Much like the coronavirus guidelines, there won’t be adoring crowds greeting a new running mate in a routine campaign and certainly one with Harris’ historic significance. The daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, she is the first black woman and the first person of Asian descent to join a major US presidential ticket.
But the 55-year-old former prosecutor will have to put her lively audience style – often in contrast to the more popular Biden, 77 – to use on television and online streaming formats without interaction or voter feedback.
The Biden campaign has announced that it is planning a rollout that combines the historic nature of Harris’ selection with the realities of the 2020 campaign and the gravity of the country’s circumstances.
WATCH | What Harris brings to the Democratic ticket:
“I need someone who works alongside me, who is smart, tough and ready to lead. Kamala is that person, ”Biden told supporters in an email explaining his choice of vice president.
“I need someone who understands the pain that so many people suffer in our country. Whether they lost their jobs, their businesses, a loved one because of this virus, ”Biden continued. “This president says he doesn’t want to be distracted by this. He does not understand that taking care of the people of this nation – all the people – is not a distraction; it’s work. Kamala understands this. “
Republican criticism all over the map
Harris has been considered a favorite throughout Biden’s search, and she has been a regular backup activist and fundraiser for him since he became the alleged candidate.
They’ll still have to cover the differences exposed in the main campaign, from Harris’s initial support for a single-payer health insurance system and the Green New Deal to his deeply personal debate against Biden over his opposition to the federally-mandated bus. . integrate public schools in the 1970s.
Trump seized on this dynamic, labeling Harris as “Phony Kamala” and presenting it as the latest evidence that Biden, a five-decade veteran of the Democratic establishment, is captive to his party’s left flank.
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday insisted Harris was “really on the radical left” and suggested the senator would be hard pressed not to outdo Biden, whose age Conway frequently mocks. and aptitude for the office. “He’s eclipsed by almost everyone he comes in contact with,” she said.
Biden’s campaign appeared to be prepared for the counteroffensive, noting that just weeks ago, Trump said Harris would be a “good choice.” And campaign finance records show that Trump contributed as a private citizen to the Harris Attorney General’s campaigns in California. Harris was elected to the Senate in 2016.
LISTEN to the Front Burner on the long-awaited selection:
To further cloud the Republican message, Trump allies on Wednesday highlighted progressives ‘criticism of Harris’ record as California attorney and attorney general, criticizing her primarily as a member of the Democratic establishment.
Indeed, Harris no longer supports a single-payer health insurance system, aligning instead with Biden’s proposal to add a public insurance option to compete with private plans. Still, Harris memorable raised his hand during a Democratic primary debate when candidates were asked if they could support a system that eliminated private health insurance completely.
She broadly endorsed the Green New Deal, progressives’ most ambitious set of proposals to tackle the climate crisis, but she did not make it an anchor for her presidential bid. Biden moved left on his climate proposals during the 2020 campaign but did not fully embrace the Green New Deal.
In Washington, Harris has advocated for an overhaul of the criminal justice system, stepping up efforts since the murder of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis officer in May. And she called for broad national programs to benefit the working and middle class. But she took the heat for some of her aggressive positions as a local attorney in the San Francisco area and for not prosecuting bank executives in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse.
This mixed record could have unpredictable effects in a national campaign.
Biden is betting that, overall, Harris has a broad appeal that will solidify all of the weaknesses of black women, an anchor in the Democratic Party, and other voters of color, while increasing white Liberal turnout and gaining support. independents and republican whites. voters who criticized Trump.