Former Vice President Joe Biden has announced Sen. Kamala Harris as his 2020 vice presidential nominee. The selection follows days of speculation, as well as a mistimed article from Politico which inadvertently named Harris as the VP choice at the beginning of August.
As noted earlier, Harris will be speaking as the Vice Presidential nominee on Wednesday, August 19, at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and will also speak briefly the following night to introduce Joe Biden as he formally accepts the Democratic nomination.
Harris and Biden haven’t always seen eye to eye, which is evident if you watched any of the early debates back in the summer of 2019. However, a VP offer usually seems to iron out all the differences rather quickly:
Former Vice President Joe Biden has chosen Sen. Kamala Harris of California to join him on the Democratic ticket, fulfilling his pledge to select a female running mate and making Harris the first Black person ever tapped as the vice presidential nominee of a major party.
His campaign announced the pick Tuesday afternoon through his webpage.
“Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau,” tweeted Biden, referring to his late son, Beau Biden. “I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”
Biden’s selection of Harris, 55, lends racial diversity, gender parity and generational breadth to his campaign. It also represents a strategic decision by the 77-year-old former vice president to keep his ticket firmly within the more moderate wing of the Democratic Party.
The Biden-Harris ticket had been floated as early as last Spring as the possible “dream” ticket for Democrats in 2020. Biden’s experience and connection to President Obama coupled with Harris’ youth and appeal to a more progressive crowd, in some instances, can be seen as an attempt to unify the party. It’s worth noting, however, that Harris was certainly not the most progressive choice Biden had in front of him. Passing over Stacey Abrams and Val Demmings, both progressive darlings, for a “safe” choice in Harris does speak to some triangulation by the campaign.
Following the first Democratic debate, back in June of 2019, some openly questioned whether a ticket including Harris and Biden could ever come to fruition after the way Harris attacked Biden’s spotty record on race relations on the debate stage:
Biden supporters, naturally, say Sen. Kamala Harris crossed a line from which there is no going back when she accused the former vice president of opposing school desegregation by opposing Department of Education programs to bus minority children to predominantly white schools within a community and bus white schoolchildren to schools with more minority students. The concept many decades back was a controversial solution to the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision which forced school desegregation, but Harris felt this was an open line of attack on Biden despite the issue stemming from the 1960s and 1970s.
While Harris appeared to score political points at the debate last week, the backlash against her actions has begun to swell. As some Biden supporters and proponents see it, Harris would’ve been on the very short list of vice presidential options for Biden, but that time has now gone.
This move by Biden will put Harris on a debate path against Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday, October 19, in Salt Lake City.
Progressives will be disappointed with a Harris pick if they were hoping for a more fervent warrior to push a progressive agenda. Harris has been accused of paying lip service to progressive causes and has her own trouble with her record as a prosecutor and Attorney General in California.
According to reports, Biden will hold a press event with his newly minted vice presidential nominee in Delaware on Wednesday.