A Jamaican / Indian could very well be the next vice-president of the United States. If anyone remembers Tessanne Chin on The Voice then you know when Jamaicans get behind someone, it is very hard for them to lose.
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced his long-awaited pick for a running mate, selecting Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as his choice for vice president.
The 55-year-old California senator and former state attorney general and San Francisco district attorney becomes the first Black woman to be named to a national political ticket by a major party.
Harris emerged from a field of finalists that reportedly included former national security adviser Susan Rice; Reps. Karen Bass, D-Calif., and Val Demings, D-Fla.; Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.; and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
The Biden campaign announced Harris as the VP choice on its website Tuesday afternoon after informing several of the candidates that they were not selected as his running mate.
Biden and Harris will deliver remarks in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday on “working together to restore the soul of the nation and fight for working families to move the country forward,” the campaign said.
During the Democratic primary, Biden had committed to choosing a woman as his running mate. In recent days, Black leaders urged him to pick an African-American woman. Harris’s father, Donald Harris, is a Black native of Jamaica. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was born in India.
Progressives urged Biden to pick Warren, who is further left than he is on most issues. (Harris is considered more moderate than Warren and closer to Biden in ideology.)
Biden and Harris will formally accept the presidential and vice presidential nominations during the Democratic National Convention, which begins next week.
Harris, who lost her own bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination, clashed with Biden during the first primary debate by attacking his record on race. She sharply criticized him for his fond recollection of working with segregationist senators in the U.S. Senate and his opposition to federally mandated busing in the 1970s.
“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public school, and she bused to school every day,” Harris said. “And that little girl was me.”
Biden called it a “mischaracterization” of his position “across the board.”
“I did not praise racists. That is not true, No. 1,” he said. “No. 2, if we want to have this campaign litigated on who supports civil rights and whether I did or not, I’m happy to do that.”
The debate performance gave Harris a brief bump in the polls, but she failed to consolidate her momentum and left the race in December. She endorsed Biden in March and stumped for him in Michigan ahead of Super Tuesday.
Biden has always said Harris would make a strong running mate. But during the vetting process, former Sen. Chris Dodd, a member of Biden’s vice presidential search committee, reportedly expressed doubts about her loyalty, saying she showed “no remorse” about her debate “ambush.” Others on Team Biden privately worried whether her presumed presidential aspirations might lead Harris to upstage him during the final stretch of the 2020 campaign.