BY ARUL LOUIS
New York, July 30 (IANS) Speculation swirled around US Senator Kamala Harris becoming the Democratic Party candidate for vice president after Joe Biden, who is to be the presidential candidate, was photographed accidentally displaying a list of favorable talking points about her.
The first item under her name was “Do not hold grudges,” a possible reference to her attacks on Biden over his civil rights record during the Democratic Party presidential debate last year when she was also seeking the party nomination.
That confrontation, which saw Harris’s standing in the poll momentarily rise while Biden’s fell, had been mentioned as one of the points against her in becoming Biden’s running mate.
The note about not holding grudges may indicate that Biden has put that skirmish behind him.
The other points in the list in Biden’s photograph circulated by a leading media outlet were: “Campaigned with me & Jill”; Talented”; “Great help to campaign”, and “Great respect for her.”
The vice president pick is expected to be announced in coming days and Biden said on Tuesday, “I’m going to have a choice in the first week in August.”
He has said that his vice president pick would be a woman and as the Black Lives movement protests gripped the nation, he has been under pressure to select a woman of African descent.
She got an odd endorsement from Trump, who told reporters, “I think she’d be a fine choice, Kamala Harris. She’d be a fine choice.”
Kamala Devi Harris is the daughter of an Indian American mother from Tamil Nadu and a Jamaican African father.
She has identified herself more closely with her father’s heritage and her religious affiliation is shown as Baptist. Her husband Doug Emhoff is Jewish.
The influential web publication Politico reported that Harris had been chosen by Biden as his running mate, but deleted the post. It confirmed to Fox News that it had published the report but said that it was “placeholder text that had been accidentally released.
CNBC has reported that there was a sustained campaigned by some influential Biden supporters and donors have been campaigning against Harris, which may indicate that she is among the top choices.
About a dozen women have reportedly been shortlisted and vetted by Biden’s advisers.
One of the main criterion for the Democratic vice presidential candidate is that she should be prepared to assume the responsibilities of president as Biden is 77 and would be the oldest person to assume the office if he is elected.
Harris, 55, has domestic political experience as a former California attorney general and now a senator, which has also given her foreign policy expertise from serving on the Select Committee on Intelligence and on the Homeland Security Committee.
Another candidate mentioned as front-runner is Susan Rice, 55, who is African American was former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser and had worked closely with Biden. She will bring foreign and strategic policy expertise but has not run for any office.
Senator Tammy Duckworth, 52, a retired Army pilot with the rank of lieutenant colonel who lost both her legs in the Iraq war is of part Thai descent, is also mentioned as a front-runner.
The names of two other Representatives, Val Demings and Karen Bass, have also been mentioned.
However, any of the others on the short list could end up as the vice presidential candidate.
With the COVID-19 pandemic and the national protests against police brutality and discrimination against African American, which have sometimes turned violent, emerging as the key areas for action next year, domestic experience could be important.
Besides being able to step into the presidency, Biden’s running partner would also have to be a vigorous campaigner capable of keeping up the punishing routine of the election trail.
Harris can be tough campaigner able to stand up to Trump’s harsh style.
One of Harris’s drawback is her role as a prosecutor in California because she has been accused of contributing to the conviction and jailing of a large number of African Americans, which could turn off some traditional Democratic Party supporters.
Her standing in the party sank amid the accusations of her prosecutorial role and she quit the race for presidential nomination.
Her initial bump in the polls came after she raked up Biden’s opposition in the 1970s and 1980s to integrating schools by transporting children by buses to schools across neighborhoods segregated by race.
Politico reported that former Senator Chris Dodd, an adviser to Biden, has reportedly said that when he asked Harris about it, “She laughed and said, athataes politics.’ She had no remorse.” This was considered a point against her.
(Arul Louis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)