Biden/Harris: The 2020 Democratic presidential ticket

This after­noon, pre­sump­tive 2020 Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Joe Biden announced that he has cho­sen Cal­i­for­ni­a’s junior Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor Kamala Har­ris as his run­ning mate and vice pres­i­den­tial hopeful.

Har­ris, a for­mer rival of Biden’s for the pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion, is the first Black woman and the first Asian Amer­i­can woman to be the pre­sump­tive vice pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee of a major polit­i­cal party.

She is slat­ed to accept the par­ty’s nom­i­na­tion next week along with Biden dur­ing the 2020 Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion, which will be a vir­tu­al event.

Biden/Harris: The 2020 Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial ticket

Har­ris has a long his­to­ry of polit­i­cal involve­ment in Cal­i­for­nia. Her first cam­paign was when she ran for San Fran­cis­co Dis­trict Attor­ney in 2003. She won with 56% of the vote and became the first African Amer­i­can DA in California.

In 2010, Har­ris ran for Attor­ney Gen­er­al of Cal­i­for­nia and won. The elec­tion was close and the result was­n’t known until sev­er­al weeks after Elec­tion Day.

Har­ris was con­sid­ered as a pos­si­ble replace­ment for then Unit­ed States Attor­ney Gen­er­al Eric Hold­er dur­ing the last few years Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, but she was not inter­est­ed in the job. (The posi­tion went to Loret­ta Lynch.)

Har­ris announced her inten­tion to run for Sen­ate in Jan­u­ary of 2015 to replace Sen­a­tor Bar­bara Box­er, who had announced she was not seek­ing re-election.

She ran in the gen­er­al elec­tion against fel­low Demo­c­rat Loret­ta Sanchez and eas­i­ly defeat­ed her with over 60% of the vote.

Har­ris is well known for her tough ques­tion­ing in Sen­ate com­mit­tee hear­ings —  most famous­ly with Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bill Barr and then Supreme Court Jus­tice can­di­date Brett Kavanaugh, both of whom were flus­tered by her lines of inquiry.

On Jan­u­ary 21st, 2019, Har­ris announced her cam­paign for Pres­i­dent in front of a mas­sive crowd in Oak­land, California.

Her cam­paign moniker was “Kamala Har­ris | For The People.”

Senator Kamala Harris
Cal­i­for­nia Sen­a­tor Kamala Har­ris pass­es the micro­phone at the “Link­ing Togeth­er: March to Save Our Care” Ral­ly at the U.S. Capi­tol on June 28, 2017. (Pho­to:
Mobilus In Mobili, repro­duced under a Cre­ative Com­mons license)

In the June 27th Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial debate, Har­ris went after Joe Biden regard­ing bus­ing. This brought her cam­paign pub­lic­i­ty and a polling bump.

But her aggres­sive attacks on Biden irri­tat­ed many Biden supporters.

Har­ris’ promis­ing pres­i­den­tial cam­paign began to fade as the sum­mer wore on, and by fall, the cam­paign was in an increas­ing­ly pre­car­i­ous position.

By Decem­ber of 2019, Har­ris was run­ning out of mon­ey. She chose to sus­pend her cam­paign before a sin­gle state had held a nom­i­nat­ing contest.

Unit­ed States Rep­re­sen­ta­tive James Clyburn, who is cred­it­ed with hav­ing played a major role in sav­ing Biden’s cam­paign by endors­ing him in South Car­oli­na, had pre­vi­ous­ly stat­ed: “I would advise him that we need to have a woman on the tick­et, and I pre­fer an African Amer­i­can woman.” For his part, Biden has said he would be lean­ing toward pick­ing some­one who has run for President.

Har­ris was the only can­di­date who met all of those criteria.

As Attor­ney Gen­er­al of Cal­i­for­nia, Har­ris worked along­side Joe Biden’s beloved son Beau (who passed away sev­er­al years ago) on a wide range of issues — a con­nec­tion that undoubt­ed­ly helped her cause as Biden deliberated.

By pick­ing Har­ris, Biden has demon­strat­ed he’s not one to hold a grudge.

Har­ris may have giv­en Biden a tough time dur­ing the first two debates, but Biden clear­ly felt com­fort­able ask­ing her to cam­paign and gov­ern with him, which says a lot about his char­ac­ter. Don­ald Trump’s deputy Mike Pence can now look for­ward to being Har­ris’ next spar­ring part­ner on a debate stage.

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