Kamala Harris finally ended the suspense and on Sunday morning announced which candidate she plans to support for president. Citing the civil rights movement, the senator from California and former presidential candidate said she will be endorsing Joe Biden.
Harris tweeted a video Sunday morning making the announcement.
Harris also made her endorsement on a Medium post published Sunday morning.
“There is no one better prepared than Joe to steer our nation through these turbulent times, and restore truth, honor, and decency to the Oval Office. He is kind and endlessly caring, and he truly listens to the American people,” she wrote in part. “You can see in his eyes how he takes to heart the experiences of mothers and fathers working to make ends meet and worrying about whether their children can be safe in their classroom, or young people who fight tirelessly to tackle climate change as they ask for a fair shot at the future in front of them. And with a lifetime in public service, Joe has a proven track record of getting things done.”
In the video, Harris said that she was in Alabama to commemorate the 55th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and implied that she was motivated to endorse Biden because she was “thinking about all the folks who for generations have fought and died for our civil rights.”
The announcement of her endorsement came as rumors were heating up that Harris may be among the people Biden is considering to be his vice-presidential running mate should he win the Democratic nomination. And while there seemed to be a consensus that Biden needed a Black woman to be his vice-presidential candidate, that was far from the case over which Black woman it should be. However, it was only in January when Biden specifically said he would “consider” Harris for “anything,” leading some to believe he was talking in the context of her possibly being his running mate.
“She’s qualified to be president, and I’d consider her for anything that she would be interested in,” Biden said during a taping of the Sacramento Bee’s California Nation podcast.
The endorsement could have also been seen as a snub to her friend and senatorial colleague Elizabeth Warren, the only woman with a viable path to the Democratic nomination remaining in the race.
While the question of who Harris would endorse was finally answered, it was unclear whether her endorsement would also bolster Biden’s commanding lead with Black voters. Coincidentally, Biden lost Harris’ state of California to Bernie Sanders during the Super Tuesday primary there last week. Having Harris on Team Biden could change that in a head-to-head general election against Donald Trump in November.
The New York Times reported in late January that she was considering endorsing Joe Biden and her spokesperson said at the time that “No decisions have been made about whether she will endorse, which candidate, nor when an endorsement decision will be made.”
While it is politically advantageous for Biden to have Harris’ support, it was not a forgone conclusion that she would endorse him. Back in June, she called out the former vice president during the second Democratic debate over his comments citing the “civility” of two segregationist senators.
“I do not believe you are a racist,” Harris said directly to the former vice president. But she said his words were “hurtful” and said Biden worked with the late Mississippi Sen. James O. Eastland, a Democrat who made no secret that he was in favor of segregation, and Georgia Sen. Herman Talmadge, to oppose bussing students.
Harris said that she was actually bussed to school as a child, so his words resonated deeply with her.
And although Harris cited the civil rights movement in her video endorsement, Biden has been getting a ton of heat for his civil rights record. Biden has repeatedly and knowingly lied about his involvement in the civil rights movement, according to a damning report from the New York Times in June. Despite his advisers reminding him of the truth, Biden has “kept telling the story anyway,” the Times reported at the time. The history of those alleged civil rights lies by Biden began more than 30 years ago and has continued on his current campaign trial as political rivals repeatedly call him out for it.
Nevertheless, Harris still endorsed him. But she was not the only person Biden was reportedly considering to be his running mate. There were also reports that he was grooming Stacey Abrams to be his vice-presidential candidate, and just last week Florida Rep. Val Demings‘ name entered that same conversation.
Harris’ endorsement comes just days before another set of primaries was scheduled to take place on Tuesday when voters in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington will make their electoral voices heard and possibly give Biden an insurmountable delegates lead over Sanders.
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