Dhaka Friday, January 22, 2021

Kamala makes history as first female US vice president-elect


Published:
2020-11-08 19:47:33 BdST

Update:
2021-01-22 15:24:56 BdST

Published: 2020-11-08 19:47:33 BdST

 

Live Desk: The US vice-presidential glass ceiling has been broken. California Sen. Kamala Harris will make history as the first woman elected vice president, now that Joe Biden has won enough states to capture the White House.

Biden beat Donald Trump four years after Hillary Clinton came up short in her bid to be the first female president. "We did it. We did it Joe," a smiling Harris told Biden by phone in a video she tweeted out. "You're going to be the next president of the United States."

"This election is about so much more than @JoeBiden or me. It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us," she wrote in a separate tweet." Let’s get started." Harris, 56, was the first African American woman and the first Asian American person on a major party's presidential ticket, reports USA TODAY.

Her husband, entertainment lawyer Doug Emhoff, will be the first "second gentleman." Harris has said she expects to work closely with Biden, offering him a perspective shaped by a different background.

“It is about a partnership that also is informed by one of the reasons I think Joe asked me to join him, which is that he and I have – we have the same ideals and values but we have very different life experiences,” Harris said during her final fundraiser for the campaign.

President Barack Obama has called her an “ideal partner” for Biden who is more than prepared for the job as “someone who knows what it’s like to overcome barriers.”

Only the second Black woman to be elected to the Senate, Harris was the first Black woman to be elected district attorney in San Francisco and attorney general of California.

Biden had faced tremendous pressure to choose a woman of color as his running mate because of the large role African Americans – and particularly Black women – have played in the Democratic Party and because of the racial issues thrust into the foreground by the coronavirus pandemic and the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police. 

“There is no vaccine for racism,” Harris said during her vice presidential acceptance speech. “We've got to do the work for George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor and for the lives of too many others to name."

Announcing his choice, Biden called the former prosecutor a “fearless fighter for the little guy, one of the country's finest public servants." Only two ran before her Harris was only the third female vice-presidential nominee of a major party ticket. 

Her debate with Vice President Mike Pence was the second-most watched vice presidential debate, after the 2008 matchup between Biden and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was running mate to Republican nominee John McCain.

Harris' response when Pence tried to cut in on her time, "Mr. Vice President, I'm speaking – I'm speaking," sparked a meme. T-shirts, face masks and other products emblazoned with those words were quickly available for sale on the internet.

Biden's age contributed to the public's interest in Harris, as his 77 years increase the chance that he might not serve a full term or seek re-election. Republicans sought to characterize Harris as member of the "radical left" who would control the more centrist Biden.

Presidential ambitions
Harris had competed against Biden for the Democratic nomination but ended her bid before the first primary votes were cast.

She struggled to place herself in an ideological camp, particularly on how far she would go to enact Medicare for All. She also faced criticism from some on the left for her prosecutorial record.

One of her campaign’s biggest moments came during a debate when she challenged Biden over his remarks about working with segregationist senators. She described herself as part of the second class to integrate her school as a child after mandatory school busing, which forced Biden to apologize for his earlier comments.

Although Biden didn't hold a grudge, Trump immediately called Harris a "phony" after her selection. He frequently made fun of her first name – which is Sanskrit for lotus – and hurled insults at her from his campaign rallies, included calling her a monster.

Women's groups spent millions on ads to "push back on disinformation and racist, sexist attacks" on Harris and show her in a positive light.

"She has taken on some of the toughest fights...and she’s done it all with a sense of style," said the narrator in an ad called "Chucks" that included footage of Harris wearing her signature shoe choice and a young girl dancing in Chuck Taylors. "Someday soon, anyone will be able to see themselves as president."

Dhaka, 08 November (campuslive24.com)//AIT


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