Kamala Harris chosen as Joe Biden’s running mate

Joe Biden announced on Aug. 10 that he had chosen Kamala Harris, junior senator from California, to be his running mate for the upcoming 2020 presidential election.

In an Instagram post announcing that she will be Biden’s running mate, Harris said, “Joe Biden is a leader who can unify the American people, because he’s spent his life fighting for the American people. And as president, he will build an America that lives up to our ideals.”

Harris is the daughter of Jamaican and Indian parents, and she was part of the second class at her public school to racially integrate via the federal busing program. Harris remembered her late mother on social media, saying, “My mother always use to say, ‘Don’t just sit around and complain about things. Do something.’ I dearly wish she were here with us this week.”

She furthered her explanation of what her childhood was like with her parents. “I was part of [the civil rights movement of the 1960s], my parents would bring me to protests strapped tightly in my stroller. And my mother Shyamala raised my sister Maya and me to believe that it was up to us and every generation of Americans to keep on marching.”

In an Instagram post for Black history month, Harris described her upbringing by her mother’s teaching methods. “My mother was very intentional about raising my sister, Maya, and me as strong, Black women. She coupled her teachings of civic duty and fearlessness with actions, which included taking us on Thursday nights to Rainbow Sign, a Black cultural center near our home. ⁣There we were always greeted with warm hugs and exposed to extraordinary people like Shirley Chisholm, Nina Simone, and Maya Angelou who helped show us what we could become”.

Harris made history after becoming the first Black district attorney in the state of California, serving San Francisco. Harris then narrowly won the election for the attorney general of California in the 2010 election and was then re-elected in the 2014 election.

Harris ran for California’s open Senate seat in the 2016 Senate election and won in a landslide in the general election against fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez. In the Senate, Harris quickly rose to the national spotlight because of her position on the Committee on the Judiciary, where she was famously able to interrogate members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet including Attorney General Bill Barr and judicial appointees such as Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. 

Harris ran for the Democratic nomination for president in the 2020 election and clashed with Biden over the issue of federally mandated busing. At the first Democratic primary debate, Harris attacked Biden, saying, “You worked with [two former United States senators] to oppose busing, and there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school every day, and that little girl was me.”

Harris ultimately dropped out of the primary on Dec. 3, 2019 and endorsed Joe Biden on March 8. 

Harris has faced notable criticism from Trump, who criticized Harris in a news conference, stating, “I’ve been watching her for a long time and I was a little surprised she was extraordinarily nasty to Kavanaugh… That was just a horrible thing, the way she treated Justice Kavanaugh and I won’t forget that soon.”

Biden and Harris made a press-only in-person statement in Wilmington, Delaware on August 12. In his speech, Biden praised Harris, saying, “I have no doubt that I picked the right person to join me as the next Vice President of the United States of America… As attorney general of the largest state in the country, Kamala took on the big banks over mortgage fraud and won. She took on big oil that wanted to pollute without consequences. She was a pioneer in marriage equality and tackled the gun lobby.”

“I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do everything it takes to make Joe Biden our next Commander-in-Chief,” Harris said in a statement on Instagram.

 

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