After months of speculation and public debate, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has announced he has selected Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential running mate, per NBC News. A victory for the Biden campaign in November would make Harris the first woman and first Black person to become vice president in the United States.
Though the vetting process for Biden’s V.P. pick often played second fiddle to the covid-19 pandemic on the news front, the veep frenzy was a boon for pundits, political analysts, and people who spend too much time on Twitter. During a March debate against Sen. Bernie Sanders, Biden said that he would select a woman as his running mate. He also vowed to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court. But Supreme Court talk was sidelined for veep discourse and, soon, enthusiasm about a woman on the ticket morphed into calls for Biden to choose Black woman as his V.P. While polls show most Black voters don’t care about the race of Biden’s V.P. pick, the narrative was impossible to shake off, and it propelled several Black women to the fore of his choices, including Harris, former UN Ambassador Susan Rice, Rep. Val Demings of Florida, Rep. Karen Bass of California, and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
The death of George Floyd—an unarmed Black man killed in police custody—and renewed interest in the death of Breonna Taylor—an unarmed Black woman killed during a no-knock police raid—and the worldwide protests that followed strengthened calls for a Black woman on the ticket. By summer, Sen. Amy Klobuchar bowed out of the consideration process as her prosecutorial record received increased scrutiny, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren was an afterthought. The only white woman who received ample speculation as a potential pick was Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, which sparked frustration from Black community leaders and politicians.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth was one of the only non-Black women of color to receive ample V.P. speculation.
Meanwhile, the debate over which Black woman Biden should—must—pick dominated veep speculation. But it was Sen. Kamala Harris who received the most buzz throughout the vetting process. While the unsavory aspects of her record as San Francisco District Attorney and Attorney General of California were scrutinized during her primary run, the veep vetting process has highlighted her general likability among Democrats, name recognition, and the overall “ready on day one” attitude she conveys.
Still, some powerful Bidenites strongly opposed Harris’s nomination, citing her “ambition” and bad blood between Harris and Biden during the Democratic primary debates. But these spats can be forgotten, as long as Biden writes a little reminder to himself to do so.
So, when’s that Harris versus Pence debate?