Tuesday afternoon, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden announced he has selected Senator Kamala Harris, D-California to be his running mate on his presidential ticket. Harris, 55, is the first Black woman and the first woman of Indian descent to be named to a presidential ticket. Moreover, Harris is the fourth woman to be named on a presidential ticket.
“I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” Biden tweeted. In a text message to supporters, Biden said, “Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump.”
In Harris, Biden selected a potential vice president that is familiar with the rigors of a presidential campaign.
Harris is the second Black woman to ever be elected to the United States Senate. Harris is the daughter of two immigrant academics, an Indian-American mother and a father from Jamaica. She announced her intentions to run for president on Martin Luther King Day in 2019 and has been vetted since then.
“Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign,” Biden tweeted.
Biden pledged in March to select a woman as his vice president, relaxing the nerves of the frustrated progressive wing of the Democratic Party that the presidential race would center on two white men in their 70s.
Biden’s search was vast, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leading progressive, Florida Rep. Val Demings, whose impeachment prosecution of Trump won plaudits, California Rep. Karen Bass, who leads the Congressional Black Caucus, former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, whose passionate response to unrest in her city garnered national attention. However, according to sources within the Biden campaign, the former Vice President was skeptical of placing someone who was untested and unfamiliar with the stress the scrutiny of a national campaign.
Susan Rice congratulated Harris on her selection, calling her a “tenacious and trailblazing leader.” Rice said she would support Biden and Harris “with all my energy and commitment.”
Rep. Karen Bass tweeted, “@KamalaHarris is a great choice for Vice President. Her tenacious pursuit of justice and relentless advocacy for the people is what is needed right now.”
Former President Barack Obama tweeted Biden’s selection of Harris is “a good day for our country.”
“Joe Biden nailed this decision. By choosing Senator Kamala Harris as America’s next vice president, he’s underscored his own judgment and character. Reality shows us that these attributes are not optional in a president. They’re requirements of the job. And now Joe has an ideal partner to help him tackle the very real challenges America faces right now and in the years ahead,” Obama said in a statement.
I’ve known Senator @KamalaHarris for a long time. She is more than prepared for the job. She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake. This is a good day for our country. Now let’s go win this thing. pic.twitter.com/duJhFhWp6g— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 11, 2020
Many observers believed Harris can strengthen Biden’s appeal to Black voters and women without stirring particularly vehement opposition on the right or left. However, the insatiable and voracious dislike and distaste for President Donald J. Trump was not going to be enough, by itself to be the impetus to depose the sitting President.