Yesterday, former Vice President and presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden announced that Senator Kamala Harris would join his ticket as the candidate for Vice President of the United States. The decision came after months of speculation about who would join Biden in his campaign against President Trump in the November 3rd election.
The Biden team had remained tight-lipped for months despite numerous insinuations from the former Vice President that he would tap a female running mate and likely one of color. The decision to align with Harris, who went toe-to-toe with Biden in the Democratic Primary, is certainly a strategic one: Harris had generated a buzz among black and women voters earlier this year and is well poised to help secure those key voter demographics for the former Vice President.
Biden, who has struggled to gain traction on the national stage since outlasting his fellow Democratic hopefuls in the primary, desperately needs to rouse the liberal base and sway centrists if he is to challenge President Trump in November. Additionally, pressure from black voters to select an African American running mate had been mounting since the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the death of George Floyd. And while the names of several potential candidates had been circulated, national polls from as early as June had identified 55-year-old Kamala Harris as the most likely to energize Democratic voters.
The selection of Senator Harris is also a way for Biden to soothe concerns about his age. Biden, now 77 years old, would be the oldest president ever elected to the office should he win in November, a fact that is clearly a concern to the American voter and the Biden camp. At a CNN town hall in New Hampshire on February 5th, the former Vice President acknowledged that his age is an issue, stating that he would need to pick a running mate who would be “ready on day one to be President of the United States” if something should happen to him while in office.