Joe Biden has selected Sen. Kamala Harris to be his running mate, elevating a charismatic blue-state senator, former prosecutor and onetime 2020 primary rival who has built a reputation as an unyielding antagonist of the Trump administration.
Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, was the wire-to-wire frontrunner for Biden’s No. 2 job. Her experience as a battle-tested presidential candidate, her efforts leading major law enforcement offices and her political track record of three election wins in California helped her overcome a crowded list of contenders.
“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 in a tweet Tuesday.
In her own tweet, Harris called joining Biden’s ticket an honor.
Biden, she wrote, “can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals. 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 will be the first woman, the first Asian American and the first Black vice president if elected. And Biden’s barrier-breaking pick of her comes at a time of racial reckoning in the country, plunging one of the best-known women of color in politics into a contest against President Donald Trump, who has stoked racial divisions in the White House and on the campaign trail.
Biden prioritized choosing a running mate with whom he was “simpatico,” as he frequently said, and his months-long search narrowed the list to a handful of women the campaign believed could help energize Democrats in the homestretch of the campaign. In Harris, Biden is hoping to combine both of his priorities, finding a thrilling campaigner as well as a long-term governing partner.
Harris, 55, has also built a personal rapport with Biden, and she was close with his late son, Beau, a fellow former state attorney general. But Harris had to survive concerns inside the Biden campaign about whether she could be a trusted partner in the job, after a bitter primary clash and a searing debate broadside by Harris strained relationships between their allies.
Biden nodded at Harris’ relationship with his son in announcing his selection Tuesday.
“I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse,” he said of the pair. “I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”
Biden “nailed the decision” for running mate in picking Harris, former President Barack Obama said in a statement, calling the selection of a vice presidential nominee “the first important decision a president makes.”
By choosing Senator Kamala Harris as America’s next vice president,” Obama added, Biden “has underscored his own judgment and character. Reality shows us that these attributes are not optional in a president.”