Joe Biden Makes First Appearance with Newly-Announced Running Mate Kamala Harris


Joe Biden next to Running Mate Kamala Harris, Photographer: Anthony Lanzilote/Bloomberg © 2019 BLOOMBERG FINANCE LP

By Lena Tinker, Editorial Editor

“You’ve been an honorary Biden for quite some time,” said Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden to his newly-selected Vice President Kamala Harris at their first public appearance together on August 12. 

Harris has been long acquainted with Biden since her work with his late son, Beau Biden. As someone who said that her title of “Momala” will always be more meaningful than any other, seeing the strong father-son bond Joe and Beau shared made its impact.

“Beau was the kind of guy who inspired people to be a better version of themselves. He really was the best of the best. And when I would ask him, ‘Where’d you get that? Where’d this come from?’ He’d always talk about his dad,” Harris said today in her first public appearance with Biden.

It was through the lens of a son’s love that she was introduced to the man who yesterday announced her as his running mate for the 2020 presidential election. 

“Joe, I’m so proud to stand with you. And I do so mindful of all the heroic and ambitious women before me, whose sacrifice, determination, and resilience made my presence here today even possible,” said Harris.

Out of the many women Biden interviewed for potential running mates, who he said were all qualified to be president, he picked California Senator Kamala Harris.

“I have no doubt that I picked the right person to join me as the next Vice President of the United States of America.” After this choice was announced on Aug. 11, Biden and Harris set a single day record for amounts raised in online political fundraising. 

“She’s ready to do this job on day one, and we’re both ready to get to work rebuilding this nation, and building it better,” said Biden.

Harris identifies as Black and South Asian-American, and is born of two immigrant parents. If the Biden administration wins in 2020 Harris will become the first woman as Vice President of the United States. She is already the first woman of color on a major party presidential ticket. 

“Her story is America’s story,” said Biden, “different from mine in many particulars, but also not so different in the essentials. She’s worked hard, she’s never backed down from a challenge, and she’s earned each and every of the accolades and achievements she has gained.”

Biden talks about the representation Harris provides for a country filled with young girls identifying as non-white, who hopefully see themselves as presidential material after seeing Harris up on the stage as presumptive Vice President of the United States. 

“Is anyone surprised Donald Trump has a problem with a strong woman or strong women across the board?” said Biden in reaction to Trump’s early attacks on Harris, calling her “Nasty” due to her questioning of the then Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, as reported by the New York Times. 

Trump responded on Twitter fourteen hours ago to Biden’s choice of Harris as Vice President with, “@KamalaHarris started strong in the Democrat Primaries, and finished weak, ultimately fleeing the race with almost zero support. That’s the kind of opponent everyone dreams of!” A short promotion video on Trump’s Twitter named Harris, “Phony Kamala,” stating that Biden is “Not that smart,” in his choice.

Obviously, Biden disagrees.

“The question is for all Americans to answer: who are we as a nation? What do we stand for? And most importantly, what do we want to be?” said Biden. Of Harris, he says, “We both believe we can define America in only one word: possibilities.” 

Some of these possibilities are currently being raised in the streets across the United States. 

“All across this country a whole new generation of children is growing up hearing the cries for justice and the chants of hope on which I was raised, some strapped into strollers of their own,” said Harris with a wide smile on her face. “And trust me, it’s a song you’ll never forget. So to everyone keeping up the fight, you are doing something. You are doing something great. You are the heroes of our time, and you are the reason I know we are going to bring our country closer to realizing it’s great promise.” 

That great promise is something that has seemed to glimmer far off in the distance throughout four years with the Trump administration. Harris and Biden hope to rebuild the United States in the wake of that administration which has created national unrest. 

“The people are who Joe and I will fight for every day in the White House,” said Harris.

She reminds us of the work former president Barack Obama and Biden did to control the Ebola crisis six years ago. Only two American citizens died. She compared it with his mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic which is “Hitting America worse than any other advanced nation.”

Together, they plan to have a strict plan to deal with the COVID-19. “We just need a President and a Vice President willing to lead and take responsibility,” said Biden.

Harris promises, alongside Biden, not just to defeat Trump and Pence, but to raise employment, fight climate change, and bring back supply chains to America. The Biden administration plans to build on the Affordable Care Act, offer caregivers better pay, protect women’s right to abortion, and fight systemic racism in the justice system, which includes passing a John Lewis Voting Rights Act. 

This election is not only about beating Trump, but rebuilding the country from the “Tatters” Trump has left it in. Harris reminds us that in just 83 days we can choose to change the fate of this country, and shift it from the man who has been the cause of enormous economic loss and the loss of an American life every 80 seconds due to the COVID-19.

As their first appearance together came to an end, Biden and his wife Jill Biden, alongside Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff, put on their masks as they exited the school gymnasium where the small, socially distanced appearance was held. 

Biden said, “I asked Kamala to be the last voice in the room. To always tell me the truth, which she will. Challenge my assumptions if she disagrees. Ask the hard questions. Because that’s the way we make the best decisions for the American people.”