Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has chosen Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) as his running mate, according to reports. Harris, a former presidential candidate, will become the first Black woman to run for vice president, and if elected will represent a landmark moment in White House history.
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.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 11, 2020
Biden further tweeted about why he chose Harris, stating, “Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau,” referring to his late son, the former attorney general of Delaware. “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.” Harris had formed a close bond with Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015, and referred to him In her 2019 memoir as an “incredible friend and colleague.”
She tweeted in response to Biden’s announcement, indicating that she will “do what it takes” to make Biden “our Commander-in-Chief.”
.@JoeBiden 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.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 11, 2020
Organizations and political leaders across the nation have expressed their reactions on the news, including the NAACP which said Biden’s choice in appointing Harris is a “defining moment in U.S. history.”
“This moment is long overdue. For far too long, we have undervalued Black women’s political power and their role in shaping our culture, communities, and country,” Derrick Johnson, the president and CEO of the NAACP, said in the statement Tuesday.
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“Black women have been at the forefront of moving us toward a more representative and unified society” but their representation within high levels of government never matched “their unwavering participation in our democracy.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and California Gov. Gaven Newsom also took to social media to show their support of Biden’s choice.
.@JoeBiden’s naming of Sen. @KamalaHarris Harris as the Democratic nominee for Vice President marks an historic and proud milestone for our country. As Vice President, Senator Harris will continue her legacy of trailblazing leadership to move our nation forward.
My statement pic.twitter.com/XdOZK9be6a
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) August 11, 2020
In the Senate, she has been known to put White House appointees in the hot seat, and her questioning of key figures including former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Attorney General William Barr, and CIA Director Gina Haspel has gone viral, showcasing her no-nonsense approach to civic leadership and justice. She has also introduced and co-sponsored legislation to raise working wages, reform criminal justice and healthcare systems, address substance abuse, support veterans and military families, and advocate for improvements in childcare availability for working parents.
Before becoming a state senator in 2017, Harris served as a California prosecutor for more than 20 years and eventually became district attorney in San Francisco. She then became the first African American and first woman to serve as California’s attorney general. A graduate of Howard University and the University of California, Hastings, Harris was raised in Oakland by her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, a cancer researcher and daughter of an Indian diplomat, and her father, Donald, a Jamaica-born Stanford professor.