After months of speculation, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden chose his running mate. He selected California Senator Kamala Harris, making history at the same time. She is the first Asian-American and the first Black woman on the vice presidential ticket. Her father is Jamaican and her mother is Tamil India. Harris’ husband Doug, an entertainment lawyer, will also be the nation’s first second gentleman if Biden wins the Presidential election.
Biden and Harris appeared together for the first time on August 12, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Sen. Harris spoke about Trump and how she feels he “isn’t up to the job.” She criticized President Trump’s dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic crisis. The speeches from Biden and Harris showed how they plan to campaign against President Trump before November’s general election.
Choosing a black woman as a running mate was a smart idea, according to political analysts. Black women are loyal Democratic voters: 98 percent voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Black women are also the Democratic Party’s most reliable voters, but there have been only two black women in the senate and no black female governors. Harris is currently the only black women in the Senate. Sen. Harris serves on the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on the Budget and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Harris graduated from University of California, Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, She started her career by working in district attorneys’ offices, eventually winning the San Francisco District Attorney race in 2003. In her first three years, the city’s conviction rate rose from 52 percent to to 67 percent. Next, Harris became California’s first black individual and the first woman to serve as the state’s Attorney General, having been elected in 2010 and 2014. In 2016, Harris becomes a Senator, becoming the first Indian-American elected to the U.S. Senate. On January 21, 2019, Harris announced her Presidential campaign, ending it on December 3, 2019. On March 8, 2020, Senator Harris endorsed Joe Biden for president after there were no more women left running for the Democratic nomination.
ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos calls Sen. Harris a moderate of the Democratic Party. The New York Times calls her a pragmatic moderate. An editorial in The Washington Post calls Sen. Harris a small-c conservative. GovTrack analysis says she is 2019’s most liberal Senator. The most recent bills she’s sponsored or cosponsored include mortgage and eviction relief during the COVID-19 pandemic and a bill to ensure translations of any COVID-19 information into priority languages. She also cosponsored a bill to make any federal-sponsored COVID-19 drugs affordable to all.
Recent awards the Senator has won include the 100 Most Influential People in the World, which Time Magazine awarded in 2013. In 2016, she won the Bipartisan Justice Award and in 2018, Harris won the ECOS Environmental Award. She’s also written three books, two nonfiction, one a memoir titled The Truths We Hold: An American Journey and a children’s book, Superheroes Are Everywhere.
Her name is pronounced Comma-la, emphasizing the first syllable. Her name means lotus flower in Sanskrit. It is also the name of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. Born in 1964 in Oakland, California, Sen. Harris currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and stepchildren, Ella and Cole. She’s an avid cook and collects Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers.