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Joe Biden names Indian-American Kamala Harris as V-P nominee
WASHINGTON: In a major breakthrough for Indian-Americans in US politics, Joe Biden has picked Senator Kamala Devi Harris as his running mate to woo the Black voters and the influential Indian diaspora who could play a key role in his bid to defeat Donald Trump in the presidential election.
By naming the 55-year-old lawyer and moderate Democratic politician from California as his vice presidential candidate in the November 3 election, Biden made history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket.
Harris, whose father is from Jamaica and mother an Indian, is currently the Senator from California.
The 77-year-old former vice president, made the announcement in a text message to his supporters on Tuesday, ending days of suspense.
It came about a week ahead of his virtual Democratic National Convention that would formally nominate Biden as the party’s candidate for the presidential election, challenging incumbent President Trump, a Republican.
“Joe Biden here. I’ve chosen Kamala Harris as my running mate. Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump. Add your name to welcome her to the team,” Biden said in his message. Biden said Harris will be the best partner for him to finally get the country back on track. He described her as “a fearless fighter” and “one of the country’s finest public servants”.
Harris later tweeted that Biden “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 honoured to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”
Biden pledged in March to name a woman as his running mate. He had faced mounting pressure to pick a Black woman as the country was hit by massive social unrest over police brutality against African-Americans, a key voting bloc to the Democrats.
If elected, she would be the first ever women to be the vice president of the US and the first ever Indian-American and African-American vice president.
Only two other women have been nominated as vice-presidential candidates — Sarah Palin by the Republicans in 2008 and Geraldine Ferraro by the Democrats in 1984. Neither made it to the White House.
Reacting to the nomination of Harris, President Trump said he was “a little surprised that he picked her.”
“She was very disrespectful to Joe Biden and it’s hard to pick somebody that’s that disrespectful,” he said. He said he was surprised Biden selected Harris given her poor showing in the primaries and opposition to fracking, among other issues. Trump said Harris wants to cut military funding, opposes fracking, and did poorly in the primaries. He also said she was “nasty” to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his nomination process. (PTI)