Who Is Kamala Harris

Presidential aspirant, Joe Biden finally announced that California Senator, Kamala Harris, would be his running mate for the office of Vice President. Here is what you should know.

“I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked Kamala Harris,” Biden wrote in his official Twitter and Instagram accounts on Tuesday. 

Who is Kamala Harris?

Harris is the daughter of two immigrant parents, her father is an immigrant from Jamaica and her mother, an activist, from India. 

A baby Kamala Harris with her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, and her paternal grandfather, Oscar Joseph, during a visit to Jamaica. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

Before she became a US Senator in 2016, Harris started her career in law enforcement. 

She first worked at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office before becoming San Francisco’s District Attorney.

She was also the first Black woman to be given the seat of California’s Attorney General in 2010. 

During her stint as an Attorney General, Harris won an approximately $20 billion settlement for homeowners in California against foreclosure attempts. 

What Supporters and Critics Think About Harris

Biden describes Harris as “one of the country’s finest public servants”, while US President Donald Trump describes her as “too liberal.”

After the announcement, Democratic Twitter voiced out its support over Harris.

Former presidential aspirant, Hillary Clinton said she was “thrilled to welcome” Harris in a “historic Democratic ticket.” 

According to her, Harris has “already proven herself” as an “incredible public servant and leader.” 

Former US President Barack Obama also aired his support over Harris, saying she’s “more than prepared for this job.”

Picture of Kamala Harris and then President Obama

Harris, according to Obama has “spent her career defending” the Constitution and “fighting” for the marginalized. 

Trump, during his White House press conference on Tuesday, described Harris as “nasty”, citing Harris’ way of treating Brett Kavanaugh, who is now known as one of the Supreme Court Justices.

According to Trump, Harris was also “very big” in “raising taxes” and slashing “funds” for the military. 

This is in reference to US Senator Bernie Sanders’ proposal to cut off Pentagon’s budget by 10% to support basic social needs instead. 

The amendment was supported by Harris. 

Why Harris?

Kamala Harris

Political analysts told Al Jazeera that Biden picking Harris shows a certain degree of self-confidence in him. 

This is in relation to the 2019 presidential primary, where Harris had famously attacked Biden during a debate. 

John Jackson, a University of Southern Illinois professor told Al Jazeera that Biden faced “pressure to pick a Black woman.

Harris’ background in law enforcement is another a factor that can help Biden in his Presidential bid, analysts say.

This background can help Biden “steer” the tricky line “between Black Lives Matter” supporters and other Americans who worry about defunding the police. 

Harris was also known for grilling the prominent administration witnesses in Senate Committees, such as Attorney General William Barr. 

Harris has demonstrated an ability that occupies a “prosecutorial persona,” said Jim Henson, a professor at the University of Texas. 

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