Kamala Harris started out in the vice presidential search process as a favorite because of her experience as a senator, California attorney general and district attorney in San Francisco and her extensive vetting as a presidential candidate.
Ultimately, she was chosen by Joe Biden the “common sense pick” who everybody could agree would “do no harm,” a source familiar with the vetting process told CNN.
With her multi-racial background as the child of two immigrants to the United States, her allies believed she could complement Biden as a symbol of a changing America.
She also proved to be a hardworking surrogate for Biden in recent months, taking part in everything from virtual policy events with voters in swing districts to a live DJ dance party fundraiser with Diplo and D-Nice online.
When Trump tweeted about delaying the election in late July, she responded on Twitter by saying he is “terrified” because “he knows he’s going to lose to @JoeBiden. It will require every single one of us to make that happen.”
Still, some members of Biden’s team resisted choosing Harris. A recent Politico story noted that former Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, who was helping vet candidates, was still galled by her attack on Biden during a June 2019 debate in Miami, when she criticized his work with segregationist senators and highlighted his fight against busing to desegregate schools decades ago.
The pushback against Harris apparently became so strong that Biden felt the need to defend her during his July 28 press conference, where an Associated Press photo captured the talking points about her on his notecard that included “do not hold grudges” and “great help to campaign.”
Harris also benefited from being a running mate who could match this turbulent moment in American history.
Many of the issues at the center of her life’s work — including criminal justice reform, improving health care for Black Americans and tackling income inequality — have come to the forefront in the three-pronged crisis America is now facing: the coronavirus pandemic (which has disproportionately affected communities of color), the fight against systemic racism and an economic recession.
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