Denise Korn, contributing
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former Vice President Joe Biden has selected Senator Kamala Harris to be his running mate in the 2020 presidential election. Harris is the third woman and first African-American, to be selected for vice president by one of America’s major political parties.
In an email to supporters Tuesday afternoon, Biden said, “You make a lot of important decisions as president. But the first one is who you select to be your vice president…I’ve decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Donald Trump and Mike Pence and then to lead this nation starting in January 2021.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, the Biden campaign has been operating almost exclusively online in order to engage supporters. Biden has been doing virtual interviews with major news networks like CNN and Fox News, according to his National Press Secretary, TJ Ducklo. The campaign has also held “hundreds of surrogate events” led by influential Democratic figures like Pete Buttigieg. Ducklo also mentioned the “thousands” of involved volunteers calling and texting prospective voters, encouraging them to vote for Joe Biden.
In addition to these online strategies, Biden’s campaign uploaded a highly-produced YouTube video titled “A Socially Distanced Conversation: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.” The video shows the former president endorsing Biden as the next president. The two, wearing masks and social distancing, also discussed their previous administration. They talked about leadership during this public health crisis.
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Kamala Harris joins the campaign with extensive experience in the judicial and legislative sectors. Born in Oakland, California, and raised in Berkeley, Harris is the daughter of South Asian and Jamaican immigrants. She graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. Harris was elected as California’s Attorney General in 2010.
In 2016, Harris became the second Black woman in United States history to be elected to the U.S. Senate. She was assigned to the Judiciary Committee, a committee that oversaw the appointments of Justices Brett Kavanagh and Neal Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Harris was also assigned to the Senate’s Intelligence Committee. That committee hosted nationally-televised hearings on Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Despite this much-anticipated vice presidential selection, Biden and Harris have a tense history. In the Democratic primary, Harris attacked Biden’s opposition to federal busing mandates in a Miami debate, saying “There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools…she was bused to school every day…that little girl was me.” A week later, Harris backtracked and insisted busing should be an issue decided by individual school districts attempting to desegregate.
The Biden-Harris campaign will host a virtual fundraiser Wednesday, August 12. With Harris out of the presidential race and endorsing Biden’s bid for the presidency, this Democratic ticket is poised to be one for the history books. With most campaign work being done virtually, will the Biden-Harris ticket be a winning match this November?
Image credit: Joe Biden’s official campaign site (joebiden.com)
- “Campaign aide explains Biden’s media strategy”
- “A Socially Distanced Conversation: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden”
- “Obama and Biden Release ‘Socially Distanced Conversation’ video”
- “Harris Backs Away From Busing As A Federal Mandate After Biden Attack”
- “In Historic Pick, Joe Biden Taps Kamala Harris To Be His Running Mate”