Kamala Harris is the Democratic Party’s vice-presidential pick for the November 2020 US Presidential election, in which Joe Biden is the party’s candidate to take on incumbent President Donald Trump. Harris is the first woman of colour on a major party ticket in the United States. Biden and Harris will take on Republican candidates Trump and Mike Pence in the upcoming elections.
Harris was always seen as a moderate when compared with other far-left democrats like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. In her presidential campaign last year, Harris presented herself as someone who could appeal to both progressives and moderates. Rather than trying to upend the economy, her policy thinking was centered around incremental, targeted results, particularly focusing on marginalised groups like women, people of colour and low-income Americans.
Born in Oakland, California, Harris is the daughter of an Indian-born mother and a Jamaican-born father. She attended Howard University and is a member of a prominent black sorority 'Alpha Kappa Alpha'. She was the first black woman to be the San Francisco district attorney and the first Asian American and black woman attorney general of California. The 55-year-old was elected to the US Senate in 2016 with a landslide victory.
Harris often argues that her identity makes her uniquely suited to fight for people who have been traditionally ignored.
Why Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris as his running mate
Though Biden announced that he would pick a woman as his running mate, Harris was not seen as a favourite. Harris likely pipped Senator Janet Rice because of the latter’s lack of experience in domestic electoral politics. Biden settled on Harris only after an exhaustive review that forged new political alliances, deepened existing rivalries and further elevated a cohort of women as leaders in their party.
The Kamala Harris factor in US elections
In choosing Harris, the Biden campaign is banking on her experience, the record of governance and racial diversity. Harris will be tasked with endearing herself to voters who usually vote Republican but do not support Trump, encouraging them to vote for her party rather than stay home on the election day. The Biden campaign would hope that while he is inclined to focus more on the foreign policy, Harris could be more engaged with domestic politics.