By: Isabella Astuto
On August 11, 2020, Kamala Harris was announced as Joe Biden’s running mate in the presidential election. A prior Democratic candidate in the primaries, Harris has served on the U.S. Senate for California since 2017. She has a past connection to Biden through her friendship with his late son, Beau, during the time in which she and him were Attorney Generals together for California and Delaware, respectively. Many wonder how exactly this choice will affect Biden’s campaign in the long run.
As expected of any big announcement such as this, initial reactions have been very divided. Many view this decision as the absolute right one, considering Harris would not only be the first female vice president if she and Biden were to win, but also the first African American and Asian American vice president. Many are excited about the prospect of an educated Black woman in such a position of power, particularly one from a stereotypically liberal state like California.
Others dislike Harris for being a ‘hypocrite’. Many say she doesn’t live up to her self-proclaimed title as a champion for racial equality. A letter from the African Advocacy Network, the Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project, the Haitian Bridge Alliance, and others was sent to Harris, Governor Gavin Newsom, and Attorney General Xavier Becerra last month. It urged them to take more action in assisting immigrants who have been detained by detention centers.
Former President Barack Obama said in a tweet that Harris is ‘more than prepared for the job… By choosing Senator Kamala Harris as America’s next vice president, Biden has underscored his own judgement and character. Reality shows us that these attributes are not optional in a president.’
Current President Donald Trump said in a tweet of his own that he believes Harris is ‘extraordinarily nasty.’ He voices his shock at Biden being willing to pick Harris after some of their particularly harsh arguments during the primaries. ‘I thought she was the meanest, the most horrible, most disrespectful of anybody in the U.S. Senate.’
While this announcement was waited for with bated breath, many, such as Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, are not surprised that Harris was ultimately the pick. Overall, the consensus seems to be that this decision is a turning point for the Biden campaign, although in which direction is still up in the air.