After months of speculation, the nation finally has an answer. And the answer is Kamala Harris.
Joe Biden gave his campaign a lot to talk about on Tuesday when he announced Kamala Harris as his running mate in the upcoming presidential election. Biden chose the Democratic senator from California, holding true to his promise of selecting a female vice-presidential running mate.
Making History with Harris: Biden’s selection of Harris is history in the making on a few different levels. Only two other women have ever been nominated for the role of vice president in a major political party. The governor of Alaska at the time, Sarah Palin, was chosen by John McCain in 2008 while New York Rep. Geraldine Ferraro was tapped by Walter Mondale in 1984. Both bids were thwarted, keeping a woman out of the office.
In addition to being a female, Harris also boasts a rich ethnic makeup. She is of both African American and Asian American descent, giving her another layer of diversity to bring to the table in her fight to help Biden win the election.
Final Contenders: Harris was chosen as the running mate from a field of highly qualified female candidates. In addition to Harris, former national security adviser Susan Rice was also in strong consideration for the role, largely due to her extensive experience in the executive branch and her previous working relationship with Biden in the Obama administration. Other candidates under serious consideration were Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, California Rep. Susan Bass, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Why Choose Harris: There is no shortage of reasons why Biden went in the direction of Harris. At just 55 years old, Harris represents a younger generation of the political guard, boasting a stark contrast to current President Donald Trump and his vice president Mike Pence. Due to her recent presidential campaign, Harris has already gone through an extensive vetting process. She also has vast experience on the debate stage, proving that she can handle the heat that comes from being in the national spotlight.
In addition to these selling points, there is no doubt within the party that Harris is qualified to serve as vice president. Her extensive political experience encompasses serving as a US senator since 2017 as well as a background as California’s attorney general. In this role, Harris developed a reputation for being tough on crime. This background will make it more difficult for Trump to paint the Democratic party as being soft.
Harris also positioned herself as an advocate for improving race relations and the need for police reform following the death of George Floyd. This position will undoubtedly play well with the black voting block, a sector that the Biden ticket needs to win over in order to emerge as victorious on November 3. Lastly, while the state of California is never in doubt for picking up the electoral votes for the Democrats, Harris will surely bring along some of the state’s big donor money to help to bolster the campaign coffers.
The Safe Pick: In the end, the Biden team was well aware that they have a commanding lead heading into the final few months of the campaign. Because of this lead, there was no need to shake things up with a risky pick similar to what McCain did when he chose Palin as his partner. The smart move was to play it safe and that is precisely what Biden did when he chose Harris.