UNITED Kingdom — Joe Biden has named Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday to help him try and defeat President Donald Trump, a historic choice that acknowledges the role black voters will play in the November election.
Harris, 55, is the first black woman to have the number two spot on the Democratic ticket. In choosing her, Biden picked a former rival for the nomination who gained admiration for her campaign skills and was a top contender for the vice-presidential nomination as soon as her own bid ended.
Biden informed supporters of his choice via text message and social media posts.
‘I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris – a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants – as my running mate,’ Biden wrote on Twitter.
‘Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump,’ read the text message from the campaign.
The two will make an appearance Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware.
‘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,’ Harris wrote on Twitter.
The Democratic ticket became formalized during a time of economic turmoil, racial unrest and as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravish the country, infecting more than 5 million Americans and killing more than 150,000 people.
Trump has received poor ratings from voters in his handling of the pandemic and race relations, which many see as giving Biden an opening to winning the White House. Biden leads Trump in most national polls.
Biden, in making his choice, also acknowledged that Harris was a close friend of his beloved late son Beau, who died of complications from brain cancer in 2015.
‘Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau. 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 wrote on Twitter.
Harris was attorney general of California when Beau, Biden’s late son, was attorney general of Delaware.
In all, 11 women are said to have been considered, a mix of senators, governors, mayors and members of Congress.
Harris, the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, is considered a safe pick — a black woman whose past experience makes her qualified for the job, a compelling personal story, and a reliable member of the Democratic establishment.
A woman has never served as president or vice president. Two have been nominated as running mates on major party tickets: Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Republican Sarah Palin in 2008. And Hillary Clinton was the Democratic nominee in 2016. None of those campaigns were successful.
Biden’s pick was closely watched given his age. If he wins in November, Biden would be 78 when he’s inaugurated in January 2021, the oldest man to ever assume the presidency. He’s called himself a transition figure and has not fully committed to serving two terms.
Trump’s campaign has already gone on the attack against Harris.
‘She is proof that Joe Biden is an empty shell being filled with the extreme agenda of the radicals on the left,’ Trump campaign adviser Katrina Pierson said in a statement.
Harris, 55, launched her career as the city’s district attorney, became California’s attorney general and moved on to the Senate in 2016 after Senator Barbara Boxer retired.
Her national profile increased when she drew on her experience as a lawyer to engage in political combat, whether it was with President Donald Trump’s officials and nominees in Senate hearings or with Biden on the Democratic debate stage.
The vetting team advising Biden – led by former Connecticut senator Chris Dodd – was reported to have ended its work on Monday.
Biden did not show his hand, joking around with reporters in public appearances over the weekend but offering no indication of who he would choose. He had spoken with all the contenders either in person or remotely due to restrictions in place by the coronavirus.