Joe Biden Picks Kamala Harris to Be His Vice President

3 months ago 29
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Joe Biden has chosen Kamala Harris—the first-term U.S. senator from California, the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, and a former rival for the Democratic nomination for the presidency—to be his running mate on the 2020 ticket. The two will face off against President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on November 3.

Harris is the third woman to be named a presidential running mate on a major party ticket; the others were Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Sarah Palin in 2008. But she is the first to have what many believe is a serious shot at the second-highest office in the land. Biden is leading Trump in most of the national polls and in such key battleground states as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and even Florida, all of which Trump won in 2016. Walter Mondale in ’84 and John McCain in ’08 were both trailing their rivals (Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, respectively) at this stage of the campaign, and the choices of Ferraro and Palin were widely seen as Hail Mary moves to reinvigorate flagging campaigns.

Biden made his announcement on Twitter, tweeting at 4:17 p.m., “I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate.”

Harris, 55, was elected to the Senate in 2016, winning the race to succeed four-term Senator Barbara Boxer by a large margin against Representative Loretta Sanchez, then a rising GOP star, and making history as a result: California had never before sent a Black legislator to the Senate, and Harris became only the second Black woman in the nation’s history to be elected to Congress’s upper chamber. (The first was Illinois’s Carol Moseley Braun.) Before that, she was the attorney general of California from 2010 to 2016. For Harris, that Senate win was tempered by the fact that Donald Trump also won his race for the presidency, capturing the Electoral College even though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. As Harris recalled in a 2018 Vogue profile, “I sat on our couch. I didn’t share one chip with anyone. I was just like: This. Can’t. Be. Happening.”

Harris’s U.S. Senate win was only one in a series of notable achievements for Biden’s eventual running mate. As Harris memorably noted in the first Democratic presidential debate last June, her Berkeley elementary school class in the 1970s was among the first in the state to integrate. (That pronouncement quickly spurred sales of a campaign T-shirt that read, “That little girl was me.”) Harris was also the first woman elected as San Francisco’s district attorney, defeating a former mentor, Terrence Hallinan, in the 2002 election. She then became the first woman elected California’s attorney general in 2010. Harris is a 1986 graduate of Howard University (class of 1986) and the U.C. Hastings College of the Law (1989).

This is a breaking news story and will be updated throughout the day.

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