Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images North America

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.

2 thoughts on “The Obvious Choice”
  1. Russell, I notice you like to reference the New York Times very often in your writing. I believe that as far right Fox News is accused of being The Times is further to the left. Today the Times said Kamala is a pragmatic moderate. Her voting record is to the left of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. In what universe can that be seen as a pragmatic moderate. Why can’t they just give me the facts without the opinion and let me make up my own mind.

  2. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. I need to think about this. I do use the New York Times and Washington Post a lot as my sources. I just trust their facts. That said, I think opinion has made its way into every media outlet these days. As they like to say, “It sells papers.” I’ll pay closer attention to the opinion aspect of their writing. Again, thanks for your thoughts on this.

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