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California Senator Kamala Harris makes history as the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket.
By Danny J. Bakewell, Jr., Executive Editor
Published August 13, 2020

U.S Senator Kamala Harris (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel)

Joe Biden Selects Kamala Harris as Vice Presidential Running Mate

By all accounts, Joe Biden should easily walk into the White House following the November elections.  Donald Trump should be a one term-president, and America could be rid of the nightmare we’ve been in for the past 3 ¾ years, leading to the end of his four-year term.  On Tuesday, August 11, 2020 former Vice President Joe Biden took one step closer to becoming the 46th President of the United States by selecting California Senator Kamala Harris as his Democratic running mate.  A historic selection, Harris becomes the first Black woman to run on the Democratic Party’s national ticket for vice president.

In selecting Harris, Biden has put aside issues which came up when the two candidates debated when competing for the presidential nomination.  Biden selected his former presidential rival over a host of other highly qualified women.  He has, however, selected a seasoned politician who understands the challenges of competing in a national campaign.

Senator Harris is 55-years-old.  Born in October of 1964, she is the last of the Baby Boomers and born on the cusp of Generation X.  She is part of the next generation; a generation not quite ready to retire, but who contemplates how they will make ends meet if they do.  Furthermore, Harris is a mother of young adult children who represent a generation of Millennials, uncertain about surviving in a country that is struggling with unemployment, skyrocketing-housing costs, and college tuition loans, leaving them burdening in debt before they ever really get started in life.

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Senator Harris checks all of the boxes that Biden needs to ensure victory come November 3, 2020.  Harris joins Biden in the 2020 race at a moment of unprecedented national crisis. COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 160,000 people in the U.S.  Furthermore, the U.S. is facing a major racism crisis, where the treatment of African Americans by the police and within society in general, have become major social issues in America and throughout the presidential campaign.

Joe Biden is 77-years-old and if he wins, will have turned 78 before his inauguration.   By the end of his first term, he will be 82.  He needs to have a running mate who is part of and can relate to the younger generations of voters.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are running mates for the 2020 presidential election. (Twitter)

Obviously, putting together a team that will win in November is key for Biden, but America also has to have confidence in the question no one ever wants to ask. “If something happens to the President, is the Veep ready and able to step in?” In this coming election, America does not only have to ask themselves, “Trump or Biden” but are also forced to ask themselves, “Pence or Harris?”  Obviously, the answer is Harris.

Trump’s poor handling of the nation’s health crisis and the issues on race have given Biden an opportunity to seize even more momentum and strengthen his position against Trump. In adding Harris to the ticket, he can point to her relatively centrist record on issues such as health care and her background in law enforcement in the nation’s largest state.  Harris also will inspire the Black vote, a vote that paved the way for former President Barack Obama, and a vote desperately needed to put Joe Biden in the White House.

The African American voters of South Carolina revived the Biden presidential campaign, a campaign that was appearing to be fledgling.  This kind of spike in support and the ability to inspire African Americans to show up to the polls (or absentee ballot) in the November election will carry a Biden-Harris team to victory.  The Democratic Party cannot afford to have a traditional and unmotivating ticket, which caused so many voters to stay home in 2012, allowing Donald Trump to sneak into the presidency.

California Senator, Kamala Harris poses with a future voter at the annual Taste of Soul festival in South L.A. (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel)

Although there were other potential nominees for VP, in the end, it was the first time Senator from California who got the nod.

Senator Harris was the strongest candidate on the list and is the clearest path to victory in November.  Her political ascent has been nothing but phenomenal.  She worked for the San Francisco city attorney before she was twice-elected as the City’s district attorney.  She won a tightly contested race to become California Attorney General (She won by less than 1% – the Los Angeles Sentinel was the first media outlet in the nation to declare her the winner).   By anyone’s observation, she has been a fighter for the people, and all things being considered, she ran a pretty viable presidential campaign as well.  She has also been at the forefront for police reform and criminal justice reform. Biden calls Harris “a fearless fighter for the little guy.”

“My hat’s off to Vice President Joe Biden for selecting my friend, Kamala Harris as his nominee for vice president.  Kamala is a strong and amazing woman; she has the compassion and leadership skills necessary to help lead this nation.  We are experiencing unprecedented challenges within this country.  Between this pandemic and the issues of race and police brutality, and all of the other challenges that we face as a nation, there is no finer choice to help get the country back on course than Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.  Let’s all get out and vote,” stated Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. – civil rights activist and executive Publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel & Chairman of Bakewell Media.

Kamala Harris (center) with L.A. community leaders, visits the Los Angeles Sentinel during the annual Taste of Soul festival. (L-R) Calif. State Senator Holly Mitchell, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, former LAPD Chief Bernard Parks, L.A. County Board Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, California Senator Kamala Harris, L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, Los Angeles Sentinel & L.A. Watts Times Executive Publisher/CEO Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., former L.A. City Councilmeber Wendy Gruel, L.A. City Councilmember Herb Wesson and former Calif. State Assemblymember Mike Davis. (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel)

(L-R) U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, Founder & Creator of Taste of Soul and Chairman of the Brotherhood Crusade Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. and President of the Brotherhood Crusade Charisse Bremond-Weaver (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel)

In a recent poll taken by the University of Virginia – Center for Politics, it was Kamala Harris who led all other candidates, including Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Val Demmings [FL] and Stacey Abrams as the potential vice-presidential nominee.    The poll points out some concerns that her time serving as a DA and as an AG may turn off some liberals, but surely not enough to detract them to the Trump/Pence ticket.   On the positive side, her actual friendship with Biden and her close relationship to former President Barack Obama are BIG plusses.  She will shine under the bright lights of a Presidential campaign and most believe that in a vice-presidential debate, Harris would as one Sentinel reader put it, “Whoop Mike Pence’ Ass!”

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Biden is the Democratic Party’s nominee, largely because of the support he has garnered across the nation from the African American Community.  In late February, 2020, the African American community became Biden’s base when South Carolina Congressional Representative James Clyburn and his endorsement catapulted Biden to victory in the state and pulled the former vice president’s campaign out of a tailspin that rocketed him past Pete Butigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who had all defeated Biden in the Iowa Caucuses just a few weeks earlier.

Joe Biden (Robert Torrence/L.A. Sentinel)

Clyburn told MSNBC that he had received a call earlier in the day to inform him of his pick.  Minority Whip Clyburn said, “He was overjoyed with the selection and was confident that Senator Harris was the right choice to serve as his running mate.”

Senator Harris has proven herself to be a seasoned politician and tireless campaigner, and will add a tremendous boost to energizing voters to defeat Donald Trump this November.

Her no-nonsense approach and seasoned litigator skills in last summer’s debate was a clear indication to the nation that Harris is a force on the national scene and worthy of her vice-presidential selection.  The former California attorney general even challenged Biden during the Democratic presidential primary debate about his opposition to school busing and his relationship to White segregationist in the 70’s when African American’s were lobbying for busing as a way to fight segregation.

But, that brief glimpse into a tenuous moment between the Biden and Harris did not stop Biden from selecting Harris as his running mate and the next Vice President of the United States.  In today’s political climate, a little agitation is good; it helps get the dirt out.  Because of the many issues that face our country today, from police and justice system reform, to financial recovery from the Corona Virus, to the reality that more Black and Brown people are dying from COVID-19, we need a candidate who is in touch, who brings a pulse to the community while addressing our needs.

Harris is leader who comes from a generation that understands the need to bridge the gap between the haves and the have nots; a leader who is not afraid to have the uncomfortable conversations about race and racism in America.

Kamala Harris (center) walks with Danny J Bakewell, Sr. at Taste of Soul.

 

 

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