Former Vice President Joe Biden’s selection of Sen. California as his running mate is already creating tension among some Democrats.
Biden, the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, announced Harris as his vice presidential pick Tuesday afternoon, ending weeks of speculation about who he would choose.
CNN’s Chris Cillizza theorized that Biden chose the California Democrat because she checks off all the right boxes: She has already been vetted, she’s experienced, she’s younger than him and she’s a woman of color.
Due to these factors and others, she is considered by some as a safe and logical pick for Biden.
But not all Democrats agree Harris was the right choice.
With so many political landmines for Democrats to navigate amid a political environment which is racially charged and increasingly hostile to law enforcement, Harris has a background which complicates the situation.
Harris’ track record as a longtime prosecutor (she was attorney general of California before being elected to the Senate in 2016, and served as San Francisco district attorney before that) troubles one of the former top aides to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.
Sanders himself praised Biden for picking Harris:
Congratulations to @KamalaHarris, who will make history as our next Vice President. She understands what it takes to stand up for working people, fight for health care for all, and take down the most corrupt administration in history. Let’s get to work and win.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 11, 2020
But Briahna Joy Gray, his campaign’s former national press secretary, lashed out at the Biden/Harris ticket.
“We are in the midst of the largest protest movement in American history, the subject of which is excessive policing, and the Democratic Party chose a ‘top cop’ and the author of the Joe Biden crime bill to save us from Trump,” she wrote on Twitter.
“The contempt for the base is, wow,” she added.
We are in the midst of the largest protest movement in American history, the subject of which is excessive policing, and the Democratic Party chose a “top cop” and the author of the Joe Biden crime bill to save us from Trump.
The contempt for the base is, wow.
— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) August 11, 2020
Other Democrats also took to Twitter to criticize Biden’s decision to pick Harris.
“Well, there you have it,” progressive reporter Jordan Chariton tweeted. Biden “gives the middle finger to progressives, #BlackLivesMatter protesters, and black voters under the age of 50.”
— Jordan (@JordanChariton) August 11, 2020
Other liberals expressed similar sentiments:
Biden going with the strategically brilliant move of picking somebody for VP who is despised by both the right and the left.
— Secular Talk (@KyleKulinski) August 11, 2020
Joe Biden picked the cop.
— Gravel Institute (@GravelInstitute) August 11, 2020
Biden locking down the crucial swing state of California
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) August 11, 2020
We said ??????? the police, not elect them.
— Albert Lee for the People ? (@AlbertLee2020) August 11, 2020
This is when everyone who either said they would never vote for Bernie in the general or argued that he could never win bc he’s a socialist Jew will attack anyone criticizing Harris for strategic or moral reasons as handing the election to Trump.
— Katie Halper (@kthalps) August 11, 2020
congratulations to Kamala Harris!! ? pic.twitter.com/doDmsoWtBH
— Rob (@robrousseau) August 11, 2020
Two years ago we said on @TheYoungTurks that the establishment wanted @SenKamalaHarris as president. Here we are. She’s batter up. Whether she ran a good campaign, the voters wanted her or not, the establishment in this system almost always gets what they want. The band plays on.
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) August 11, 2020
Kamala’s presidential campaign was a total humiliating disaster. One of the worst of all time, considering the amount of unearned hype she received. Did everybody miss that, or what?
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) August 11, 2020
While many Democrats are criticizing Harris, others are praising her as a wise pick for Biden.
Former President Barack Obama was among the latter:
I’ve known Senator @KamalaHarris for a long time. She is more than prepared for the job. She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake. This is a good day for our country. Now let’s go win this thing. pic.twitter.com/duJhFhWp6g
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 11, 2020
“I’ve known Senator @KamalaHarris for a long time. She is more than prepared for the job. She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake. This is a good day for our country. Now let’s go win this thing,” he tweeted.
In a statement, Obama added: “Choosing a vice president is the first important decision a president makes.
“When you’re in the Oval Office, weighing the toughest issues, and the choice you make will affect the lives and livelihoods of the entire country — you need someone with you who’s got the judgment and the character to make the right call.”
“Joe Biden nailed this decision. By choosing Senator Kamala Harris as America’s next vice president, he’s underscored his own judgment and character,” he added.
“Reality shows us that these attributes are not optional in a president. They’re requirements of the job. And now Joe has an ideal partner to help him tackle the very real challenges America faces right now and in the years ahead.”
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