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Kamala Harris Chosen by Biden as His 2020 Running Mate

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Kamala Harris Chosen by Biden as His 2020 Running Mate

2020-08-11 22:49:10

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Kamala Harris (Image source: Public domain)


Former Vice President Joe Biden said early on he would be choosing a female running mate.  Since he became the presumptive nominee, there has been much speculation over which one of many talented women he would choose. On every single list, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was the top pick. She was widely considered as the safe bet, as she checked all the boxes.

On Tuesday Biden took the safe bet and officially named Harris as his choice to sit beside him on the 2020 presidential ticket to face off against Donald Trump and Mike Pence in their bid to be reelected.

He sent a text message followed by an email to supporters that said, "Joe Biden here. Big news: I've chosen Kamala Harris as my running mate. Together, with you, we're going to beat Trump."

On Wednesday,  Biden and Harris will make their first public appearance together post-announcement in his home state of Delaware. Biden's running mate choice is seen as even more critical than for other presidents, as he'll turn 78 just after election day, and he may not make it through the four years or may choose to sit down after a four-year term and let his vice president take the reigns.

Harris, 55, was a formidable rival to Biden during the primaries. On the debate stage, the two clashed. But now he was looking for a strong woman to sit beside him, with many pressuring him to choose a woman of color. He had a handful of women of color he was considering, and he chose the senator who has fought for racial-justice legislation following the death of George Floyd.

Not only is Harris the first Black woman to be nominated for national office by a major party, but she is also the first person of Indian descent and the fourth woman to be chosen for a major party presidential ticket.

Republicans were quick to attack Harris, though Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was probably the kindest in his attack, noting she "will be a formidable opponent," and that "she is smart, aggressive, and has fully bought in to the Democratic Party's very liberal agenda."

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who has gone up against Trump, said Harris would "take away guns and health insurance." The Republican National Committee chair, who is also a part of the Trump campaign, Ronna McDaniel, said Harris had "extreme positions" and noted it shows that "the left-wing mob is controlling Joe Biden's presidency."

Donald Trump Jr. said Harris would be a shadow president in a Biden administration, and conservative Bill Bennett said on Fox News that he couldn't "think of a time when the announcement of the V.P. pick overshadowed the presidential pick."

Of course, Trump had his say as well about the pick. "She did very, very poorly in the primaries," he said, noting she ended up with around 2 percent. "Spent a lot of money. She had a lot of things happening. I was a little surprised he picked her," he added.

The president also said, "she was very, very nasty" and said he was surprised "Sleepy Joe" picked her because she said things during the primary debates "that were horrible" about him.

Democrats had nothing but kind things to say about Harris. Former President Barack Obama said, "Joe Biden nailed this decision" and felt he "underscored his own judgment and character. Reality shows us that these attributes are not optional in a president. They're requirements of the job."

Regarding Harris's ability to help lead the country, Obama said he'd known her for a long time and that "she is more than prepared for the job. She's spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake. This is a good day for our country. Now, let's go win this thing."

Hillary Clinton, Trump's 2016 Democratic opponent, tweeted she was "thrilled" to welcome Harris to the ticket. "She's proven herself to be an incredible public servant and leader. And I know she'll be a strong partner to @Joe Biden. Please join me in having her back and getting her elected."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) noted that in her leadership positions, "Kamala Harris has advanced a more just and fair future for all." She also said she'd "be a tireless champion for hardworking families everywhere."

Her former primary opponents chimed in as well. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said, "She understands what it takes to stand up for working people, fight for health care for all, and take down the most corrupt administration in history."

Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ) added, "Next year, I'll be even more proud to call her our vice president." Former mayor Mike Bloomberg explained, "the best executives know that you're only as good as the team you build" and that Biden showed he gets it.

Harris's competitors, who also vied to be Biden's running mate, were no less gracious. Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) obviously identified with her, saying, "For a little girl who grew up poor, Black and female in the South to be considered during this process has been an incredible honor," then added, "To see a Black woman nominated for the first time reaffirms my faith" in America. 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who interviewed in Delaware with Biden the weekend before last, said the Biden/Harris ticket "will be a fierce team to Build America Back Better."

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