By choosing as a running mate a black woman who excels in verbal squirting, Joe Biden, Democratic pretender in the White House, tries to compensate for his own weaknesses. He is also investing in the moderate profile of a woman who could become a presidential candidate in 2024.
Joe Biden continued the excitement before announcing on Tuesday, August 11, that Kamala Harris would be his running mate in the White House race. Maybe not because he was hesitant – the California senator had been a favorite for months despite half a dozen potential contestants – but to engage voters at the last minute.
If elected along with Joe Biden in November, Kamala Harris would be the first woman, but also the first black and the first Asian American to become vice president. His father was actually born in Jamaica and his mother in India.
Her skin color and rapid rise in the Democratic Party – she ran in recent premieres after just one term as a senator – has earned her many comparisons to Barack Obama. “I have known Senator Harris for a long time,” the former US president said on Tuesday. “She’s more than ready for the job.”
I’ve known the senator @KamalaHarris for a long time. She is more than ready for the job. She has spent her career defending our constitution and fighting for people who need a fair shake-up. This is a good day for our country. Let’s now win this thing. pic.twitter.com/duJhFhWp6g
– Barack Obama (@BarackObama) 11 August 2020
His appointment with Joe Biden is also a springboard for the Oval Office: the 77-year-old candidate has already indicated that if he did, he would not run for a second term. His 55-year-old runner could therefore launch the campaign in 2024, or even gain access to the White House even earlier if the accident happened to the president.
Hence the importance of choosing Joe Biden. Kamala Harris does not really give him a geographical choice. Since 2017, she has actually been a senator for California, a country that was built as a stronghold for the opposition to Donald Trump. This state should therefore vote for Joe Biden in November no matter what happens and the senator’s seat should logically go to one or another Democrat. Its proximity to Silicon Valley can still enable the Biden-Harris duo to secure support from generous donors.
But if Kamala Harris is chosen, it is above all because she gives a certain complementarity to this democratic ticket. Joe Biden, a white man from seraglio, was under pressure to choose a woman of color: he responded to this request to motivate progressive troops and encourage black society to go to the polls.
But Kamala Harris was not the first candidate from the left for the Democratic Party, who criticizes him for his formerly difficult prosecutor and reluctant to prosecute police officers who killed civilians. A theme that should return to the campaign, especially in light of the anti-racist demonstrations following the death of African-American George Floyd in the hands of the police.
Rather a centrist at first, Kamala Harris was also criticized for being late for certain themes dear to socialist Bernie Sanders and for the young guard led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, such as universal health insurance (she has since pedaled) or the minimum wage of $ 15 per hour. Some saw him as opportunism given his candidacy for the White House.
The fact remains that the moderate left loves it and is appreciated by some anti-Trump Republicans, reassured by the election of Joe Biden, who wants to unite the largest possible coalition. Donald Trump has already found his nickname: “false” Kamala, which can be translated as “false” or “hypocrisy”. The attacks have already begun to rain on the Republican side against this new opponent who does not allow himself to be intimidated.
Kamala Harris is certainly also complementary to Joe Biden of his character: while the ex-vice president sometimes rages and multiplies mistakes, charisma, stubbornness and oratorical talent for his new partner hits the mark. For example, the former prosecutor stood out in 2018 in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she asked tough and insistent questions, especially during the trial of Brett Kavanaugh. His muscular exchange with this judge accused of sexual assault, which will still be confirmed by the Supreme Court, has remained in the annals.
More recently, it was during the democratic debates that his sense of verbal twilight was felt. Joe Biden paid the price herself, when she accused him of opposing the practice of “busing” in the 1970s, an anti-school segregation measure to transport black children by bus. in public schools in white districts. “It was a little girl in California who was in the second grade who was going to be integrated into a public school [hors secteur, NDLR], and she took the bus every day. I was the little girl, she said.
Born in Oakland, California, Kamala – her first name means “lotus flower” – Harris is a child of wealthy immigrants. Her father came to the United States to study economics and eventually taught at Stanford University, while her mother worked in breast cancer research. Her parents divorced when she was five years old.
With her mother and sister Maya, she grew up in Berkeley, California and Montreal, Quebec, before studying at Howard University – college of black American elites – in Washington. She then returned to California to pass the bar. As a career attorney, she climbed all the ranks until she was elected attorney general in San Francisco and then attorney general in California and finally senator in the same state, a position she still holds today.
Kamala Harris, who enjoys cooking for loved ones in her spare time, married in 2014 Douglas Emhoff, a Los Angeles lawyer who already had two children from a first marriage. The latter, potentially the first “deputy gentleman” in the United States, gave him unsurpassed support on country roads during the premieres. “Ready to get to work! Let’s go Dr Biden!” he tweeted on Tuesday, in a nod to Jill Biden, possible future first lady.