For the first time in the history of the United States, a woman could be elected to the second-highest political office. California Senator Kamala Harris welcomed the nomination for VP on the Democratic ticket in a moving acceptance speech at the DNC convention.
Biden’s VP pick was filled with anticipation as well as with a healthy dose of political pressure. After the questionable loss of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a candidate who actually won the popular vote in the highly controversial elections of 2016, many Americans wondered if they would ever see the day when a woman would be elected U.S. President. In the Americas, the U.S. and Mexico are among the very few jurisdictions that have not yet elected a woman to their highest political offices; for this reason, it was refreshing to see many women campaigning during the Democratic primaries, and one of them was Senator Harris.
There is no question that Biden was pressured to tick a couple of major boxes in his VP selection. Democratic voters feel that now is the time for an African-American woman to run alongside a presidential candidate. This was not only fair but also historical. Potential picks included former United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who was also a national security adviser to former President Barack Obama. Even former First Lady Michelle Obama was suggested in this regard.
Senator Harris is the daughter of an Indian mother and an Afro-Caribbean father, so this makes her an Asian-American as well as an African-American. She served for many decades as a career prosecutor in California; she was also Attorney General in the Golden State from 2011 to 2017, and she has always aligned herself within the Democratic Party. She has served as Senator for more than three years.
Reaction to Biden’s choice has been overwhelmingly positive. Right out of the gate, former President Barack Obama posted a Twitter update congratulating Harris and reminding everyone that she is more than prepared to take on Vice Presidential duties. It should be noted that Obama once complimented Harris as the “best-looking attorney general” in the U.S., a comment that he eventually apologized for. For the record, the 55-year-old Senator is blessed with exotic looks and is quite stylish.
Hillary Clinton was another high-profile name who was early on the Twitter congratulation train. So was Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has become a heavyweight in the Democratic Party. Even NBA superstar Lebron James of the Los Angeles Lakers tweeted from the Orlando bubble to congratulate Harris.
Not everyone is completely elated about Biden’s choice. As a former prosecutor, Harris has been known to engage in the American tradition of grandstanding, and she may have used it for political advantage in 2016 in the sordid Backpage.com case.
While serving as California AG, Harris ordered the arrest of Backpage.com executives on pimping charges; it is important to remember that the Backpage case involved posting of classified ads by prostitutes on a former weekly newspaper that eventually shifted online. Legal analysts knew that the pimping charges would never stick, and they argued that this is something that Harris knew as well, thus making the case look like she was grandstanding for political gain and using up legal resources. In the end, California judges threw out the pimping charges as expected, but the Backpage.com website was eventually seized by federal agents after the CEO pleaded guilty to money laundering.