Joe Biden announced Tuesday that Kamala Harris will be his running mate for the 2020 election ballot, making the California senator the first Black woman to run on a major political party’s presidential ticket.
In selecting Harris, Biden adds a former primary rival who centered her own presidential bid on her readiness to take on Trump and show Americans she would fight for them.
She rose to national prominence within the Democratic Party by interrogating Trump nominees during Senate hearings, from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Harris’ selection comes months after Biden committed to picking a woman to join him on the Democratic ticket. Harris, 55, is now the third woman to serve as a vice presidential candidate for a major political party, following Geraldine Ferraro as the Democratic vice presidential pick in 1984 and Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential pick in 2008.
Aware that his age could be a concern to some voters, Biden, 77, has said that he is “a bridge” to a new slate of Democratic leaders, and by selecting Harris, more than 20 years his junior, he has elevated a leading figure from a younger generation within the party.
Within the pantheon of female candidates that the former vice president considered, Harris was long viewed as the most-likely choice because of the breadth of her experience as a US senator, former California attorney general and former district attorney of San Francisco.
While potential candidates like Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, California US Rep. Karen Bass and Florida Rep. Val Demings were viewed as fresh-faced additions to the ticket, none of them had been vetted by Democratic voters like Harris, nor did they have her experience in all levels of politics.
With her multi-racial background as the child of two immigrants to the United States, her allies believed she could complement Biden as a symbol of a changing America.
She also proved to be a hardworking surrogate for Biden in recent months, taking part in everything from virtual policy events with voters in swing districts to a live DJ dance party fundraiser with Diplo and D-Nice online.