Kamala Harris is the US Vice-President-elect. She is set to become the first woman, the first Black woman, and the first woman of Indian heritage, to become Vice-President of the United States. President-elect Joe Biden and Harris successfully took on the incumbent President Donald Trump-Mike Pence regime in the 2020 elections.
Moments after it was revealed that they had won, she called Biden, and laughing, said to him: "We did it. We did it, Joe. You're going to be the next president of the United States."
Who is Kamala Harris?
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. Harris eventually dropped out of the race in December 2019 with low polling numbers, and later endorsed Biden.
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.
She married lawyer Doug Emhoff in 2014, with her sister Maya officiating the ceremony.
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 was betting on her experience, the record of governance and racial diversity. Harris was 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 campaign hoped that while Biden was inclined to focus more on the foreign policy, Harris could be more engaged with domestic politics.