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International 12 Aug, 2020 Follow News

Senator Kamal Harris

Senator Kamal Harris’s selection as her former rival Jose Biden’s vice-presidential nominee

If her bid to win the nomination as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate failed to ignite the party faithful into supporting her, Senator Kamal Harris’s selection as her former rival Jose Biden’s vice-presidential nominee is already spicing up the overall 2020 US election campaign.

Kamala Harris has scored several firsts in her selection as Mr Biden’s running mate.

She has become the first Black woman to be selected as a vice-presidential running mate in a major US political party, the first Asian-American...and the first person of Jamaican heritage.

Her father, Jamaica-born Donald Harris, is a prominent former economics professor at Stanford. Her late mother Shyamala Gopalan, a Tamil Indian-American, was a leading cancer researcher and activist She died from colon cancer in 2009.

Her parents divorced when Kamala was young, and she lived with her mother.

Kamala Harris has a reputation for tackling tough issues head-on as evidenced is her roles as junior Senator from California in the US Congress and her career trajectory through California’s state judicial system where she rose to the rank of Attorney General.

Her tough stance on crime has caused opinions to be divided about her, especially in the Black community, although she is highly regarded as a champion in the fight against racism.

An advocate against the death penalty, she has based her position on the argument that "systemic delay and dysfunction" rendered the process arbitrary.

A Wikipedia profile says “As a senator, she has supported healthcare reform, federal descheduling of cannabis, a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, a ban on assault and progressive tax reform."

Senator Harris as vice-presidential nominee is widely expected to further energise the Biden presidential bid which so far has in part been running off an energy largely generated by the missteps of the Trump re-election bid...and there has been a lot of that.

Unusually, Senator Harris could end up being the focus - and target - of the Trump campaign machinery given the added profile she brings to the Biden camp, especially in galvanising support across key demographic groups.

Outside the party faithful, there’s a strong push by both the Trump and Biden camps to target women, African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians whose numbers are growing as an influential voting bloc.

Kamala Harris already said to have a strong appeal among those voters and her track record on gender issues also resonates with women across racial lines.

Although her nomination was expected, even demanded in some quarters, the push to have an African-American running mate for Mr Biden had already started occupying centre-ground in recent campaigning and political debates, more so in the wake of the Black, Lives Movement for racial justice.

But first, she must get elected as Vice-President, which means that team Biden must get into the White House by getting Donald Trump voted out.

It’s not going to be pretty.

President Trump already has Senator Harris is his crosshairs as he now embarks on revving up his attacks on Joe Biden.

He has lashed out at her, strangely accusing Senator Harris of the same offence he was committing while criticising her.

“She was very, very nasty... she was probably nastier than even Pocahontas to Joe Biden. She was very disrespectful to Joe Biden. And it’s hard to pick somebody that’s that disrespectful.”

That, by all accounts, is both nasty and disrespectful. The Pocahontas reference is a racist slur against Senator Elizabeth Warren a former Democrat presidential candidate.

Interestingly, it has now emerged that Mr Trump had previously made campaign donations to Ms Harris’s bids to become California’s attorney general between 2011 and 2013.

Amidst all that, the ravages of the coronavirus rampaging through America’s public health system, its citizens and economy is the single biggest challenge facing the country along with a multitude of other domestic and foreign policy issues demanding attention.

The US 2020 presidential election campaign just got kicked into high gear.

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