Kamala Harris becomes America’s first female Vice President

Kamala Harris made history on Saturday with her election as Joe Biden’s vice president, becoming the first woman, first Black American and first Asian American to win the second highest US office.

Harris, 56, is widely seen as an obvious candidate for the Democratic Party nomination in 2024 should Biden, who will be 78 at their inauguration on January 20, 2021, decide not to seek a second term, Reuters said. She hasn’t weighed in publicly on such speculation.

Edison Research and the major US television networks on Saturday projected their victory, based on unofficial final results, even though the incumbent president, Republican Donald Trump, vowed to continue fighting in courts.

A US senator from California, Harris has a track record of shattering glass ceilings. She served as San Francisco’s first female district attorney and was California’s first woman of colour to be elected attorney general.

Her background in criminal justice could help a Biden administration tackle the issues of racial equality and policing after the country was swept by protests this year. She is expected to be a top adviser on judicial nominations.

Harris, whose mother and father emigrated from India and Jamaica, respectively, had her sights set on becoming the first woman US president when she competed against Biden and others for their party’s 2020 nomination.

She dropped out of the race last December after a campaign hurt by her wavering views on healthcare and indecision about embracing her past as a prosecutor.

Biden looked beyond some of the harsh words Harris had for him in that campaign to name her his running mate in August. She has proven to be a valuable and polished stand-in, appealing especially to women, progressives and voters of colour, all critical to the party’s election hopes.

Harris, who developed a deep fundraising network during her Senate and White House bids, has been instrumental to Biden’s raking in record sums of money in the closing months of the campaign. Her selection sparked a burst of excitement in the Democratic base and among the party’s donors.

“Harris always made the most sense as a running mate for Biden because she had the ability to help him unify the Democratic coalition across racial and generational lines and was able to spike base enthusiasm,” said Joel Payne, a Democratic strategist who worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

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