The intrigue of recent months has been resolved – who will the US presidential candidate from the Democratic Party Joe Biden choose as his partner. There were many options, but from some point, it became obvious that the choice would fall on a dark-skinned woman. However, there were many candidates here too – from progressive Stacy Abrams to moderate Kamala Harris. Biden chose Harris as a potential vice president – and this decision is both good and bad at the same time.
Why choosing Harris is a good decision
There are many different polls in America. Not so long ago, experts asked people whether they believe that Joe Biden if he wins the elections, will “sit out” to the end of at least the first term. Most of the respondents said they did not believe in this outcome. Only 14% of American voters are confident that Biden will make it to the end of his term – probably a record low in the history of the United States.
In such a situation, the vice president becomes a “hidden president”, because, in the event of the forced resignation of 77-year-old Joe Biden, his vice president will lead the country without any elections. So what is Kamala Harris good at?
Firstly, she is young and energetic – she is only 55 years old (a teenage age for current US presidential candidates). She looks much more active than the frankly apathetic Biden.
Secondly, she is very moderate in her views, and will not scare off the moderate electorate, which could be afraid of the radicalism of the progressive Stacy Abrams or Elizabeth Warren.
Thirdly, she has sufficient experience in politics (4 years as a senator from California), but at the same time, she did not appear in the Obama administration. In this context, this is a plus – the choice of a person from the Obama cabinet would certainly allow opponents to accuse Biden of not leading the country forward, but trying to return to the times of the last US president. Therefore, the choice of Kamala Harris is significantly better than, for example, the decision to make Susan Rice, ex-national security adviser, her vice president.
Fourth, Kamala Harris comes from the security forces. She worked for 13 years in senior positions in the California judiciary, from where she went for promotion to the US Senate. This will somewhat mitigate fears that Vice President Biden may actively support the protests and disperse the police to please the radicals – it is unlikely that Harris will destroy the structures from which she herself emerged.
And finally, fifth. Kamala Harris is a dark-skinned woman, which in theory should attract female and African American voters to Biden’s side. Of course, this choice is better than the conventional “white heterosexual man from Vermont,” but here it is not so simple. And that’s why.
Why choosing Harris is a bad decision
There is a long tradition in the United States of America that the president and his understudy are elected in pairs. For a wise politician, choosing a vice president is an opportunity to get votes from those categories of voters who do not personally sympathize with him.
An ideal example: the secular and moderate Trump chose the ideological evangelist Mike Pence, who is in many ways his complete opposite, and defeated Hillary Clinton, who took her like-minded Tim Kane as her partner.
Joe Biden was the main focus of the Democratic establishment. However, he was not the only candidate from the party elites. If Biden failed, Kamala Harris was supposed to represent the ruling circles in the primaries. But is it really that bad?
First, the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris pairing is simply the epitome of everything progressive Democrats hate. There are quite a few of them in the party, it was their leaders – Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren – who for a long time were in the first roles in the race for the nomination. Now, these politicians have simply been kicked out of the ruling circles. So why should progressives support those who once again “stole the victory from their candidates.”
Second, Kamala Harris has already been rejected by voters. By the time he left the race, Kamala’s rating dropped to 2% among Democrats. In an attempt to save the day, Harris tried to appear as something she was not – either she went into progressivism and supported the radical proposals of Bernie Sanders, then she attacked her like-minded person Joe Biden. It was all feigned and terribly fake – and Trump noticed it and called her “fake.” Now Kamala will have to distance herself from Biden’s views to the left – and it will look insincere. Will voters believe her?
Thirdly, Kamala Harris, of course, is dark-skinned. But the details are important here. Her mother is from India and her father is from Jamaica. It is categorically wrong to think that all African Americans are “smeared with one world.” For representatives of African American communities, the descendants of slaves, Harris is as alien as Joe Biden or Donald Trump.
Fourth, there is one very unpleasant scandal behind Kamala Harris, which looks very bad during the Black Lives Matter protests. During her tenure as a California attorney, Harris kept people in jail with proof of their innocence but did not provide lawyers. It was the opening of these facts that brought Harris’ rating down to almost zero. Will protestors against police brutality vote for a prosecutor who is seen abusing her authority? The question is rhetorical.
Fifth, Harris has “sins” not only in the eyes of the police protesters. MeToo activists will hardly forgive Harris for the fact that she made her career “through the bed.” San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown said Harris slept with him for a promotion. Then Brown was 60 years old, and young Kamala was only 29, and the mayor of San Francisco was married, but this did not prevent him from meeting Harris and actively promoting her in the service. Feminists will clearly not approve of this.
And sixth, Kamala Harris is the California candidate. California is a huge “blue citadel”, a state that has been voting Democratic for decades. There, Biden does not need a strengthening of his position, but in vacillating states, it would be very useful. But Kamala has, in principle, no ties with undecided states and will not be able to help in any way.
To summarize this analysis: Kamala Harris is far from the best match for Joe Biden. It has some advantages, but it leaves too many areas for attack from the Republicans. Trump has already released the first campaign video against the Biden-Harris couple, and this is just the beginning.