Daughter of immigrants – Jamaican father and Indian mother- Sen. Kamala Harris is now officially the first woman of color to become a running mate to a presidential candidate of a major political party in the US.
Democratic Party presumptive nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, named Harris (D-California) his running mate August 11, after a lengthy vetting process. Several highly qualified women leaders in the US, including four black women, Harris, Representatives Karen Bass (D-California) and Val Demings (D-Florida), and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams held top contender positions.
Harris’ selection is a significant boost to Biden’s public persona as a secure, sober-minded person who does not hold petty grudges like his Republican opponent President Donald Trump.
Many thought a Biden-Harris ticket was impossible after Harris sharply attacked Biden on the Democratic Party debate stage for opposing busing and speaking fondly about segregationist lawmakers.
In his email announcing Harris’s selection as his running mate, Biden described Harris and smart, tough, and ready to lead.
“I need someone who understands that we are in a battle for the soul of this nation,” Biden said. “And that if we’re going to get through these crises — we need to come together and unite for a better America. Kamala gets that.”
For her part, Harris looked back at her journey as an immigrant child as her guiding spirit.
“My mom and dad, like so many other immigrants, came to this country for an education. Mom, from India. Dad, from Jamaica. And the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s brought them together,” Harris said.
Harris is joining the ticket, not as a weak partner; she brings a long resume of political achievement, having risen from a District Attorney and Attorney General in California and later getting elected senator of the great state of California.
As a first-term senator, Harris stands out among her peers. Her pointed questioning during the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Attorney General Bill Barr reminded everyone why she is a top-notch prosecutor.
In their first appearance with Biden, Harris, who spoke for almost 20 minutes, did not waste time before going on offense. She took the time to make a meticulous case against Trump.
“The case against Donald Trump and Mike Pence is open and shut,” Harris said in her acceptance speech before enumerating the Trump administration’s failures.
“We’re reeling in the worst public health crisis in a century. The President’s mismanagement of the pandemic has plunged us into the worst economic crisis since the great depression,” Harris said. And we’re experiencing a moral reckoning with racism and systemic injustice that has brought a new coalition of conscience.”
Harris went on to say America is crying out for leadership, and in 83 days, America has an opportunity to choose a better destiny for the nation.
She described Biden as a selfless leader who has empathy, compassion, and a sense of duty.
Attacking Trump’s leadership, Harris listed a litany of failures.
“Look where they’ve gotten us. More than 16 million people out of work, millions of kids who cannot go back to school, a crisis of homelessness and poverty afflicting black, brown, and indigenous people the most,” Harris said. “A crisis of hunger, afflicting 1 in 5 mothers who have children hungry, and tragically, more than 165,000 lives that have been cut short, many with loved ones who never had a chance to say goodbye.”
She pointed out that six years ago, President Barack Obama and Biden did their job during the Ebola pandemic and prevented massive deaths in the US, leading only to two fatalities.
Ironically, Trump, a private citizen at the time, criticized Obama in a tweet calling for his resignation if an American doctor who returned to New York from treating Ebola patients in Africa contracted Ebola and brought it to the US.
“President Obama has a personal responsibility to visit & embrace all people in the US who contract Ebola!” Trump said in a 2014 tweet, criticizing Obama’s near-perfect handling of the Ebola crisis.
Harris blamed Trump for the severe impact Coronavirus has had on the US because he failed to take it seriously.
“Trump is also the reason millions of Americans are unemployed. He inherited the longest expansion of the economy in history from Barack Obama and Joe Biden,” Harris said. “And then, like everything else he inherited, he ran it straight into the ground.”
The Trump campaign is scrambling to find a forceful attack on Harris, and so far, they seem to be having trouble settling on a theme.
While Republicans waffle, the Biden campaign celebrates its largest grassroots single-day fundraiser, hauling in $26 million in the 24 hours since naming Harris as his running mate.
Biden-Harris ticket will receive a formal nomination at the DNC Convention that starts August 17 to August 20.