When the announcement was made that Joe Biden had picked Kamala Harris as his running mate, my phone lit up. Every site I subscribe to sent it out. Then, I forwarded it to a few friends. The response?
I guess it was the obvious choice for Biden to pick Harris as his running mate. Safe. Not extreme. Already known. Vetted.
So what does Senator Kamala Harris bring to the table? Because it’s not as if she was brought on to help Biden win her home state of California. He’s already got the solidly Democratic state.
Turns out, geography isn’t a factor anymore.
There’s an interesting piece in the New York Times about the Kamala Harris pick and vice presidential picks in general.
John Edwards didn’t help John Kerry win North Carolina. Paul Ryan didn’t help Mitt Romney in Wisconsin. Heck, Al Gore didn’t win his home state of Tennessee when he ran for president.
So, if where a candidate is from doesn’t necessarily matter like it used to in politics, what does matter?
The answer: Demographics.
Kamala Harris. A woman. Half Black. Half Indian-American.
Democrats hope Kamala Harris can deliver African-American votes in key states that abandoned Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016.
Harris also brings excitement to the race. It’s been awhile since a VP choice has made this kind of noise. I guess the last time was when John McCain picked Sarah Palin in 2008.
Palin offered her congratulations to Harris as well as advice. According to CNN Politics, the former VP candidate said, “out of the chute trust no one new,” “fight mightily to keep your own team with you,” “don’t get muzzled” and “don’t forget the women who came before you.”
She was referring to herself and Geraldine Ferraro, Walter Mondale’s pick for VP during the 1984 election. Said Palin, “Climb upon Geraldine Ferraro’s and my shoulders, and from the most amazing view in your life consider lessons we learned.”
You know, whatever you think of Sarah Palin, she got beat up while running for vice-president. Often, unfairly. So did Geraldine Ferraro.
I want to believe this time will be different for a woman VP nominee… Maybe not. President Trump has already used the words “nasty”, “meanest” and “disrespectful” in describing Harris.
I do know this: Senator Kamala Harris knows what she is doing. She can take it. She can give it.
The election season just shifted into another gear. Hang on, folks. It’s going to be a wild ride… Maybe the wildest yet.