Kamala Harris chosen as Joe Biden’s vice presidential candidate


Carter Marks/Royals Media, with the NSPA Campaign 2020 Photo Exchange project and Kathy Fang

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate for the 2020 election. She is makes history as the first Black and South Asian-American woman on any major party ballot.

by Anna Vazhaeparambil and Varsha Rammohan

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden named Sen. Kamala Harris (D-C.A.) as his running mate for the 2020 presidential election today, making her the first Black and South Asian-American woman to be nominated for national office by a major political party.

“Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau, [Biden’s deceased son]. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse,” Biden tweeted. “I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

Biden confirmed in March that he would appoint a woman as his vice president, commencing a months-long selection process with contenders like former ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and Rep. Karen Bass (D-C.A.).

The announcement was met with positive reactions from other leaders in the Democratic Party. Former president Barack Obama shared his support, writing that Biden “nailed this decision” and that Harris is “more than prepared for the job.” Former Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-V.T.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-M.A.) echoed the sentiment, offering their congratulations. 

Republican leaders also reacted to the decision, including President Trump who took to Twitter to share a video, calling Harris a “phony.” 

“I was surprised that he picked her,” Trump said in his press briefing today. “She was extraordinarily nasty to Brett Kavanaugh — Judge Kavanaugh then, now Justice Kavanaugh. She was nasty to a level — that was just a horrible thing the way she treated now-Justice Kavanaugh, and I won’t forget that soon.

Harris was elected as senator in 2016 and rapidly rose to national prominence for her interrogations in the hearings of former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then-Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh. She also launched her own presidential campaign in January 2019 and notably confronted Biden about his opposition to busing in the first primary debate.

Ending her presidential campaign last December, Harris endorsed Biden in March and has since spoken out on issues of race relations following George Floyd’s killing, authoring the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, which outlines steps to increase accountability for law enforcement conduct and erase discriminatory policing practices. 

Harris has received criticism online for her tenure as a former chief prosecutor in San Francisco and California’s attorney general, particularly over her record on criminal justice. While Harris opposed investigations into police shootings in her office and defended the death penalty as attorney general, she also instituted unconscious bias training for law enforcement in California and created Back on Track, a program to help nonviolent drug offenders re-integrate into their communities.

Ajay Madala (12), creator of political podcast “The Nameless Show,” recognized these arguments against her but concluded that not re-electing President Trump remains the primary goal for Democrats this November. 

“I think that Kamala Harris does have some blood on her hands from what she did to a lot of really innocent people, who were sent to jail for mild drug offenses. But I think it’s also important to acknowledge how severely authoritarian Trump is,” he said. “That’s what we’re fighting for here. We’re fighting to preserve democracy as it is, or to lose that right with Trump.”

Biden and Harris will make a joint appearance in Wilmington, Delaware, and partake in a virtual grassroots fundraiser tomorrow.