ELECTION 2020

Harris Makes History In Accepting VP Nomination

Aug 20, 2020, 5:21 AM
Democratic vice presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks on the third night of th...
Democratic vice presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks on the third night of the Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center August 19, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. Harris is the first African-American, first Asian-American, and third female vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Kamala Harris accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday, cementing her place in history as the first Black woman on a major party ticket and promising she and Joe Biden will rejuvenate a country ravaged by a pandemic and riven by racial and partisan divides.

In an address capping the third night of the virtual Democratic National Convention, the California senator evoked the lessons of her late mother, Shyamala Gopalan, a biologist and Indian immigrant, saying she instilled in her a vision of “our nation as a beloved community — where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from or who we love.”

“In this election, we have a chance to change the course of history,” Harris said. “We’re all in this fight.”

Harris also spoke of her Jamaican father and getting a ”stroller’s eye view” of the civil rights movement as her parents protested in the streets in the 1960s.

“There is no vaccine for racism,” Harris said. “We have got to do the work.”

Harris was preceded in the convention program by Barack Obama, meaning the nation’s first Black president introduced the woman trying to be the first Black person to hold the vice presidency. Obama said Harris was an “ideal partner” for Biden and was “more than prepared for the job.”

Harris is a former district attorney and California state attorney general. She promised to speak “truths” to the American public. She said she and Biden, who tapped her as his running mate last week, believe in a country where “we may not agree on every detail, but we are united by the fundamental belief that every human being is of infinite worth, deserving of compassion, dignity and respect.”

Democrats hope Harris can galvanize their party’s faithful — who are divided between progressive and moderate wings — and win over swing voters still deciding between Biden and Trump. But she also was introducing herself to a national audience that may not have been paying close attention to the race until now.

“For somebody with her wealth of background and experience, she’s still fresh. She’s still new,” said Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus who endorsed Harris’ 2020 presidential primary run before throwing her support behind Biden in March.

Harris spoke at a convention center in Biden’s home state of Delaware that was empty except for socially distanced reporters and a few campaign staffers. She was introduced by her sister, Maya, her niece Meena and Ella Emhoff, her stepdaughter who calls her “Momala.” At the end of her speech, Biden walked out to join her from a distance and both were soon joined by their spouses.

In sweeping remarks that touched on the legacy of Black women who paved the way for this moment, Harris noted that this week marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Except that right, Harris said, came much later for most Black women, who helped secure that victory yet were still prohibited from voting.

“Without fanfare or recognition, they organized, testified, rallied, marched, and fought — not just for their vote, but for a seat at the table,” Harris said. “We’re not often taught their stories. But as Americans, we all stand on their shoulders.”

 

The Biden campaign is hoping Harris can excite young voters and people of color, especially after months of protests over institutional racism and police brutality that swept the country. She’s known for her tough questioning in the Senate, particularly during confirmation hearings of two Trump nominees, Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court justice and William Barr for attorney general. She also caused a stir by broadsiding Biden during a primary debate last summer over his opposition to busing in the 1970s to integrate public schools.

But things didn’t always go smoothly. Harris launched her presidential bid with expectations that she would electrify the field, only to see her campaign struggle to find a consistent message and fizzle months before the first votes were cast.

Some voters are paying particularly close attention to Harris because she could be called upon to step into the role of party standard-bearer as soon as 2024, should Biden — who will be 81 by then — opt not to seek a second term. Biden hasn’t expressly said he’d serve just a single term, but he has talked about being a bridge to a new generation.

Harris said her mother instilled in her and her sister values that charted the course of their lives.

“She raised us to be proud, strong Black women,” Harris said. “And she raised us to know and be proud of our Indian heritage.”

The campaign is deeply personal for Harris in others ways, too. She spoke Wednesday of her friendship with the former vice president’s son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015. He and Harris became close while both were state attorneys general.

“I knew Joe as vice president. I knew Joe on the campaign trail,” she said. “But I first got to know Joe as the father of my friend.”

___

Weissert reported from Washington and Stafford from Detroit.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Election 2020

An Atlanta-area special grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump's attempts to overtu...
Sara Murray and Jason Morris, CNN

Graham, Giuliani, Eastman and other Trump advisers subpoenaed in Georgia election probe

An Atlanta-area special grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia has subpoenaed a handful of key Trump allies, including his former attorney and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham
1 day ago
Voters cast ballots at an early voting polling location for the 2020 Presidential election at Madis...
SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN and MORGAN LEE Associated Press

Screams, threats as New Mexico counties try to certify vote

Deep-seated conspiracy theories about the security of voting machines erupted into heated, angry and at times threatening outbursts as New Mexico counties were deciding whether to certify results from their recent primary.
19 days ago
Richard Nixon (1913 - 1994) gives the thumbs up as he addresses the White House staff upon his resi...
CALVIN WOODWARD Associated Press

Watergate 50th intersects Jan. 6 hearings

Watergate and Jan. 6 are a half-century apart but in both episodes, a president tried to do an end run around democracy.
19 days ago
Couy Griffin New Mexico elections...
MORGAN LEE Associated Press

New Mexico prosecutor says GOP county must certify vote or legal action will follow

New Mexico's top prosecutor on Thursday told a Republican-led county commission to comply with an order to certify results from its primary election, the latest development in a case arising from far-right conspiracy theories over voting machines that have spread across the country.
20 days ago
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 27: Republican Senate candidate from Nevada Adam Laxalt sits near Florida Gov...
MICHELLE L. PRICE and KEN RITTER Associated Press

Laxalt’s Nevada win sets up fierce race for Senate control

A former Nevada attorney general who has embraced lies about the 2020 election has won the Republican nomination for a pivotal U.S. Senate seat. Adam Laxalt fended off a challenge from political newcomer Sam Brown.
21 days ago
FILE PHOTO: Otero County Commission Chairman and Cowboys for Trump co-founder Couy Griffin. Griffin...
MORGAN LEE Associated Press

Republican-led commission refuses to certify New Mexico primary vote

Votes in a New Mexico community are at risk of not counting after a Republican-led commission refused to approve primary election results over distrust of Dominion vote-tallying machines.
21 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Harris Makes History In Accepting VP Nomination