Kamala Harris is Biden’s VP pick – but could she soon be in the top job?

We’ve known for months Joe Biden would choose a woman as his running mate. What we didn’t know is if he would make the historic decision to pick a woman of colour.

There were rich pickings on his shortlist but Kamala Harris, with a wealth of experience, has been a very obvious choice from the start.

It’s only the third time a woman has been picked as a running mate for the two main parties and the first for a woman of colour.

Kamala Harris has broken barriers throughout her legal and political career serving as district attorney of San Francisco for two terms before being elected as California’s attorney general.

Kamala Harris
Image:She has broken barriers throughout her legal and political career

As senator for California since 2017, she’s the second black woman and first South Asian-American woman to serve in the US Senate.

With a sharp legal brain, she is articulate and quick on her feet and has experience on the national stage having run for the Democratic Presidential nomination last year.

She also won praise for speaking out in favour of police reform following the recent mass demonstrations.

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The stakes were high for Joe Biden. There was no separating this decision from the backdrop to this election – the country being hit by crisis upon crisis in recent months.

The chaotic response to the coronavirus pandemic means the virus continues to grip many parts of the country.

.@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

The economic crisis threatening the livelihood of millions of Americans and the killing of George Floyd in May also triggered a widespread movement calling for police reform and overdue change in eradicating ingrained systemic racism.

Many say Joe Biden is failing to connect with black voters and more progressive, younger white voters.

It was the moment to put a woman of colour on the ticket.

The daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, it’s hoped the senator will help mobilise African-Americans to vote.

Hilary Clinton’s defeat at the last election was in part down to the Democrat Party’s first drop in black voter turnout in 20 years.

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It’s hoped Kamala Harris, more than 20 years Mr Biden’s junior, will also bridge the generational divide.

Many Democrats aren’t excited by Joe Biden as their presidential candidate. Kamala Harris as his running mate may well offer that factor.

The Californian senator memorably clashed with Mr Biden in the Democratic Presidential primary debate last June criticising his past political record on the desegregation of schools through mandatory busing.

This tension between the two campaigns, and suggestions Kamala Harris would have her eye on the Oval Office for 2024, made some doubt he would select her as candidate for VP.

Kamala Harris clashes with Joe Biden
Image:The Californian senator memorably clashed with Mr Biden in the Democratic Presidential primary debate last June

Joe Biden has overlooked their former rivalry saying: “I need someone working alongside me who is smart, tough and ready to lead.”

At 77, the delicate issue of Joe Biden’s age means it’s not beyond the realms of possibility Kamala Harris could end up leading.

Many are speculating Joe Biden could be a one-term president if he wins November’s election.

Kamala Harris is making history as the first black woman running for the second highest office in the land.

There is a very real chance she could one day be the first woman in the Oval Office too.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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