It’s time to Break It Down!
There is not a lot to say. This post could practically write itself. It’s political by nature, but it’s bigger than that. In an era in which the current occupant of the Oval Office is viewed in many quarters as a culture warrior, Senator Kamala Harris’ addition to the Democratic Presidential ticket represents a cultural bet; an historic one at that, and one that is not without risks. There is much more that could be said, than what I will address in this post. There are nearly 12 weeks; 83 days actually, between now and the election. Electoral politics will not disappear between now and November 3rd. More about the race another day.
It was Sunday, March 15, 2020 at the CNN/Univision Debate with Senator Bernie Sanders in Phoenix, the 11th and final contest, when former Vice President Biden revealed he would select a woman as his running mate, should he advance as the nominee. By that time, Biden was in the midst of completing a comeback that included winning primaries convincingly and having most of his Democratic competitors bow out. Senator Bernie Sanders subsequently suspended his campaign on April 8th. In the ensuing four months there has been more than a little speculation about whom the woman would be, who would rise to the top of the search list. News reports have indicated that the Biden team vetted at various levels, at least 11 women.
In the final analysis, Vice President Biden chose one of his fiercest competitors as his choice to take on the presidential race this fall. As observers handicapped the various choices, many analysts opined that Senator Harris’ chances might be hindered due to the kerfuffle between the two during the Democratic Presidential Debates. When asked earlier, Biden insisted that Harris was a serious contender, and was both capable of and qualified to do anything she wanted in the service of our country. Yesterday afternoon, he validated that assertion by making the Junior Senator from California his running mate.
Kamala Devi Harris is stepping into the breach and bringing a varied and accomplished resume to the table. She is a person of color; a Black woman. She is the daughter of immigrants. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan was a breast cancer scientist who emigrated from India in 1960 to pursue a doctorate in endocrinology at the University of California at Berkeley. Her father, Donald Harris, is a Stanford University Emeritus Professor of Economics. He emigrated from Jamaica in 1961 for graduate study at Berkeley. Kamala, born in 1964 in Oakland, California (let the Birth Certificate detectives get on that), identifies as African American, attended an HBCU (Howard University), pledge an historic African American Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha (Oldest in the nation), and grew up attending a Black Baptist church and a Hindu temple. She is also a wife and mother. She married attorney Douglas Emhoff in August of 2014 and is stepmother to Cole and Ella.
Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee. As such, he will be ensconced as the Party’s candidate next week at the virtual Democratic National Convention. He will be center stage, opposite the man whose position he hopes to claim, the President of the United States. But make no mistake about it, Kamala Harris will not be far away. She will be just the fourth woman ever to be on an American Presidential ticket, and the third to seek the Vice Presidency, following Geraldine Ferraro (Walter Mondale), in 1984, and Sarah Palin (John McCain), in 2008. Of course, Hillary Clinton was at the top of the Democratic ticket in 2016. Ferraro, who died in 2011, was a Democrat, as are Clinton and Harris. Mrs. Palin is a Republican.
It is instructive to note, none of the previous three candidates were part of a winning ticket. Undoubtedly, Biden-Harris hope to break that trend. The Senator’s career arc includes having served in the Alameda County (Oakland) District Attorney’s Office, in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, in the City Attorney of San Francisco’s Office, as District Attorney of San Francisco, as Attorney General of the State of California, and of course, as a United States Senator from the State of California. She sought the Democratic nomination for President, and for a brief period was the front runner. She suspended her campaign December 3, 2019.
Yesterday, August 11, 2020, she gained a new assignment; candidate for Vice President of the United States. She will continue to serve in her capacity as a United States Senator, at least until the November election. Make no mistake about it, in this moment, we celebrate Senator Kamala Harris. Still, it’s important to note that to its credit, Team Biden pulled off its search without a leak. They made the announcement on their own terms. It may seem a small thing, but in the digital age, it was surely no mean feat. In fact, Joe Biden might call it “a big eff’n deal.” At the very least, it bodes well for what will be a need to manage effectively, efficiently, and with precision, the myriad large and small details of a fast paced, often unpredictable presidential campaign. “The Veep Sweepstakes: It’s Kamala!”
I’m done; holla back!
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