Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as Vice President

Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as Vice President
Kamala Harris was the front-runner to be Joe Biden's running mate. Source: Shutterstock
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Daily US Times: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has chosen Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate – the first Asian American and black woman in the role.

Once a rival for the presidential position, the California senator of Indian-Jamaican heritage had long been considered the front-runner for the number two slot.

Senator Harris has been urging police reform amid nationwide anti-racism protests.

Mr. Biden will face President Donald Trump in the election on 3 November.

On Tuesday, at a White House news conference, Republican President Mr Trump described Ms Harris as “my number one draft pick”.

Ms Harris will debate Mr Trump’s running mate, Vice-President Mike Pence, on 7 October in Salt Lake City in Utah.

Only two other women have been nominated as vice-presidential candidates – Geraldine Ferraro by the Democrats in 1984 and Sarah Palin by the Republican party in 2008. Neither made it to the White House.

A woman of colour has never been appointed to a US presidential ticket by either Democratic or Republican party. Source: Reuters

A woman of colour has never been appointed to a US presidential ticket by either Democratic or Republican party, the two main American political parties. No woman has won the US presidency either.

What did Biden and Harris say?

Mr Biden tweeted that he had “the great honour” to name Ms Harris as Vice President.

The Democratic candidate described her as “a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants”.

He noted how Ms Harris had worked closely with his late son, Beau, when she was California’s attorney general.

Joe Biden tweeted: “I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse.”

“I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

Ms Harris later tweeted that Mr Biden “can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals.

“I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief,” she tweeted.

The campaign announced that on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Biden and Ms Harris will deliver remarks in Wilmington, Delaware on “working together to restore the soul of the nation and fight for working families to move the country forward”.

Mr Biden pledged in March to name a woman on the ticket. He had faced mounting calls to pick a woman of colour in recent months as the country was convulsed by social unrest over police brutality against African Americans, a key voting bloc to the Democratic Party.

Who is Kamala Harris?

The 55-year-old dropped out of the presidential race in December after failing in her bid to win the Democratic nomination.

During the primary election debates, she repeatedly clashed with Mr Biden, most notably criticising his praise for the “civil” working relationship he had with former senators who favoured racial segregation.

Kamala Harris was born to two immigrant parents. Source: BBC

The Democrat was born in Oakland, California, to two immigrant parents: Jamaican-born father and an Indian-born mother.

She attended Howard University, one of the country’s preeminent historically black colleges and universities. Kamala Harris has described her time there as among the most formative experiences of her life.

He says she’s always been comfortable with her identity and simply describes herself as “an American”.

She told the Washington Post in 2019 that politicians should not have to fit into compartments because of their colour or background. She said: “My point was: I am who I am. I’m good with it. You might need to figure it out, but I’m fine with it.”

What is her record?

After completing Howard, she went on to earn her law degree at the University of California, Hastings, and began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

She was the Attorney General of California. Source: LA Times

In 2003, she became the district attorney for San Francisco, before being elected the first African American and the first woman to serve as California’s attorney general, the top lawyer and law enforcement official in America’s most populous state.

Ms Harris gained a reputation as one of the Democratic party’s rising stars in her nearly two terms in office as attorney general. She gained that momentum using this momentum to propel her election as California’s junior US senator in 2017. Kamala Harris was only the second black woman ever elected to that chamber.