Biden’s surprise choice of Indian Kamala Harris as VP candidate

Biden’s surprise choice of Indian Kamala Harris as VP candidate
Washington: US presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s selection of Senator Kamala Harris gives him a running mate who can appeal to African American voters who are core to Biden’s base of support and serve as a fierce critic of President Donald Trump’s record in office.
A former top state prosecutor in California, Senator Harris brings a law-and-order career record that will help Biden steer a tricky, centrist line between Black Lives Matter protesters and white Americans who worry about attacks on police funding.
At the same time, picking a woman who competed with Biden during the presidential primaries and attacked him memorably on race during a debate, shows Biden asserting a degree of self-confidence that he can forge a cooperative, working relationship with her, political analysts told Al Jazeera.
“Biden faced unprecedented pressure to pick a Black woman,” said John Jackson, a professor at the Public Policy Institute of the University of Southern Illinois.
“He wanted someone who is going to command some respect and will balance the ticket with demographic characteristics of gender and race,” Jackson said.
“And he wanted somebody who he has personal chemistry with that is good,” he said.
Indeed, Biden’s selection of Harris is unprecedented and a high-risk moment for his campaign both in that Harris is a woman, and she is Black. It is only the third time in US history a woman has been selected as a vice presidential candidate, and the first time a Black person has been selected for that role.
How the selection plays out during the next week and during the upcoming Democratic National Convention will serve to define the personality of the Democratic ticket in November’s election. President Trump, Republicans and his campaign can be expected to attack Harris and Biden’s choice which says as much about him as it does Harris.
The choice of a running mate is one of the first big decisions that the public gets to see a presidential candidate make. Sometimes, candidates make mistakes. John McCain took a political risk in 2008 picking Sarah Palin, who proved to be a controversial campaigner, and Walter Mondale in 1984 chose Geraldine Ferraro. In both cases, the selections were surprises that did not play well with voters.
In contrast, Biden’s process has been almost painfully public and deliberate with the names of nearly a dozen women on his list circulating for weeks in the media to speculation from all sides about their respective qualifications. It has been compared, not favorably, to a season of the reality TV show “The Bachelor”.