After intense speculation and a lengthy vetting process, democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden announced his running mate overnight in US Senator Kamala Harris. “Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump,” Biden wrote in a text message to his supporters.
In a bid to make the circus surrounding US politics somewhat palatable, here are some things you should know about Harris and the many reasons why her nomination is history making.
- Harris, 55, is the first black woman to be nominated as a vice-presidential candidate and only the third woman to ever get the nod from a major party. If Biden and Harris win, she will be the first woman ever elected as US Vice President. Yes, we have chills too. The mere thought is exhilarating.
- If Biden takes the top job, this will mean he will be 81-years-old when it’s time to run for a second presidential term in 2024. It has been widely assumed that Biden’s VP will take on the “unofficial mantle” of the 2024 Democratic nominee position, meaning Harris could very well become the first female President of the United States.
- Harris is the first Indian American on a major party’s presidential ticket. Her parents are immigrants to America. Her mother is a breast cancer scientist from India and her father an academic from Jamaica.
- A former district attorney, Harris became California’s Attorney General and used this position to then run in the race to become the democratic presidential nominee. Her campaign abruptly ended in December 2019 reportedly due to in-fighting within her team and a lack of funding. She also appeared to change the focus of her messaging and contradict herself on topics such as health insurance which saw her lose numbers in the polls.
- Former US President Barack Obama backs her. “I’ve known Senator Harris for a long time. She is more than prepared for the job,” Obama wrote on an Instagram post today. “She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake. Her own life story is one that I and so many others can see ourselves in: a story that says that no matter where you come from, what you look like, how you worship, or who you love, there’s a place for you here. It’s a fundamentally American perspective, one that’s led us out of the hardest times before. And it’s a perspective we can all rally behind right now.”
- Harris can hold her own and is definitely not backward in coming forward when up against old, white, powerful men. As a much younger and more engaging personality than Trump and Biden, she has stuck it to both men publicly – at Biden in the democratic primaries and has become particularly fierce when discussing Trump’s disastrous response to COVID-19. While a lot of people have many things to say about the current President, few females get a direct line to him – and even fewer are as fearless as Harris. When she dropped out of the presidential race, Trump mocked her and tweeted, “Too bad. We will miss you Kamala!” Harris was swift to respond. “Don’t worry, Mr. President. I’ll see you at your trial,” she tweeted.It’s a skill Biden will likely use against Trump in their bid to win back a broken America. As Obama said today, “This is a good day for our country. Now let’s go win this thing.”