In a rare win for the police, Joe Biden has selected California senator Kamala Harris to join him on the 2020 Democratic presidential ticket.
Biden announced his pick with a short Twitter thread:
‘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. 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.’
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.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 11, 2020
Harris did indeed have a close working relationship with Beau Biden when the pair were both attorneys general — and I’m sure there are a few little guys languishing in California jail cells who can attest to how fearlessly Kamala fought when she prosecuted them.
But as crime rates spike in America’s cities, maybe Biden felt a ‘LAW AND ORDER’ candidate was his best option.
The Biden campaign quickly released a fact-sheet about the Biden-Harris ticket, which describes Harris as the ‘first Black and Indian American woman to represent California in the United States Senate’ and mentions how ‘Kamala’s father immigrated to the US from Jamaica to study economics and her mother immigrated from India.’ Curiously the history lesson only goes back one generation, and omits the fact that her father’s ancestors owned slaves in Jamaica.
The Biden campaign also offers a breakdown of what Harris has done for members of various different groups, with subheadings like ‘Kamala fighting for women’ and ‘Kamala fighting for the Latino community’. The ‘Kamala fighting for the Black community’ list is remarkably short. It contains: being a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority at Howard and protesting apartheid in South Africa; being ‘first Black woman to be elected San Francisco District Attorney and Attorney General of California, and only the second Black woman elected to the United States Senate’, and championing a bill to make lynching a federal crime. If these were her top three achievements, perhaps that explains why her new ticket mate was so much more popular with African American voters during the primaries?
In response to Biden’s announcement, the Trump campaign issued a statement from one of its only non-white spokespeople. Trump 2020 senior adviser Katrina Pierson claws at ‘Phony Kamala’, saying she will ‘abandon her own morals, as well as try to bury her record as a prosecutor, in order to appease the anti-police extremists controlling the Democrat party’. Her statement ends with this wonderfully North Korean line: ‘At the ballot box, Americans will resoundingly reject the abysmal failures of Biden-Harris in favor of the America First strength of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.’
There’s been a lot of chatter in recent weeks about Biden picking a ‘do no harm’ running mate. It wouldn’t be surprising if Harris turned off a small number of Democratic voters, particularly further on the left and in the African American community. That’s not to say that these voters would flip to Trump — despite the likes of Pierson doing the most to entice them. It’s also unclear whether a significant enough number of these would-be voters live in the states that actually matter come November 3.