Political Issue: Kamala Harris a vehement VP


Merry Schlarman

Harris was selected by Democratic nominee, and former vice president.

Senator Kamala Harris grew up in Oakland, CA. Her household consisted of  two immigrant parents who became successful academics and taught her to fight for what she believes in, just as they did. According to Harris, she has carried on that legacy of asserting her opinions, and that was most recently shown on Tuesday, Aug. 11. Harris was selected by Democratic nominee, and former vice president Joe Biden as his running mate for the upcoming presidential election. 

Harris attended Howard University and went on to get her law degree at University of California-Hastings college of law, leading her to the Alameda County Districts office. She was a deputy district attorney that had the reputation of an “up and comer” in the political game, according to ABC News. Her next major career step occurred when she won by a less than 1% margin and became attorney general of California. According to Harris’ website, this made her the first female and first South Asian American to hold that position. 

Shortly after taking office, she became politically independent, most notably when she rejected to settle a nationwide lawsuit against mortgage lenders due to their unfair practices. Moves like this made Harris known for her intense tenacity against most cases – for example, she refused to defend Proposition 8 in 2008. This would have banned same sex marriage in California, and the proposition was overturned in 2013. Her next big political statement was delivering a memorable address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Shortly after that, she was recruited to run for a U.S Senate seat. She took Senate office in January 2017, where she began serving on the select committee on intelligence as well as the judiciary committee. During her time in the Senate she received criticism, especially from Republican senators, for intensely questioning witnesses during hearings. 

After almost three years in the Senate, Harris sought the presidential nomination in 2020. Her platform consisted of economics-focused ideals such as debt free college, a tax cut for working and middle class families and Medicare for all. Harris dropped out of the race on Dec. 3, 2019, due to lack of funds, as she explained in a video announcing her decision. After leaving the race, Harris remained politically active, and endorsed Biden on March 8, 2020. 

“I have decided with great enthusiasm that I am going to endorse Joe Biden for President of the United States,” Harris said in a video posted on Twitter. “I believe in Joe. I really believe in him.”

Within a written statement endorsing Biden, Harris expressed her concern for the lack of women left in the race. When she endorsed Biden, the primary race was between Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders. Harris explained how she sadly watched as each woman in the race slowly dropped out, and stated that it is something  the Democratic party must acknowledge, as well as something she would later speak out on. 

Harris explained how she sadly watched as each woman in the race slowly dropped out”

— Harris

A short five months after Harris’ endorsement, Biden chose Harris to be his running mate. According to The New York Times, this makes Harris the first Black woman and first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major party. Biden’s choice was little surprise to most of the Democratic party, as most of Harris’ policies mirror Biden’s relatively moderate policies, according to The New York Times. However, not all of the Democratic party was thrilled about this nomination, with some criticizing Harris’s past policies while serving as attorney general of California, including the number of people she prosecuted for marijuana infractions. At first some members of Biden’s staff didn’t feel confident about the nomination due to Harris’ criticism of Biden in the first primary debate, according to NPR. In the debate, she criticized Biden for having made hurtful comments regarding him previously working for two segregationist Senators. By the time Biden announced his decision to make Harris his running mate, his staff had put those differences aside to fully support the pair. 

Since being nominated, Harris has continued her fight against racism and police brutality. So far, she has championed proposals that would reform policing and make lynching a federal crime. 

“I’m so proud to stand with you, and I do so mindful of all the heroic and ambitious women before me whose sacrifice, determination and resilience makes my presence here today even possible,” Harris said in her first public speech after being nominated for vice president of the United States.