The Democratic National Convention has just finished this week with speeches delivered by various establishment democrats and previous presidents announcing their full support for Biden and highlighting the danger America faces with Donald Trump in charge.
It was also a chance to see the Democratic Party coalesce around the newly formed Biden-Harris ticket, having only announced Harris as his choice for vice president the week before. Despite the polls showing Joe Biden the favourite to win the presidential election in November, who he picked as his running mate was crucial.
There are various reasons why Kamala Harris was the best possible candidate Biden could have picked to be alongside him to go head to head against the Trump administration later this year.
Firstly, the job of vice president is to be able to step into the president’s shoes should the president be unable to carry out their job. Undoubtedly, Harris is ready to be president. With her experience as a senator, she understands Washington and how to get things done, but she was also California’s attorney general where she ran the California justice department.
A reason why being able to be president is especially important this election is the fact that Biden will be 78 on inauguration day and will be 84 when he finishes his first term, making him a very old president.
Biden was labelled ‘Sleepy Joe’ by Trump due to the fact he often makes gaffes and stumbles on his sentences, and he is widely described as to be deteriorating and may even step down after a term or even earlier.
However, the idea Joe Biden would just pass the baton to Harris is ludicrous, he has been running for president most of his life, first doing so 33 years ago. He will be desperate to get his hands on the oval office desk and experience being in charge of one of the biggest countries in the world, but having Harris by his side will be a great asset.
Harris will be useful in attacking Trump, considering Biden’s slogan is about regaining the ‘soul of America’ so to see him on the television attacking Trump, which is easy to do, may not fit his narrative. Harris will be a more aggressive vice president than usual, she made various attacks in her first public speech as nominee and emphasised how Trump often inherits and runs to the ground multiple organisations including the USA and many of his businesses.
Harris has also shown herself to be a good debater and a successful prosecutor of arguments. Biden learnt of her skill to his detriment during the democratic debate when she confronted him over his position on busing, which she was directly affected by.
Biden’s attacks have been fairly tame considering the number of horrendous policy decisions and comments which Trump has made, however, with Harris on the ticket as well, the campaign can focus on attacking Trump and highlight the extreme differences between how the Biden administration will govern.
Having discussed how the Biden campaign will attack Trump it is also true that the Trump campaign will try and attack the opposition as well. Harris is well known amongst US politics enthusiasts so has to some extent been already vetted and answered questions on all her polarising decisions and policy stances – making her difficult to attack.
Trump has tried to smear Harris by using the same racist lie he used about Obama and these racist attacks from Trump further exacerbate the reasons why Americans should vote for the Biden-Harris ticket over that of Trump. A smear often aimed at the Democrats from Republicans is that the Biden campaign is part of the looney radical left and would destroy the country. But Harris, who is no centrist, is not part of the Bernie Sanders socialist wing of the party, so that attack will fail to land.
Corporations, who expect beneficial policies in return, are an easy way to get large amounts of money for a campaign. As depressing as it is, it is almost impossible to run a presidential campaign without large amounts of backing from big business’.
Harris is a senator from California which is the home of many rich Democratic donors, so she has massive fundraising power. The Harris announcement was preceded by the best fundraising day of the Biden campaign, raising $26 million in 24 hours. This fundraising power Harris has will be crucial for Biden, who has failed to enthuse voters, although her fundraising may cause the Democratic administration to be very favourable to corporate interest instead of more radical, pro-worker policies.
The election looms ever closer and from previous experiences, anything can happen. It is not guaranteed that Biden will be president. Biden and Harris will have to campaign hard and provide a positive vision for America post-recession and after the coronavirus pandemic.
By having Harris as his vice president, Biden will help in improving his chances of becoming president. Bidens’ pick for Harris as his vice president is also important and historical as she’s the first black and south Asian woman to be on the presidential ticket.
Representation is important in politics, and by having a diverse ticket the Democrats can appeal to the diverse nature of the American population and specifically Democratic voters. Harris has often campaigned under the slogan ‘for the people’ and if she and Biden can provide a policy platform for the people of the USA, they can win the election and ‘restore the soul of America’.