WASHINGTON | In a historic decision, Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden chose Senator Kamala Harris to challenge Donald Trump with him on November 3, the first black woman running mate in the United States who could also become the first vice president.
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“I have the immense honor to announce that I have chosen Kamala Harris, a fighter devoted to the courageous defense of the popular classes and one of the greatest servants of the State, as my running mate,” announced Joe Biden , 77, former vice-president of Barack Obama.
The California senator, 55, said she was “honored” by the decision, which gives a boost to a campaign largely crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will speak together Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware, where the Democratic candidate lives.
Donald Trump quickly criticized this choice. “Slack Joe and Impostor Kamala, perfect together, bad for America,” denounces a video tweeted by the US president.
“When Kamala was attorney general (of California), she worked closely with Beau” Biden, her son who died of cancer in 2015 to whom he was very close, “wrote Mr. Biden, a veteran of US politics.
“I watched how they challenged the big banks, helped workers, and protected women and children from abuse. I was proud then, and I’m proud to have him as a partner for this campaign now. “
Kamala Harris responded by promising to do everything to get him elected.
“Joe Biden can bring Americans together because he spent his life fighting for us. And when he is president, he will build an America that lives up to our ideals, ”she tweeted.
Already a pioneer
The daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, Kamala Harris is already accumulating pioneer titles.
After two terms as a prosecutor in San Francisco (2004-2011), she was twice elected attorney general of California (2011-2017), becoming the first woman, but also the first black person, to head the judicial services. of the most populous state in the country.
Then in January 2017, she was sworn in to the Senate in Washington, registering as the first woman to hail from South Asia and only the second black senator in American history.
A woman with a brilliant career, worthy of the best “American dream”, she had yet to throw in the towel in the Democratic primary even before the first ballot, in December, despite her debut with fanfare.
Calls for Joe Biden to choose a black running mate have been increasing since the historic protest movement against racism and police violence in the United States sparked by the death of George Floyd in late May. He had promised in March that he would choose a woman.
In her last tweet before the announcement, Kamala Harris wrote about Congress that “black and colored women have for a long time been under-represented in elected positions, and in November we will have the opportunity to change that. Let’s get to work ”.
Barack Obama welcomed this “right on target” decision. “I have known Senator Harris for a long time,” said the still popular former US president among Democrats. “She is more than ready for the job.”
She who dreamed of breaking the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman president of the United States, Hillary Clinton, the unsuccessful presidential candidate of 2016, said she was “delighted” to see this “historic” duo.
At 78 in January, Joe Biden would be the oldest US president to take office if he won the election.
He has hinted that he will only serve one term and his vice-president should therefore appear as runner-up for the 2024 election, or even be called upon to replace him in the event of serious health concerns or death.
If she does indeed know the candidate, whom she calls “Joe” in public, Kamala Harris had surprised by attacking him with virulence during their first Democratic debate, in 2019. And some progressive voters blame her for her past as a prosecutor in the reputation lasts towards minorities.