US elections: Kamala Harris, Biden’s VP candidate raises the ante

ON Tuesday, Joe Biden, United States (US) 47th vice president and current presidential candidate, announced that he had chosen Kamala Harris, a former California Attorney General, and senator, as his running mate in the November presidential election.

In the middle of a pandemic, where America is the epicentre of the novel coronavirus, and on the background of an uprising against incidents of police brutality as well as racially motivated violence against Black people, Biden’s selection of 55-year-old Harris, however meritable, signifies a hunger for change.

Harris comes with a pioneering political legacy and if elected, stands to become the first female, the first black and first Asian-American vice-president.

However, her record as a tough-on-crime crusader, while serving as California’s US attorney, puts a dent on her resume – one that pushes some to believe that she might not be the best choice as the democratic party aims for a win.

But her prison reform stance is one of several reasons why she might be the woman for the job.

Tried and tested

A recurring fact in the candidacy of Harris is that she has worked her way from the ground up.

She began her career at the District Attorney’s Office in Alameda County, the 7th most populous county in California, before being recruited to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and later the City Attorney of San Francisco’s office.

In 2003, Harris was elected the 27th district attorney of San Francisco, occupying the position until 2011. In 2010, she was elected the Attorney General of California and earning re-election in 2014.

In November 2016, she emerged as California’s third female senator. As a senator, she has been vocal on the support for healthcare reforms and also has gained a reputation for her pointed questioning of Trump administration officials during Senate hearings.

Four years later, Harris ran for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2020 election. While her campaign started with a bang, the show ended quickly by December 3, 2019, when she paused her ambition to secure a seat in the White House.

As a point of revival, Biden’s decision to pick her as running mate in August, upgraded and changed the scores.

Resounding support

In the hours following the announcement of her selection as a running mate with Biden, Harris, has dominated discussions in the media and on several social media platforms.

Prominent individuals have vocalised their support for the US senator including former President Barack Obama, who tweeted that he is sure that Harris is more than prepared for the job.

Amy Klobuchar, a US senator from Minnesota also showed support for Harris in a tweet in which she reiterated that a win for Biden and Harris meant a win for America.



    Also LeBron James, an American basketballer tweeted to his nearly 47 million followers a congratulatory message to the VP candidate, while stating his appreciation for the Biden.

    While there seems to be a huge support for Harris, Trump is unimpressed and has already launched several attacks on the VP candidate.

    Since Biden’s announcement, Trump has shared two tweets attacking Harris including accusing her of being a radical and downplaying her chances.

    “Kamala Harris started strong in the Democrat Primaries, and finished weak, ultimately fleeing the race with almost zero support. That’s the kind of opponent everyone dreams of!” Trump has tweeted.

    Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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