Washington: In a major breakthrough for Indian-Americans in US politics, Joe Biden has picked Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. Joe Biden has selected Kamala Harris to woo the Black voters and the influential Indian diaspora. These two groups could play a key role in his bid to defeat Donald Trump in the presidential election. Incidentally this is the highest position an Indian-American will achieve should Biden wins the election.
Biden also created history by naming the 55-year-old lawyer and moderate Democratic politician from California as his vice-presidential candidate. Harris thus became the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket. The elections will be conducted November 3. Harris, whose father is from Jamaica and mother an Indian, is currently the Senator from California.
Biden, 77, made the announcement in a text message to his supporters Tuesday, ending days of suspense. It came about a week ahead of his virtual Democratic National Convention. The convention 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 United States 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’’ 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,” said Harris.
Former US President Barack Obama, who served in the White House with Biden for two terms, said he has known Harris for a long time. “She is more than prepared for the job. She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake,” the first Black-American president said.
Biden had 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.
Like Obama, a mixed-race heritage has allowed Harris to connect across identities and reach multiple audiences and voting blocs, US media outlets reported. Harris, based in California, a massive treasure trove of both Democratic votes and Democratic donors. She also emerged as an outspoken voice on race and the need for police reform. She did so following the death of George Floyd in May and the subsequent protests it sparked around the country.
Leading Indian-American groups across the US have lauded the selection of Harris. They said it was a moment of pride and celebration for the entire community in America. An estimated 1.3 million Indian-Americans are expected to vote in the election, including nearly 2,00,000 in Pennsylvania and 125,000 in Michigan, both must-win battleground states.