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Obama praises Biden for choosing Kamala Harris as running mate

Senator Kamala Harris is the first Black woman on a major presidential ticket in US history/Photo: Senator Kamala Harris/Facebook

 

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s decision to choose Senator Kamala Harris, an African-American senator, as his running mate for the forthcoming US election has been lauded by former President Barack Obama.

Biden served as vice president for eight years under Obama, the first Black US president.

Harris (55), the first Black woman on a major presidential ticket in US history, “is more than prepared for the job”, Obama said in a statement he issued on Wednesday after Biden had announced his choice of the senator. “She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake,” the former president said. “This is a good day for our country. Now let’s go win this thing.”

“I have the great honour to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” Biden said on Twitter on Tuesday, ending speculations on who he would choose to run on the same ticket with him.

Reacting to her nomination, Harris said: “I’m honoured to join Joe Biden in the fight for the soul of our country as the Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee. Joe is a leader who can unify the American people, because he’s spent his life fighting for the American people. And as president, he will build an America that lives up to our ideals.”

“I know that winning this race will be tougher than anything I’ve faced before, but I’ve never been more ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. Donald Trump thinks this country belongs to him. But Joe Biden knows it belongs to all of us. To the people.”

Analysts say Harris provides Biden with a partner well suited to go on the attack against Republican President Donald Trump, who has reacted as expected with attacks on the Black Senator.

Trump on Tuesday called Harris, , a senator from California who made her own run for the White House before ending it and endorsing Biden, the “most horrible” member of the US Senate and said he was “surprised” Joe Biden had picked her as his vice presidential candidate.

Trump told reporters at the White House that Harris did not impress him when she was vying for the Democratic nomination in primaries eventually won by Biden.

“I was more surprised than anything else because she did so poorly,” he said.

Harris, who became only the Senate’s second Black woman in its history when she was elected in 2016, will be relied on to help drive the African-American vote – the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituency.

With social unrest over racial injustice and police brutality against Black Americans rocking the country for months, Biden had been under pressure to select a woman of colour as his running mate.

The former vice president had considered several other Black women, including former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and U.S. Representative Val Demings, a former police chief in Orlando, Florida before choosing Harris.

Harris’s multiple heritage, as she is the daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, is expected to boost her appeal in the Asian-American community.

The US will go to the polls in November to elect a new president or re-elect Trump.

Adira Kallo

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