack Obama) has announced that California Senator Kamala Harris will be his running mate.
Long considered by political pundits as the top contender, the 55-year-old Oakland-born lawmaker has strong prosecutorial experience, performance in the Senate, and friendship with Biden’s late son, Beau.
Harris is the product of an Indian mother and Jamaican father. She identifies as Black, having served two terms as the District Attorney for San Francisco before becoming Attorney General of California in 2011.
While the Senator has billed has herself as a “progressive prosecutor,” her own presidential run received increased scrutiny of her prosecutorial record and she struggled to defend her tough-on-crime approach, which included supporting legislation in which the parents of habitually truant children could be charged.
She was elected as the Senator for California in 2016, and last year announced her White House bid before pulling the plug in December when her campaign ran out of cash.
Since joining Congress, Harris has supported measures to ban assault weapons and declassify marijuana as a controlled substance.
Recently, she helped craft a sweeping police reform bill prohibiting the use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants in drug cases, and joined a bill with Sen. Bernie Sanders that would give most Americans $2,000 a month during the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden’s choice of Harris supports his statements of being a “bridge” or “transitional figure” between the old guard and the new.
Biden, who spent eight years as President Barack Obama’s vice president, spent months searching for who would fill that same role in his White House.
Hundreds of influential black leaders, celebrities and organizers have sent messages to the Biden campaign asking him to chose a black woman, The Washington Post reported, and warned Biden he will lose the election without one by his side.
“Failing to select a Black woman in 2020 means YOU WILL lose the election,” read a letter more than 100 prominent black men sent to the Biden Team.
“Vice President Biden: don’t take that risk. Black women are defining the future of politics so it’s time you let one define the future of your campaign.”
Signers included rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, radio show host Lenard McKelvey (a.k.a. Charlamagne tha God), actor Cedric Kyles (a.k.a. Cedric the Entertainer), and CNN commentator Van Jones.
Being a Person of Color, Harris brings crucially-needed youth and diversity to Biden’s ticket as the 77-year-old presidential candidate faces scrutiny over his advanced age and mental acuity.
SOURCE: Associated Press