First woman of Indian, African descent on national stage to bridge racial divides.
US mainstream media sees presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s choice of Indian American senator Kamala Harris as his running mate as “groundbreaking” and “historic” to “pragmatic” and “safe.”
Biden, wrote the New York Times, “made a groundbreaking decision, picking a woman of color to be vice president and, possibly, a successor in the White House someday.”
“Yet in some ways, Biden made a conventional choice,” it said, by “elevating a senator who brings generational and coastal balance to the Democratic ticket and shares his center-left politics at a time of progressive change in the party.”
“Biden made a pragmatic and historic choice in Kamala Harris,” declared her home state’s leading daily San Francisco Chronicle in an editorial noting she “has spent her entire career breaking barriers.”
She did so “with a toughness to deflect slights from those who underestimated her, the savvy to course correct from political peril and the persistence and — yes, the ambition — to keep growing and reaching for higher office,” it said.
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Washington Post’s Dan Balz called Harris’ selection as “both historic and conventional — historic as she becomes the first Black woman and first Asian American to join a major party ticket, but conventional because, in the end, she appeared to be the safest of the finalists on his shortlist.”
Noting that Biden has talked about himself as a transitional figure in the Democratic Party, Balz said, “he now will be seen as a White Democrat who played a uniquely important role in bridging racial divides.”
He did so, the Post said, “first as vice president to Barack Obama, the first African American president, and now as the presidential nominee who elevated a Black woman higher than any before her.”
The Wall Street Journal in an editorial suggested that Biden had “checked the essential boxes his party had demanded—a woman, a minority, and a progressive who has moved left as the Democratic Party has.”
“Biden’s choice is especially important because he would be the oldest President on Inauguration Day at age 78,” it said as “The actuarial tables and his declining mental acuity suggest he wouldn’t run for re-election.”
“Vice presidential contenders do not have a rich history of altering the course of an election,” noted David Siders in the Politico. “But Republican and Democratic political professionals alike believe Harris’ selection may carry more weight this year.”
“That is because Biden, despite decades of government work, remains less sharply defined to voters than previous presidential nominees,” he noted.
Siders also suggested that “Biden went with the vice presidential prospect widely regarded as his safest choice.”
“By selecting a Black woman — whose background as the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants embodies the new American story — he recast the Democratic power structure for years to come,” CNN suggested.
“With the pick, Biden acknowledged the disappointment that some Democratic women still feel nearly four years after Hillary Clinton lost her bid to be the first female president,” it said.
“Now Democratic women and women of color, who are the driving force of the party, will see themselves represented on the national stage,” CNN said.
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