Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his vice presidential pick Sen. Kamala Harris will make their first public appearance as running mates Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware.
The remarks are expected to begin at 4:30 p.m. ET. Watch in the video player above.
Both Biden and Harris are expected to deliver remarks before attending a virtual grassroots event in the evening. Biden announced Harris as his running mate Tuesday afternoon, ending the months of speculation that followed Biden’s signal in March that he would pick a woman as his vice president.
The 55-year-old Harris was elected to the Senate in 2016 after serving as California’s attorney general. Harris competed against Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination but left the race before voting began as she struggled to raise money.
Born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, Harris is used to “a string of firsts in her life,” says Debbie Walsh, the director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.
“I would say that what is exciting about watching this selection is that it changes the face of the future of the Democratic Party. And I think sets the tone for where we may be going when it comes to politics in this country,” Walsh says.
Harris joins Biden in the 2020 race at a moment of unprecedented national crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 160,000 people in the U.S., far more than the toll experienced in other countries.
In Harris, Walsh says Biden gets a partner well versed in policy with an “extraordinary ability on the debate stage.”
“So I think she brings a lot substantively to the table for him. I think also she fills in some gaps for him,” Walsh says.
But Harris is not without detractors. Her record as California attorney general and district attorney in San Francisco was heavily scrutinized during the Democratic primary and turned away some liberals and younger Black voters who saw her as out of step on issues of racism in the legal system and police brutality.
She has also already been attacked by the Trump campaign as “a phony” who will “embrace the radical left.”
Walsh says as the first multiracial female vice presidential candidate, both sides “may hurl all kinds of things at her.”
But she says it’s something Harris is well used to. “The thing about Kamala Harris that has come through her entire career is she’s a tough cookie. And she’ll come back. She’ll fight back.”
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