After months of speculation, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate.
Leading up to the reveal, many feared his decision would be anticlimactic. Instead, it was historic.
Harris became the third woman ever nominated for the position of vice president.
Geraldine Ferraro was the Democratic nominee in 1984 while Sarah Palin ran as the GOP’s candidate in 2008. Their vice presidential bids ended unsuccessfully in both instances.
But the nomination of Harris to the second-highest office in the nation is different. If elected, Harris would not only be the first female to serve in the position but she would also be the first woman of color to achieve such status.
The daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, Harris has both African-American and Asian-American heritage, making her accession to the presidential ticket truly significant.
However, to define Harris solely on the basis of race and gender would be wrong. As a former attorney general, Harris has a commanding yet compassionate demeanor that inspires enthusiasm. Immediately following their announcement, the excitement was palpable.
According to journalist Max Greenwood, the Biden-Harris campaign raised $48 million in the first 48 hours after her introduction. But despite this early success, criticism of Harris quickly surfaced.
When addressing reporters on her candidacy, President Donald Trump described Harris as “nasty” adding that she “was the meanest, most horrible, most disrespectful of anybody in the U.S. Senate.”
The derogatory terms used by Trump evoke memories of the sexist playbook he employed against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
However, much has changed since then. The Time’s Up and #MeToo movements have empowered women across the country and challenged men to question old stereotypes.
And although Trump will continue to spout his misogynistic rhetoric, it will likely fall on increasingly deaf ears.
Policy questions aside, a Biden-Harris union is the perfect metaphor for unity. While a racially diverse, mixed-gender ticket may not heal all of our nation’s wounds, it offers a more accurate representation of our society.
With less than three months remaining until Election Day, a once unattainable glass ceiling is on the verge of being shattered. And Kamala Harris is the ideal candidate to smash through it.
Whether she succeeds or not, Harris is already a winner.