Joe Biden’s announcement of Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as his running mate on Tuesday was met with heavily mixed reactions from both sides of the political aisle, as reported by various sources.
On social media, while many figures in the Democratic Party’s establishment—from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to former President Barack Obama—lauded Harris’s selection, grassroots activists and commentators were not as pleased.
Some on Twitter pointed out Harris’s past as a prosecutor in California, first as San Francisco’s district attorney then as the state’s attorney general, and how she disproportionately targeted minorities with harsh sentences. Others noted that she had been one of Biden’s most vocal critics in the past, even going so far as to say that she believed Tara Reade, the former Senate staffer who has credibly accused Biden of sexual assault.
Brown, who had given Harris her first job in politics while they were dating in the 1990s (when she was 30 and he was 60), wrote in his column for the San Francisco Chronicle in which he suggested that Harris reject the nomination if offered. Brown argued that the vice presidency, historically, has rarely led to higher office for the vice president, and that Harris’s skills and record made her better suited for U.S. attorney general.
Political journalist Niall Stanage highlighted three advantages and disadvantages of the Harris pick at The Hill. Among the pros are her minority status—as a black woman and the daughter of immigrants (an Indian mother and a Jamaican father)—as well as her alleged debating skills and the fact that she was a “safe” choice, approved by the Democratic Party elite and representing an already solidly blue state rather than a swing state.
The cons, however, were noticeable: Her own bid for the presidency failed spectacularly, even after she briefly rose to the top of the polls following the first Democratic primary debate.
Harris also has a reputation—with a record to back it—as an overly harsh prosecutor, whose actions were at odds with progressives who demand softer treatment of criminals. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) highlighted Harris’s record during the second primary debate, which led to a sharp decline in her polling numbers and her eventual exit from the campaign ahead of the Iowa caucuses.
From the conservative side, Harris has already come under fire as a far-left senator who has backed radical ideas, including socialistic ones.
According to Breitbart, Harris was ranked by GovTrack.us as the fourth-most liberal Democrat in the U.S. Senate, having openly supported such radical legislation as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) “Green New Deal,” as well as Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) “Medicare for All.”
In the first primary debate, Harris, along with all of the other candidates on stage, raised her hand when asked by the moderators if she would support taxpayer-funded free healthcare for all illegal aliens living in America.
President Trump quickly released a campaign ad less than 30 minutes after the Biden campaign announced Harris as the vice-presidential pick, attacking her as a member of the “radical Left” for supporting “Medicare for All” and calling for “trillions” in additional taxes. The ad points out that Biden has described himself as a “transition” candidate, and asserts that a Biden-Harris ticket would mean voters would be choosing a placeholder for Harris to take over the country.