Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as his running mate

Joe Biden and his newly-announced running mate Kamala Harris will deliver remarks together in Delaware to kick off their joint campaign for the White House.

Joe Biden and his newly-announced running mate Kamala Harris will deliver remarks together in Delaware to kick off their joint campaign for the White House. AFP

By Win McNamee | AFP

ON THE WEB, 11 August 2020

White House hopeful Joe Biden named Kamala Harris, a high-profile black senator from California, as his vice presidential choice Tuesday, capping a months-long search for a Democratic partner to challenge President Donald Trump in November.

“I have the great honour 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,” Biden, 77, said on Twitter.

“I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

The decision, announced in typical 2020 style on social media, is a huge one for Biden as he aims to build a broad coalition of voters to oust Trump from the White House.

Taking to Twitter shortly after the announcement, Harris said she was “honoured” to join Biden as nominee for vice president, and would “do what it takes to make him 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,” she wrote.

For Harris, being elevated onto a Democratic presidential ticket is the political moment of a lifetime. And if they win, the 55-year-old Californian becomes the automatic frontrunner in the race for the 2024 or 2028 Democratic nomination.

Harris has been a barrier-breaker for much of her political career.

Her parents were immigrants to the United States — her father from Jamaica, her mother from India. She was the first black woman elected as California’s attorney general, and only the second black woman, and the first woman of South Asian heritage to be elected to the US Senate.

Biden’s team stated that the two Democrats will deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware as they kick off their joint campaign.

Harris had clashed with Biden during the first Democratic debate of the 2020 race, chiding the former senator over his opposition to 1970s busing programmes that forced integration of segregated schools.

It provided her with a breakout moment which proved short-lived: Harris dropped out of the race in December 2019 and endorsed Biden in March.

Despite their debate clash, Biden has made it clear he does not hold a grudge, describing Harris as a “first-rate intellect, a first-rate candidate and a real competitor.”

The Republican National Committee swiftly reacted to the announcement, saying Harris has “extreme” political positions that are far more leftist than the more moderate Biden’s.


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