Liberal America cheered the decision by former Vice President Joe Biden to pick California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate for the White House.
They have all the right reasons to cheer — the decision broke all the gender and racial barriers. For Biden though the move was likely for a different reason.
Regardless of the outcome of the November elections, Harris has already made history. She is the first black woman to get this far in the US political process.
Biden and his advisers recognised so many positives in her nomination to be ignored. As a woman from an immigrant background, they think Harris would capture the female vote in addition to the significant immigrant community support
She will also become the first person in the history of the Democratic Party to be nominated for the Vice President from California. Too many firsts for history to ignore. However, for Biden it is all, in most likelihood, about winning the race.
Biden, a veteran of US ‘establishment’ politics for the past 4 decades, wants to seize on the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The anti-racism protests in the US following the death of George Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis police has upgraded the race question to the top of the election issues. No candidate in this year’s elections could afford to ignore it.
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Kamala Harris, half-Jamaican, half-Indian-American, certainly is a qualified person to run for the White House. The 55-year-old senator served as a public prosecutor shortly after graduating from UC-Hastings College of the Law.
She served as San Francisco district attorney from 2004 to 2011, and the California attorney general from 2011 to 2017. She became famous for forcing big banks to compensate citizens who lost their homes during the 2008 financial crisis.
She was elected to the Senate in 2016, coincidently the year President Donald Trump won the presidential elections.
She is also 22 years younger to Biden. That would attract younger voters who might be concerned that the presidential hopeful is too old to serve in the Oval Office.
Therefore, Biden and his advisers recognised so many positives in her nomination to be ignored. As a woman from an immigrant background, they think Harris would capture the female vote in addition to the significant immigrant community support.
Most importantly though, the Biden campaign are certain that Harris’s nomination will appeal to the black voters who have been marginalised for long.
And with the race issue being curiously ignored by the Trump campaign, Biden and Harris will appear the champions of an issue most Americans believed in (as evidenced by the massive support Black Lives Matter enjoyed in recent months).
Kamal Harris’ nomination is the right decision for America at the right time. But as far as the White House race is concerned, it will take more than the obvious labels she and Biden like to project. There are more fundamental issues at stake.