Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday. Making history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a presidential ticket as his vice-president.
In choosing Harris, Biden is embracing a former rival from the Democratic primary who is familiar with the unique rigor of a national campaign. The 55-year-old first-term senator, who is also of South Asian descent, is one of the party’s most prominent figures.
She quickly became a top contender for the No. 2 spot after her own White House campaign ended.
She will appear with Biden for the first time as his running mate at an event Wednesday near his home in Wilmington, Delaware.
In announcing the pick, Biden called Harris a “fearless fighter for the little guy. Also one of the country’s finest public servants.” She said Biden would “unify the American people” and “build an America that lives up to our ideals.”
In adding Harris to the ticket, he can also point to her relatively centrist record on issues. Such as health care and her background in law enforcement in the nation’s largest state.
Trump surprised Biden picked Sen. Harris
Meanwhile, President Trump told reporters on Tuesday he was “a little surprised” that Biden picked Harris. Pointing to their debate stage disputes during the primary. Trump, who donated to Harris’s previous campaigns, argued she was “about the most liberal person in the U.S. Senate.”
“I would have thought that Biden would have tried to stay away from that a little bit,” he said.
Harris’s record as California attorney general and district attorney in San Francisco was heavily scrutinized during the Democratic primary. Harris turned away some liberals and younger Black voters who saw her as out of step on issues of racism in the legal system and police brutality.
She declared herself a “progressive prosecutor” who backs law enforcement reforms.
Biden, who spent eight years as President Barack Obama’s vice president, has spent months weighing who would fill that same role in his White House. He pledged in March to select a woman as his vice president. This easing frustration among Democrats that the presidential race would center on two men in their 70s.
Biden’s search was expansive, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leading progressive; Florida Rep. Val Demings, whose impeachment criticism of Trump won party plaudits; California Rep. Karen Bass, who leads the Congressional Black Caucus; former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; whose passionate response to unrest in her city garnered national attention.
No woman has never served as president or vice president in the United States
Harris, born in 1964 to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, spent much of her formative years in Berkeley, California. She has often spoken of the deep bond she shared with her mother, whom she has called her single biggest influence.
Harris won her first election in 2003 when she became San Francisco’s district attorney. In that post, she created a reentry program for low-level drug offenders and cracked down on student truancy.
She was elected California’s attorney general in 2010, the first woman and also Black woman to hold the job. Harris focused on issues including the foreclosure crisis. She declined to defend the state’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage and was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
After being elected to the Senate in 2016, Harris also quickly gained attention for her assertive questioning of Trump administration officials during congressional hearings.
Furthermore Harris launched her presidential campaign in early 2019 with the slogan “Kamala Harris For the People,” a reference to her courtroom work. She was one of the highest-profile contenders in a crowded Democratic primary and attracted 20,000 people to her first campaign rally in Oakland.