By Deepa Shivaram
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has picked senator Kamala Harris as his running mate in the upcoming November 2020 presidential race, his campaign announced on Tuesday.
The decision comes more than a year after Harris, who was also a 2020 Democratic candidate, clashed with Biden over racial issues during the first primary debate. If elected, she would be the nation’s first female, first Black and first Asian American vice president.
Picking Harris, who is 55, provides the ticket with some generational diversity. Biden, 77, would be the oldest president-elect in U.S. history.
The announcement from Biden caps weeks of speculation and is Biden’s biggest decision to date as the presumptive Democratic nominee — a detail Biden himself noted in his announcement.
“You make a lot of important decisions as president. But the first one is who you select to be your Vice President. I’ve decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Donald Trump and Mike Pence and then to lead this nation starting in January 2021,” Biden wrote in an email from his campaign to supporters.
Harris, the only Black woman in the U.S. Senate, was elected in 2016 after serving as California’s attorney general and, before that, San Francisco district attorney. A native of Oakland, California, and the child of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, Harris has said she was inspired to attend law school after joining civil rights protests with her parents.
“She’s been a fighter and a principled leader and I know because I’ve seen her up close and I’ve seen her in the trenches,” Biden said of Harris at a virtual fundraiser in June.
As attorney general, Harris worked closely with Biden’s late son, Beau Biden, when he was Delaware’s attorney general, particularly in challenging big banks in the wake of the housing crisis. In her book, “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey,” Harris says the pair “talked every day, sometimes multiple times a day.”
It is obvious she is going to be a super vice president and family friend.