BY NIKHILA NATARAJAN
New York, Aug 12 (IANS) An outpouring of high praise, heady emotion and a sense of collective pride among people of color is surging across internet chatter and media coverage soon after Democratic nominee Joe Biden announced Indian American Kamala Harris as his choice of running mate to take on Donald Trump in the 2020 US election this November.
For a lot of people, the Kamala Harris pick struck a very personal chord. “Not gonna lie…tears…,” Vanita Gupta, former head of the Civil Rights Division in the Obama Justice Department, tweeted.
“Unbelievably delighted!”, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on prime time television.
Harris, who is Black and Indian American, makes history as the first woman of colour and the first South-Asian American to be on a major party’s ticket.
Biden’s choice sparked predictable “Slow Joe” attacks from US President Donald Trump and his supporters but the Republicans are having trouble getting the message to stick.
“This is the team that will lead to an American restoration once Donald Trump is gone”, is how Steve Schmidt, co-founder of The Lincoln Project, hailed the Harris choice.
The Lincoln Project is run by a group of ex-Republican strategists who are now running a string of viral attack ads against Trump.
“Tonight we see again the promise of the American dream”, Schmidt told NBC after Harris’ announcement.
“She’s formidable, she’s smart, she’s quick on her feet, she’s articulate.”
Harris’ sister Maya Harris tweeted a throwback montage with sepia tone images of their mom. “You can’t know who Kamala Harris is without knowing who our mother was. Missing her terribly, but know she and the ancestors are smiling today,” she wrote.
The Harris sisters were brought up mostly by their mother; their parents divorced when Kamala was barely 7-years-old.
Kamala Harris’ mother was a cancer researcher, from India. Her father worked as an economist, he came to the US from Jamaica. Harris grew up between Oakland and Berkeley, spent time in the US Midwest and a few years in Montreal, where her mother was teaching.
“She’s tough, she’s experienced. It’s going to be a racial, misogynistic campaign by Trump. The clock’s ticking. They may turn this thing against Kamala Harris but that’s not the way to beat Biden,” David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager told television networks Tuesday night.
“My warmest congratulations to Kamala Harris. I am confident Biden-Harris will prove to be a winning ticket. I will do my utmost to help them win and govern,” Susan Rice, one of the top contenders for the VP pick, tweeted.
In the past two years, Harris has been visible to the American public mostly through viral clips of her tough-as-nails performances on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Kamala Harris, 55, quickly rose to become a top contender for the Vice President spot after her own White House campaign ended last December. Just when the whispers began that her political instincts may be overrated, here she is, nine months later.
Dropping out of the race last year looks like one of Harris’ smartest political moves of the last 12 months.
Harris’ most vocal supporters are cheering her on wildly in this coming-of-age moment for modern American politics.
“She’s more than ready. Let’s enjoy this moment!”
BY NIKHILA NATARAJAN