On Monday, July 21, 2020, presumptive Democratic US presidential nominee Joe Biden said that he was vetting four Black Women as candidates from whom he will choose his running mate. The wait is over: It is California Senator Kamala Harris. Joe Biden announced it on Tuesday, August 11, 2020. She was among the top contenders AfroAmerica Network had mentionned (see AfroAmerica Network: Joe Biden's Top Black Women VP Pick Contenders)
Another top Black Woman contender was Dr Susan Rice. However, according to sources, her vetting was hampered by her past controversial relations with the Rwandan dictator General Paul Kagame (see AfroAmerica Network: Joe Biden's Top Women VP Pick: Rwanda in the Middle of the Vetting Process)
Kamala Harris Pick is Historic
Kamala Harris background is interesting: she is Black and Asian American. She was born in Oakland, CA, in 1964 to Donald Harris, a Stanford University professor of Economics originally from Jamaica, and Shyamala Gopalan, an Indian immigrant and leading cancer researcher. Hence, she is the first Black woman and first Asian American woman on U.S. presidential ticket. She attended Howard University — a historically Black college.
If Joe Biden wins the presidency, She will be the first woman to become Vice-President of the United States of America. Moreover, she would be probably the next democratic presidential candidate. Following the news, Kamala Harris, tweeted : "Joe Biden can unify the American people because he's spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he'll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I'm honored to join him as our party's nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief." But Kamala Harris has a tough work ahead.
Kamala Harris' Experience: a Plus and Some Concerns.
Kamala Harris has a vast experience, as an attorney-general and a Senator, with both a national and local profile and a wide campaign experience. However, she has a key issue to deal with: she has faced strong criticisms for her law enforcement techniques, sending people to jail for marijuana violations and not challenging the death penalty in the past as attorney-general.
Critics said that Kamala Harris defended California’s cruel three-strikes law, the only one in the country which imposed life sentences for a third "strike" that was a minor felony and opposed Proposition 66, a ballot initiative aimed at reforming the harsh three-strikes law. To overcome the weekness, Kamala Harris will have to convince critics, especially Blacks, that she will aggressively push for racial justic reform.
Kamala Harris will need to convince Blacks and explain why:
- despite being personally against the death penalty, she defended the death penalty as attorney general,
- she opposed a bill requiring her office to investigate police shootings
- she did not support Proposition 66
If she addresses these concerns, along with her switch from supporting Medicare for All, to an alternative with a private insurance option, she may be able to convice a large electorate audience and win the elections.