Democrat Biden names California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday tapped Senator Kamala Harris of California as his choice for vice president, news wires reported. "I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate," Biden said on Twitter.

Harris, 55, a daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, becomes the first Black woman on a major presidential ticket in US history and providing him with a partner well suited to go on the attack against Republican President Donald Trump. With social unrest over racial injustice and police brutality against Black Americans rocking the country for months, Biden had been under increasing pressure to select a woman of colour as his running mate. She is also the first Asian-American on a major presidential ticket.

Biden's pick of Harris drew ringing endorsements from other quarters – including from Barack Obama, America's first black commander in chief. "She is more than prepared for the job," tweeted Trump's predecessor. "This is a good day for our country. Now let's go win this thing." Biden served as vice president for eight years under President Barack Obama.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday called Kamala Harris the "most horrible" member of the US Senate and said he was "surprised" Joe Biden had picked her as his vice presidential candidate.

Harris, who became only the Senate’s second Black woman in its history when she was elected in 2016, will be relied on to help drive the African-American vote – the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituency. Four years ago, the first dip in Black voter turnout in 20 years contributed to Democrat Hillary Clinton's upset loss to Trump. Biden publicly committed to choosing a woman as his No. 2 in a March debate after discussing the matter with his wife Jill and had considered other former presidential rivals such as Senators Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. After the protests that erupted over the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white policeman in Minneapolis, Biden’s search focused predominantly on candidates of colour.

Harris will be confirmed as Biden's running mate at the Democratic convention that begins on Monday, where Biden will also be formally nominated to challenge Trump.


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