In today’s world Kamala Harris might be the happiest woman alive.
In the first debate between the two Democratic candidates left vying for presidency shown on CNN, the favourite Joe Biden pledged unequivocally that he will pick a woman to be his vice president if he becomes the party’s choice at the November US elections.
In the US this is big news. Assuming Joe Biden is the Democratic Party’s nominee it will be only the third time in the history of the party that a woman will be on the national ticket.
Biden previously said he would prefer a running mate “of colour and/or a different gender.”
Harris, a former Democratic Party presidential candidate, endorsed Biden in this campaign and is a well-known senator. Before that, he was attorney general of California from 2011 until 2017.
“So I just wanted you guys to know,” Harris told her followers in a video posted to social media, “I have decided that I am, with great enthusiasm, going to endorse Joe Biden,” she said on Sunday.
Harris has the credentials. Her only downside is that California is not a state that Biden needs to campaign in heavily to win a general election against President Trump.
“She’s qualified to be president; I’d consider her for anything she’d be interested in,” Biden said in January.
Harris is the number one choice to be vice president according to a survey conducted by Emerson Polling in mid-February. It showed 20% of respondents thought Harris would make the best vice president.
Biden is being praised for a strong debate performance before no audience as he works to unite the party as the likely Democratic nominee. However, he also left himself wide open to attack.
Biden called for an end to new fracking. He said he’d endeavour to take millions of cars off the road, convert gas-powered fleets to clean-burning and end drilling on federal lands. He would take the world’s 100 biggest polluters before the US courts in his first 100 days and fined them. He would seek global support to provide tens of billions of dollars for Brazil to stop burning the Amazon.
Great fodder for social media but, as Politico reported, effectively pledging “a death sentence for the oil and natural gas industries” might severely harm Biden in the Rust Belt states that decided the 2016 election, and where Biden is seen as a particular threat to Trump. The rust belt begins in Central New York and traverses west through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, ending in northern Illinois, eastern Iowa, and southeastern Wisconsin.
Bernie Sanders had a shocker in the first debate between the potential Presidential nominees. When asked if he would commit to choosing a woman running mate, Sanders at first avoided the question, choosing to make Biden defend his voting record and forcing the moderator to press Sanders for a direct answer.
Sanders responded with a less than certain, “in all likelihood.”