Kamala Harris, California Senator

By Rosetta Miller Perry

Seldom has the choice of a Vice-Presidential candidate been more important than this time for Democratic Presidential candidate/former Vice President Joseph Biden. He needs a choice who is not only dynamic and extremely competent, but one capable of exciting the elements of the party’s base that did not come out and vote in full force in 2016. Minority voters, especially Blacks, as well as young people and progressives, never warmed to Hillary Clinton in

Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

the manner they had twice for Barack Obama. The results delivered an unqualified and embarrassing buffoon who didn’t even want to win, but ended up in the White House, despite losing the popular vote. In several key states, just enough voters from the previous coalition that had carried Obama to two victories either stayed home or had their votes widely suppressed.

As a result we have a man in office whose lack of integrity, crooked moral compass and competence is the lowest in history, much worse than Richard Nixon who was successfully impeached.  Trump has now decided to emulate the campaign tactics of not Nixon but George Wallace. He openly embraces and encourages racist language, sometimes in coded form when he talks about his ideas of “law and order,” other times directly as when he retweeted a scene in which the chant “white power” can be loudly and clearly heard. When numerous people in both parties objected to that particular tweet, Trump’s response was to first delete it, then later claim he hadn’t heard the chant. The fact that it happened in the first eight seconds of the video didn’t mean anything to Trump, who consistently tells so many lies on a daily basis he can’t keep them all straight. He also has called people protesting against police misconduct and systemic racism “thugs.” 

Trump MUST BE DEFEATED in November, and that’s why Biden’s VP choice must be someone with the ideal combination of experience, political savviness and charisma. There are numerous highly qualified Black women who fit that role, but in our  view the most qualified candidate would be current California Senator Kamala Harris. Before winning election to the Senate in 2017, Harris was the District Attorney of San Francisco for seven years, and then a two-time state attorney general until 2016. She’s an HBCU graduate (Howard University) and her long track record of public service shows that she has plenty of experience as well as distinctive expertise. While no one ever wants to think this way, the reality is the Vice-President is literally a heartbeat from the presidency, and Biden’s age makes it vital that he have a VP candidate who could step in at a minute’s notice and take over. Harris would have no problem assuming the nation’s top spot.

There are many out there who want other choices, notably Stacy Abrams, whose narrow loss in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election was due as much to questionable tactics by her opponent Brian Kemp.  Abrams spent 10 years in the Georgia legislature, and was minority leader from 2011 to 2017. She now concentrates on fighting voter suppression, and  in February of 2019 she became the first Black woman to deliver a response to the State of the Union address. She would unquestionably be an asset as Biden’s Vice-President. 

But there’s another role that would serve America even better, and where she could stay a lot longer than four or eight years. A Biden victory will mean he gets to name at minimum one new Supreme Court Justice and possibly two. That’s a lifetime position, and at 46 Abrams would be in position to make critical rulings that could preserve Affirmative Action, and finally balance the toxic presence of Clarence Thomas on the bench. Abrams would be a breath of fresh air and give the court at least a 5-4 margin in the opposite direction from what it usually is now.

The nation desperately needs to get rid of Donald Trump.  Period.  It’s time for people to stop spouting ridiculous rhetoric and making esoteric demands on candidates. There are millions of people who’ve lost their jobs due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, which is disproportionately affecting Black communities nationwide. Something substantive must be done regarding police misconduct and brutality, as well as economic disparity. The Trump administration claims to be more interested in Black empowerment than its Democratic rivals, but he has no qualms about employing racist language and getting cozy with hardcore white racists. Kamala Harris could help him generate more excitement and passion for Biden’s campaign.

This is one that’s too important to fool around with when it comes to a vice-presidential choice. We believe that Kamala Harris makes the most sense and would be the best selection.