‘Together, we’re going to beat Trump,’ Biden tells Kamala Harris.
Indian American Senator Kamala Harris has made history yet again with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden choosing a former rival who sharply criticized him in the party primaries, as his running mate.
Biden announced the selection in a text message and in a follow-up email to supporters: “Joe Biden here. Big news: I’ve chosen Kamala Harris as my running mate. Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump.”
Biden and Harris, 55, the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be chosen for national office by a major party, will appear together in Delaware on Wednesday afternoon and deliver remarks.
The pair will formally accept the Democratic nominations during the party’s convention held virtually next week.
President Donald Trump quickly assailed Biden’s choice calling her ‘Phony Kamala,’ with too liberal a record on taxes, health care and immigration.
“She is also known, from what I understand, as being just about the most liberal person in the US Senate,” Trump said at a news conference at the White House. “And I would have thought Biden would have tried to stay away from that a little bit.”
Daughter of a Tamil Indian mother and a Jamaican father, Harris, 55, became the first African American and Indian American woman to be chosen by a major American party for a job just a heartbeat away from world’s most powerful post.
Born in Oakland, California, on Oct 20, 1964, Harris is used to making history. She became the first biracial woman of African and Indian descent to be elected to the US senate in 2016.
Before that she became the first woman, at the age of 38, to lead San Francisco’s district attorney’s office from 2004 to 2011.
She was again the first black woman and first Asian American woman to serve as California 32nd attorney general from 2011 to 2017.
In the run up to her selection, an Indian American civic group said, “Her vice-presidential candidacy would be historic and inspiring, not only for Black Americans, but for millions of voters of South Asian descent.”
“Harris’s story is the story of a changing, inclusive America,” wrote Neil Makhija, executive director of IMPACT in a recent oped in CNN noting, “She was born to a Black father and an Indian mother.”
“Her parents were both immigrants: her father, Donald Harris, from Jamaica, and her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, from Chennai, in southeastern India.”
Making the case for Harris, Ben Crump, a leading figure in the racial justice movement, wrote, “She has been a change agent at every level of government — local, state, and federal — for 30 years. She has been a trailblazer for reform-minded prosecutors nationwide.”
“She is the only Black woman in the US Senate, and just the second in our history,” noted the civil rights attorney in an opinion piece on CNN.
“The truth is, Harris has been unraveling broken systems and confronting injustice since long before most people knew her name.”
Harris, who made an early exit from the 2020 presidential has also courted controversy for her work as a prosecutor.
As district attorney, she pioneered an innovative program that kept nonviolent first-time offenders out of jail, but her tough-on-crime approach ran afoul of progressives in the party.
Harris has also been criticized in the age of Black Lives Matter for not boldly confronting police misconduct earlier in her career.
Graduating from Howard University, Harris got a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
She is married to Doug Emhoff and is also a stepmother to Ella and Cole Emhoff.
Harris is also the author of two books, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey (2019) and Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safer (2009).
(This post has been updated.)
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