Can Kamala Harris win the 2020 presidential primaries?
Historic decision for Kamala Harris : This woman could overshadow a President Biden
Joe Biden dares to take risks. That is perhaps the most important lesson to learn from his decision as to which runner-up he will go into the race for the White House. The second insight: Joe Biden can forgive. And the third: Joe Biden listens and keeps his word.
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The decision in favor of his former rival for the Democratic presidential candidacy, the California Senator Kamala Harris, was expected by many observers - and can nevertheless be described as courageous. Because in the primary campaign, the 55-year-old former public prosecutor had thought quite a few for the best candidate. Not only because she is 22 years younger than Biden, but also because she can inspire followers with her charisma, because she is sharp, rhetorically brilliant and aggressive - all of which is not a disadvantage in the upcoming competition with the rather unscrupulous Republican incumbent Donald Trump.
But the Democratic voters had decided in favor of the well-deserved former vice-president in the spring, mainly because they assumed that an election victory would be most likely with him. But that was also a little bit because the whiz kid Harris, who has only been in the Senate since 2017, did not always give everything in the primary campaign and also left open in parts what she really stands for. At the beginning of December she gave up.
Harris can now show that she has what it takes to be president
Now, after an election victory at Biden's side, she could show that she actually has what it takes to be president, as so many had expected of her - when she announced her candidacy in her hometown of Oakland, California in January 2019, 20,000 people came - 5000 more than to which Barack Obama's similar appearance in Illinois had come twelve years earlier.
That Biden is not afraid of being overshadowed by Harris is a testament to his greatness. And that he trusts her, because that was one of his main criteria. If, should he win in November, he decided after four years not to run for another term for reasons of age, she could become the first woman president in American history.
Biden shows that he can forgive, because he obviously no longer holds it against Harris that she attacked him unexpectedly hard and personally in the second TV debate of the US Democrats in June 2019. At the time, he did not seem to have been prepared for the fact that the attack on him, the favorite in the primary campaign, came from her of all people. After all, Kamala Harris was close friends with his son Beau Biden, who died in 2015 from a brain tumor: Both were attorneys general in their respective states (Harris in California, Biden in Delaware).
Her attack on Biden in the TV debate came as a surprise
"Vice President Biden, I don't think you're a racist," said the daughter of a Jamaican economics professor at elite Stanford University and an Indian doctor who specialized in breast cancer at the time. But she accused him of rejecting the practice of "busing" as a senator in the 1970s - children were driven to schools in other districts to break the separation between blacks and whites. This was a decision that hurt her, a little girl in California, she said, and then gave him no way to explain his behavior at the time. The other day, however, a speech slip recorded by a photographer stated that he had "no grudge" against her.
Harris had just given a foretaste of how she would do in hand-to-hand combat with Trump. She can do that now, even if "only" as a runner-up candidate. Biden, aware of her fearlessness, announced his decision with the words: "I have the great honor to announce that I have chosen Kamala Harris - a fearless fighter for the common people and one of the best civil servants in the country - as running mate. "
With his decision for the Senator, Biden also kept his word on his promise that he would choose a woman. He made this announcement in mid-March because of the great disappointment of many female Democrats about the fact that there will be no women in the White House in 2020 either. In addition, he was briefly on the defensive in the spring because of allegations made by women decades ago. He proves that he can listen and learn from his mistakes.
She is the first non-white female runner-up
So now he's entering the race with Kamala Harris, and it is expected that she won't be the only one of the losing primaries to help him win the November 3rd election. Others like Senator Elizabeth Warren or the young, former mayor of South Bend, Pete Buttigieg, are likely to play a bigger role in Biden's shadow cabinet.
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With Harris as the first non-white runner-up, the former vice-president of the first black US President Barack Obama also thanks the Afro-American community, which ultimately made the difference for his primary victory. In South Carolina, he won the Democrats' fourth primary thanks to their votes - this strong comeback after a weak start turned the race in his favor.
With Harris, Biden also fulfills the expectation that after the death of the African American George Floyd in a brutal police operation in Minneapolis at the end of May and the anti-racism protests that continue to this day, something will really change. The decision is historic because Harris will be the first non-white vice presidential candidate from the two major parties in the United States. Biden and Harris are to be nominated at the official Democrats' party conference from August 17 to 20, which will largely take place digitally due to the corona pandemic.
Trump called them "nasty" and "mean"
On Twitter, the 55-year-old described it as an "honor" to compete with Biden. You will do everything possible to make Biden commander in chief. "Joe Biden can unite the American people because he has spent his life fighting for us. And as President he will build an America that lives up to our ideals."
The one who the two want to defeat for it reacted disparagingly to the announcement on Tuesday evening. Donald Trump said Harris was "nasty" and "mean" to Biden in the primary campaign, as he was to today's Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh at his hearing in the Senate almost two years ago when he tried, among other things, on allegations Had to justify rape.
It is true that Harris put the conservative judge Kavanaugh under a lot of pressure at the time. She surprised the anti-abortion opponent with the question: "Can you imagine a law that gives the government the power to make decisions about the male body?"
How will the left wing of the party react to them?
These appearances made Harris known to a greater number of Americans: the Democrats hailed her actions, but she has since been hated in particularly conservative circles.
The attacks from this corner will be tough. The fact that Harris comes from liberal California, is now (after long resistance) in favor of the nationwide liberalization of marijuana and once admitted in a radio interview that he smoked weed himself will also play a role. But the truth is also that any candidate who would have chosen Biden would have been attacked - a party left like Warren probably even more.
Whether Harris is in turn suitable for uniting the Democratic Party behind its moderate candidate Biden, i.e. including and mobilizing the strong left wing, remains to be seen. In dealing with crime - in view of the ongoing protests in several US cities - she relied on "law and order" during her time as District Attorney for San Francisco (2004 to 2010) and later as the first attorney general in California.
For a long time she spoke out in favor of the death penalty. She also campaigned for a law that provided up to twelve months' imprisonment for parents of truants. She also shows her interest in these topics in the Senate, where she is a member of the judiciary and secret services committees. Is it progressive enough for the left?
After all, she embodies diversity and cosmopolitanism. With her successful parents, Harris represents a new, self-confident second generation. When asked how she would describe herself as an immigrant child, she replied in January that she was "a proud American".
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