Joe Biden, the presumptiveDemocratic nomineefor president, has named Kamala Harris, who is of mixed Black and Indian heritage, as his pick for vice-president in an announcement that is being described as historic.
“I have the great honor 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 wrote on twitter.
In her first public response to the announcement, Harris wrote on twitter: “@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.”
TheBiden campaignsaid in a statement, “Joe Biden is running to restore the soul of the nation and unite the country to move us forward. Joe knows more about the importance of the Vice Presidency than just about anyone, and he is confident that Kamala Harris will be the best partner for him to finally get the country back on track.”
“From her track record of managing through multiple crises to standing up for the people who need it most, Joe knows that Kamala will be ready to tackle the work that is needed to heal our country on Day One of the Biden-Harris Administration,” the statement added.
Harris is now the first American of Indian and Asian descent to run for vice-president. She is also the first African American of a major party and only the third woman yet to run for that office, after Democrat Geraldine Ferraro and Republican Sarah Palin.
The 55-year-old first time senator from California is the daughter of Indian mother from Chennai, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, a cancer researcher who passed away in 2009, and Jamaican father, Donald Harris, who teaches at Stanford University. The parents separated when Harris and her younger sister Maya Harris were still very young.
The Biden campaign said this about Harris’s upbringing: “Kamala’s mother told her growing up ‘Don’t sit around and complain about things, do something’, which is what drives Kamala every single day.”
Harris was friends with Biden’s elder son Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer. But her links to the family were said to have suffered a major blow after she attacked the former vice-president’s record on racism at one of the Democratic primaries. Biden is reported to have been hurt by Harris’s attacks.
But Biden made clear in recent days that he does not hold grudges as he considered Harris along with a long list of 10 other women for his vice-president pick.
The Trump re-election campaign picked on that debate exchange to attack the Harris announcement, and came up with a pejorative name for her as the president is known to do with his rivals. “Not long ago, Kamala Harris called Joe Biden a racist and asked for an apology she never received,” Katrina Pierson, Trump 2020 senior advisor, said in the statement, adding, “Clearly, Phony Kamala will abandon her own morals, as well as try to bury her record as a prosecutor, in order to appease the anti-police extremists controlling the Democrat Party.”
Harris became the first Indian American woman to run for US president ever — from either party in 2019. The first from the tiny minority community of 4 million was Bobby Jindal,