The announcement of Biden’s VP pick immediately sent shock waves through the political world and caused controversy among people on both sides of the aisle. Joe Biden’s VP pick could easily determine the outcome of the 2020 election and Kamala Harris is a very strong pick politically. The immigrant born California Democrat could change the balance of power significantly for both Republicans and Democrats in Washington. Kamala Harris could create a coalition of voters to outvote the incumbent Donald Trump or the new VP could be seen as a threat by other Washington natives. The political importance of Kamala Harris is not only due to her background, but also what she represents for the future of the Democratic Party.
Kamala Harris has the ability to shake up the identity of the Democratic Party in the future if she wins the election. First, Harris is a “California Democrat” similar to Elizabeth Warren and this VP term could solidify the political influence of “California Democrats” in Washington for future elections. Second, Harris’ history with law enforcement regulation could set the Democratic agenda for dealing with the current police crisis that plagues America. Third, Harris’ multiracial background could pave the way for a political coalition of immigrant groups that helps secure future Democratic victories. Finally, Harris’ time in office could swing the Democratic leadership more left on key issues; However, the political qualities of Harris do not guarantee a win for Democrats.
The Democratic ticket for 2020 is not perfect even with Harris because of the multiple divisions within the Democratic Party Itself. Ironically these divisions were visible during a debate between Biden and Harris herself. Harris and Biden’s divide shows that even among Democrats there is no clear consensus on certain key issues. The money raised Immediately after Harris’ pick shows that the group that she is courting has political money to go around; However, the true test will be how many people of these less mainstream groups show up to the polls in November. Trump may be weakening in public support, but his main supporters are significantly more likely to vote compared to some democratic groups such as African Americans. The Biden and Harris ticket will reveal whether this new Democratic coalition is an unstoppable force or all bark and no bite.
Sources: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/08/11/kamala-harris-vp-background-bio-biden-running-mate-2020-393885, http://bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-53745141, http://foxnews.com/politics/biden-says-his-campaigns-hauled-in-26m-since-choosing-harris, http://politico.com/news/magazine/2020/08/09/san-francisco-democrats-took-over-392613