Joe Biden, who is about to be nominated as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate has chosen Senator Kamala Harris of California, one of the contenders for the nomination in 2020. as his running mate. The first term senator at 54 is a stand out public figure. She was California's Attorney General and before that the District Attorney for San Francisco. Her pointed questioning of administration officials during the impeachment hearing shows that she does her homework and has a command of the Law. Vice president Biden, 78 has indicated that he is not “committed to running for another four years” after his first term. Should he not run, this gives the vice president an extra boost for the presidential competition of 2024. In the meantime the vice president remains only one breath's away from the presidency.

Both Obama and Biden had a trusting relationship. It would not be an exaggeration to say they were like father and son. While offering the eulogy for Biden's son Beau, Obama said “We, Bidens…” This sums it all. Both men worked hard to serve the interests of the ordinary people. Obama had enough experience in the politics of Illinois and Chicago but lacked exposure to Washington. Biden was on his fourth decade as a Senator. Biden's folksy, no nonsense straight conversation complemented Obama's cerebral, cautious approach to issues. Now, looking for a vice president Biden searched for his own Joe Biden. After interviewing many, he finally found his vice president in Kamala Harris.

Ever since Vice President Biden announced that he was going to nominate a female vice president, there has been intense lobbying to choose a black woman. In everyone's short list of candidates Kamala Harris's name was always there. She is cerebral. Yet, having gone through the rough and tumble of the election process over and over she knows how to fight. The year 2020 is a very different year. The opponent from the Republican side is a sitting president who is adept to stretching Law to its extreme and truth to its maximum elasticity. Other countries also have taken interest in the American election and have their favorite candidates. Overcoming their interference is one of the biggest problems the country is facing. On the top of it all, the pandemic of coronavirus has destroyed the sense of safety. Solving the problems risen from this pandemic is priority number one. Since March, the entire country has come to a standstill. Schools, factories and shops have remained closed. Public transportation is running in a skeletal form. All of this has given rise to unemployment in America which is above 10 percent. Among non-white people it is above 14 percent. The new administration must tackle the problem of unemployment.

Both Biden and Harris have worked long in the public sector. Both grew up in working class neighborhoods. Vice President Biden with his Irish ancestry is a practicing Catholic. Yet, because of his views on the issue of abortion he was once denied sacrament from a priest. He does not wear religion on his sleeves. On her part, Kamala Harris went to public school and went to a Catholic Church every Sunday. She belongs to the Christian faith. Her father Donald Harris was from Jamaica. A scientist, he married Shyamala Gopalan, a fellow scientist from Tamilnadu, India. By the time Kamala was 7, the couple split and Donald Harris went back to Jamaica.

Shyamala sent her two daughters, Kamala and Maya, to India every summer and the girls loved their grandparents. Therefore, she has a strong India connection. Numerically speaking blacks have a much larger presence in the US than Indians do. When one enters politics, one must count the numbers at all times. Having gone to Howard University and by joining the sorority of black women, Senator Harris has built an ironclad relationship with powerful black women around the country. In the face of “Black Lives Matter” movement and protests against George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis the politics of the United States asks for some drastic changes. Up until now, women in the black community have remained the backbone of the Democratic Party. They always wanted to be recognized. Yet, they have been repeatedly pushed away. Years ago, two black women, Shirley Chisolm, a member of Congress from New York and Barbara Jordan, President Carter's Secretary of Labor from Georgia had run for president. They did not get much traction. Kamala Harris today stands on their shoulders. As female Vice Presidential candidates go, there were Congress woman Geraldine Ferraro from New York and Governor Sarah Palin from Alaska chosen respectively by Walter Mondale and John Mac Cain. They were a sort of “Hail Merry” running mates. However, Kamala Harris is a solid candidate.

The Indian community is only 3 percent of the total population in the US. Yet, it is the richest ethnic group in the country and many of its members are professionals. Kamala Harris is one of us. There is a lot of talk among us about the “next generation. This is our chance. We must help her succeed.

Comments on this article/book