Why it matters: This is a historical pick. Harris is both the first black woman and the first Asian American woman to be named for the major party’s US presidential ticket, and possibly the first female vice president if Biden defeated President Trump.
big picture: Harris was probably the safest option Biden could have been among his running mate finalists. He has a national profile and experience with elected office, was vetoed and tested in the Democratic presidential primaries and could promote Biden’s fundraising.
- To make a decision, Biden had to overcome past residual tensions and establish peace with a furious primary contestant.
- The decision elevated Harris to the next generation of Democratic leaders and could give him a major advantage in 2024 if Biden was elected and decided not to run for a second term.
what is he saying: Biden announced in a statement, “I need someone working with me who is smart, tough and ready to lead. Kamala is that person.”
- “I need someone who understands the pain that a lot of people in our nation are suffering. Whether they have lost their jobs, their business, any one of this virus. This president says he is Do not want to be distracted. ‘He does not understand that caring for the people of this country – not all people – is a distraction – it is work. The workers understand it. “
- “I need someone who understands that we are in a fight for the soul of this nation. And if we are going to go through these crises – we need to come together and unite for a better America.” Kamala gets that. “
- “I first met Kamala through my son Bue. They were both Attorney Generals at the same time. There was a lot of respect for him and his work. I thought about it a lot because I made that decision. In it Nobody’s opinion. Compared to Beau and I’m proud to stand with Kamala on this expedition. “
- “His record of accomplishment – fighting tooth and nail for what’s right – that’s why I’m picking him. There’s no door Kamala won’t knock, no sparing, if it means making life better – for the people. “
Harris Tweeted After this news broke: “Joe Biden can unite the American people because he has spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he will build an America that lives up to our ideals. I I am honored to join him as a candidate for our party. For the Vice President, and what we should do to make him our Commander-in-Chief. ”
What will happen next: Biden’s campaign said he and Harris would comment on Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware, to “work together to restore the soul of the nation and help working families fight to advance the nation.”
Between the lines: Pique gives Biden a running mate with strong prosecution skills, as Harris has proved at Senate hearings and in his strongest debate moments. This could help them make a case against Trump in the fall.
- But some Democrats would be watching her political prowess closely, followed by a bid for the presidency and a piece in the New York Times depicting a campaign filled with bad decisions and backbiting.
- She has also faced public and private questions from some Democrats about whether she will focus on running for the presidency again, although other Democratic factions have said that questions about her ambitions are sexist and unfair.
Backstory: Harris, who is over 55 years old, is 20 years younger than Biden, was born to an Indian mother and Jamaican father who lived in California.
- She attended Howard University – a historically black college – and became District Attorney of San Francisco, Attorney General of California and US Senator from California in 2017.
- Harris reinforced her national profile when she grilled Trump administration nominees and administrators, including Brett Kanavagh, who in 2018 during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
- President Obama recognized her talent in early 2013, calling her “brilliant,” “devoted” and “tough”.
She was seen as a front-runner when announcing her presidential campaign in January 2019, but she was never able to capitalize on the initial momentum – except for the Federation’s public confrontation after her confrontation over compulsory school busing Except for a brief spike. A June debate.
As presidential candidate, Harris campaigned on a $ 500-month tax credit, which he called “the largest working and middle-class tax cut in a generation”. She started out as a supporter of Medicare for All, but then switched to an option that would have preserved a role for private insurance.
- In an interview in October with “XBO on HBO”, she explained her decision: “I heard from people, ‘Kamala, don’t snatch my choice if I want a personal plan. Please don’t take away my choice.’ And I said, you know what? That’s fair. “
- “I told my team, I know we’re going to take a political hit for this … I knew I’d be called a flip flipper for this.”
- She also said in that interview that “of course” it is different to run for president as a black woman because in the experience of Americans “there is no reference to the ability to imagine who can do what The lack or difficulty that we have never seen can do a thing 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 pleas that made their arguments and policies as California Attorney General:
- He personally defended the death penalty as Attorney General, despite being against it.
- It took no position on Proposition 47, approved by voters, which reduced some of the hooliganism.
- He opposed a bill that would require his office to investigate police shootings.
reality check: It will be Biden who sets the policies if he wins – but Harris’ record will be relevant if he is elected vice president, especially if he takes ownership of specific issues and projects as Biden did when he was Barack Obama’s Was the vice president.
- It will also be relevant to his own political future.
What to see: Harris’ speech, which accepted the nomination at the Democratic convention, would give him a chance to introduce himself to voters of the general election – and to show how he and Biden would be able to work together as a team.
Go in: Kamala Harris on Issues