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Kamala Harris: Joe Biden's runner-up career full of firsts


Kamala Harris, the daughter of immigrants whose career has been defined by a series of firsts – the first black woman to serve as a district attorney in San Francisco and the first black woman to serve in the California attorney general – has added another first to this list: the first black vice presidential candidate.

Suspected Democratic candidate Joe Biden named his former rival for the runner-up nomination on Tuesday and gave her a seat by his side as he works to defeat President Donald Trump in November.

Harris, 55, made a name for herself in both her work as a prosecutor and on the community side in San Francisco for her friendships with the city's elite and her relationship with former Mayor Willie Brown.

She started her career as the city's district attorney, became a California attorney general, and joined the Senate in 2016 after Senator Barbara Boxer retired.

Her national profile grew as she used her experience as an advocate for political struggles, be it with officials and candidates for President Donald Trump in Senate hearings or with Biden in the democratic debate.

It was this debilitating flogging – when she criticized Biden for his position on a federal bus program that benefited minorities, including himself – that made her the top tier of the presidential run. It also earned her a nickname from Trump, which she called "Phony Kamala".

Kamala Harris, the daughter of immigrants whose career has been defined by a series of firsts – the first black woman to serve as a district attorney in San Francisco and the first black woman to serve in the California attorney general – has added another first to this list: the first black vice presidential candidate

Suspected Democratic candidate Joe Biden named his former rival for the runner-up nomination on Tuesday and gave her a seat by his side as he works to defeat President Donald Trump in November

Suspected Democratic candidate Joe Biden named his former rival for the runner-up nomination on Tuesday and gave her a seat by his side as he works to defeat President Donald Trump in November

Harris tweeted: "I am honored to join him as our party's candidate for Vice President and to do everything possible to make him our Commander-in-Chief."

Harris tweeted: "I am honored to join him as our party's candidate for Vice President and to do everything possible to make him our Commander-in-Chief."

Biden looked visibly baffled when Harris told him on the Miami Debate Stage last July, “There was a little girl in California who was in second grade trying to integrate her public schools and she was taking the bus to go to the school every day Brought to school, and I was that little girl too. & # 39;

The moment helped her get on the polls and quickly raise $ 2 million in donations, but her campaign went downhill from there and fell behind on polls and fundraisers as Harris struggled with her embassy and was plagued by internal staff disputes.

In November, she fired employees and put all her hopes in Iowa. A month later, on December 3, 2019, she broke the presidential race two months before Iowa held its meetings.

In an air of political irony, it was an early focus on health policy and economic issues during the busy season that hurt their campaign, as none of the areas were one of their strengths.

But the death of George Floyd, a Minnesota black man who died on May 25 after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for almost 9 minutes, brought racial relations to the forefront of the country and saw demonstrations by the Black Lives Matter throughout the country.

Biden had vowed to name a woman as his runmate. Harris' name was already on the list, but after Floyd's death, pressure rose on the Democratic candidate to name a black woman.

Harris became a top contestant for second place along with former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and several other celebrity women.

Harris was born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland, California, across the bay in a much less affluent neighborhood than the one where she would make a name for herself

Harris was born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland, California, across the bay in a much less affluent neighborhood than the one where she would make a name for herself

Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was the daughter of an Indian diplomat and a women's rights activist. She graduated from the University of Delhi at nineteen and, to avoid an arranged marriage, went to the University of California at Berkeley to study. There she met another PhD student, Donald Harris from Jamaica, who was studying for his PhD. in business, during a political protest

Kamala Harris, right, with her mother Shyamala Gopalan at a 2007 Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco

Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was the daughter of an Indian diplomat and a women's rights activist. She graduated from the University of Delhi at nineteen and, to avoid an arranged marriage, went to the University of California at Berkeley to study. There she met another PhD student, Donald Harris (together left) from Jamaica, who was studying for his PhD. in business, during a political protest. Right picture: Harris and her mother

New Entry: Kamala Harris' mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, was a 25 year old academic when their first daughter arrived.

Kamala Harris has a younger sister, Maya, with whom she was photographed on Christmas Day 1968

: Kamala Harris & # 39; mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, was a 25-year-old academic when their first daughter arrived. Kamala Harris has a younger sister, Maya, with whom she was photographed on Christmas Day 1968

Harris, back row left, in an undated family photo. Next to her from left is her grandmother Rajam Gopalan, grandfather P.V. Gopalan and Sister Maya Harris. With them are Maya's daughter Meena (left) and Harris & # 39; cousin Sharada Balachandran Orihuela

Harris, back row left, in an undated family photo. Next to her from left is her grandmother Rajam Gopalan, grandfather P.V. Gopalan and Sister Maya Harris. With them are Maya's daughter Meena (left) and Harris & # 39; cousin Sharada Balachandran Orihuela

Family: Donald Harris went to Stanford to study economics and became a college professor.

Family: Donald Harris went to Stanford to study economics and became a college professor. Donald Harris was from Jamaica, where his grandmother Iris Finegan was photographed with Kamala Harris as a toddler

Family: Donald Harris went to Stanford to study economics and became a college professor. Donald Harris was from Jamaica, where his grandmother Iris Finegan was photographed with Kamala Harris as a toddler

Ice Age: Kamala Harris took a family trip from the west coast to New York in September 1966, where she was photographed in Harlem

Ice Age: Kamala Harris took a family trip from the west coast to New York in September 1966, where she was photographed in Harlem

In Disguise: Kamala Harris was six and her sister two when this photo was taken outside her mother's Berkeley apartment

In Disguise: Kamala Harris was six and her sister two when this photo was taken outside her mother's Berkeley apartment

Howard Student: Kamala Harris was at Washington DC College, known as Black Harvard, when she and her friend Gwen Whitfield took part in an anti-apartheid protest in November 1982

Howard Student: Kamala Harris was at Washington DC College, known as Black Harvard, when she and her friend Gwen Whitfield took part in an anti-apartheid protest in November 1982

Harris & # 39; husband is a Los Angeles corporate attorney. The two married at a small ceremony in Santa Barbara in 2014 after meeting on a blind date a year earlier. Maya officiated. He has two grown children from a previous marriage: Cole and Ella. Harris calls herself "Momala", the name her stepchildren gave her

Harris & # 39; husband is a Los Angeles corporate attorney. The two married at a small ceremony in Santa Barbara in 2014 after meeting on a blind date a year earlier. Maya officiated. He has two grown children from a previous marriage: Cole and Ella. Harris calls herself "Momala", the name her stepchildren gave her

A total of 11 women are said to have been considered, a mix of senators, governors, mayors and members of Congress.

And when Harris' name appeared on the list of contenders, there was speculation that the moment of debate might count against her. Jill Biden told followers that Harris' comment was like a punch in the stomach.

There was also a report in Politico that some of Biden's allies were concerned that the California Senator might join the ticket, saying she was too "ambitious" – which was considered an insult to her given her qualifications for the office.

Biden literally had the answers to all of the questions asked at a July 28 press conference in Wilmington when an Associated Press photographer jotted the writing on his notepad filled with praise for Harris: & # 39; Hold no grudges. & # 39; "Campaign with me and Jill." "Talented." "Great help with the campaign." "Great respect for you."

Harris & # 39; connections to the Biden family go back to the eldest son Beau, who died in May 2015 of complications from a brain tumor. The two joined forces while serving as attorneys general in their respective states. They used each other as a sounding board and texted each other often, mutual friends told the Associated Press last year.

Beau introduced Harris to his father, who was serving as Barack Obama's vice president at the time. Joe Biden supported Harris early on in her Senate campaign, noting that she was a friend of his son.

"Beau always supported her," he said in his approval.

"She had been welcomed into the herd, and that's basically forever with the Bidens," a family friend told The Daily Beast last month as Harris went through the vice president's review process.

Harris' beginnings in politics came a long way from the Biden family on the other side of the country in San Francisco, a city proud of its political names: Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsom, Dianne Feinstein and Willie Brown.

And Harris added her name to that list.

She made it partially through Brown. The two began dating in the spring of 1994 when she showed up on his date at several high profile events. She was 30 and Brown was 60 and served as the Democratic Speaker of the California State Assembly. He was then and is married, but lives separately from his wife. He has had a number of girlfriends.

Harris' beginnings in politics came a long way from the Biden family on the other side of the country in San Francisco, a city proud of its political names: Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsom, Dianne Feinstein and Willie Brown (1995 together pictured). Harris and Brown started dating in the spring of 1994 when she showed up on his date at several high profile events. She was 30 and Brown was 60 and served as the Democratic Speaker of the California State Assembly. He was then and is married, but lives separately from his wife. The two agreed to meet for a short time when he ran for mayor and split between his victory ceremony and the swearing-in ceremony. Harris has since named their romance "Albatross" around her neck

Harris' beginnings in politics came a long way from the Biden family on the other side of the country in San Francisco, a city proud of its political names: Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsom, Dianne Feinstein and Willie Brown (1995 together pictured). Harris and Brown started dating in the spring of 1994 when she showed up on his date at several high profile events. She was 30 and Brown was 60 and served as the Democratic Speaker of the California State Assembly. He was then and is married, but lives separately from his wife. The two agreed to meet for a short time when he ran for mayor and split between his victory ceremony and the swearing-in ceremony. Harris has since named their romance "Albatross" around her neck

Harris & # 39; ties to the Biden family go back to eldest son Beau (pictured together), who died in May 2015 of complications from a brain tumor. The two merged while serving as attorneys general in their respective states. They used each other as a sounding board and texted each other often, mutual friends told the Associated Press last year

Harris & # 39; ties to the Biden family go back to eldest son Beau (pictured together), who died in May 2015 of complications from a brain tumor. The two merged while serving as attorneys general in their respective states. They used each other as a sounding board and texted each other often, mutual friends told the Associated Press last year

In 2002, she challenged San Francisco's acting district attorney, progressive Terence Hallinan, who was her former boss. She left the office - known for disorganization and low conviction rates - and started her campaign against him. Her tenure as the best cop in town has been controversial, especially a case that made national news. In 2004, shortly after taking over the prosecution, she declined to pursue the death penalty for a gang member accused of shooting 29-year-old San Francisco police officer Isaac Espinoza - despite strong political pressure the police union

In 2002, she challenged San Francisco's acting district attorney, progressive Terence Hallinan, who was her former boss. She left the office – known for disorganization and low conviction rates – and started her campaign against him. Her tenure as the best cop in town has been controversial, especially a case that made national news. In 2004, shortly after taking over the prosecution, she declined to pursue the death penalty for a gang member accused of shooting 29-year-old San Francisco police officer Isaac Espinoza – despite strong political pressure the police union

Beau introduced Harris to his father, who was serving as Barack Obama's vice president at the time. Joe Biden supported Harris early on in her Senate campaign, noting that she was a friend of his son. "Beau always supported her," he said in his approval. Pictured: Harris with California Governor Gavin Newsom and President Barack Obama in 2011 when she was the attorney general in California

Beau introduced Harris to his father, who was serving as Barack Obama's vice president at the time. Joe Biden supported Harris early on in her Senate campaign, noting that she was a friend of his son. "Beau always supported her," he said in his approval. Pictured: Harris with California Governor Gavin Newsom and President Barack Obama in 2011 when she was the attorney general in California

The two agreed to meet for a short time when he ran for mayor and split between his victory ceremony and the swearing-in ceremony. Harris has since named their romance "Albatross" around her neck.

But Brown opened doors for her when he opened doors to other politicians like Gavin Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco who is now governor of California. Brown appointed Newsom to the San Francisco Parking and Traffic Commission and later to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors – positions that paved his way to the mayor's office.

Brown arranged appointments for Harris on two state bodies: the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and the Medical Assistance Commission. Together, the appointments paid her about four hundred thousand dollars over five years. He gave her a BMW.

She used her connections to join the city's social elite. She joined the board of directors of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, working on issues such as AIDS. She performed on the society's pages as galas, fashion shows, and posh weddings.

In 2002, she challenged San Francisco's acting district attorney, progressive Terence Hallinan, who was her former boss. She left the office – known for disorganization and low conviction rates – and started her campaign against him.

To combat the images of her in social publications, she opened her campaign office in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood, a historically non-white area.

She sat in front of post offices and grocery stores with an ironing board – called it the first standing desk and showed the minority how to turn an ordinary household tool into an executive instrument.

But she struggled to gain a foothold as a moderate candidate in a three-person race. Then the ultra-liberal candidate Bill Fazio published a campaign hit against Harris: “I don't care if Willie Brown is Kamala Harris's ex-boyfriend. What bothers me is that Kamala has accepted two appointments from Willie Brown to high-paying, part-time state boards – including one she had no training on – while earning $ 100,000 a year as a full-time employee in the county. & # 39;

Biden looked visibly baffled when Harris told him on the Miami Debate Stage last July, “There was a little girl in California who was in second grade trying to integrate her public schools and she was taking the bus to go to the school every day Brought to school, and that too little girl was me & # 39;

Biden looked visibly baffled when Harris told him on the Miami Debate Stage last July, “There was a little girl in California who was in second grade trying to integrate her public schools and she was taking the bus to go to the school every day Brought to school, and that too little girl was me & # 39;

The moment helped her get on the polls and quickly raise $ 2 million in donations, but her campaign went downhill from there and fell behind on polls and fundraisers as Harris struggled with her embassy and was plagued by internal staff disputes. In November, she fired employees and put all her hopes in Iowa. A month later, on December 3, 2019, she broke the presidential race two months before Iowa held its meetings

The moment helped her get on the polls and quickly raise $ 2 million in donations, but her campaign went downhill from there and fell behind on polls and fundraisers as Harris struggled with her embassy and was plagued by internal staff disputes. In November, she fired employees and put all her hopes in Iowa. A month later, on December 3, 2019, she broke the presidential race two months before Iowa held its meetings

THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE KAMALA HARRIS

Shyamala Gopalan

Harris' mother was the daughter of an Indian diplomat and women's rights activist, graduated from Delhi University at nineteen and went to the University of California at Berkeley to avoid an arranged marriage. She was one of the most famous breast cancer researchers in the country. She died of colon cancer in 2009.

Donald Harris

Harris & # 39; father is a retired economics professor from Stanford. Originally from Jamaica, he met Gopalan at a political protest when both students were in Berkley. The couple divorced when Harris was seven years old.

P.V. Gopalan

Harris & # 39; maternal grandfather. In the final years of British rule, he was an Indian freedom fighter in the independence movement and a career official who later became a diplomat. Harris, when she was five, visited her grandfather when he was on duty in Lusaka, Zambia. The two had a long correspondence and she credits him with her interest in public service.

Maya Harris

Harris & # 39; sister who works as a public order attorney and served as chair of Harris's presidential campaign. Maya Harris was also the 2016 campaign policy advisor to Hillary Clinton, director of the American Civil Liberties Union, and vice president of the Ford Foundation. The sisters are two years apart – Kamala is the oldest – and talked about their early childhood.

Meena Harris

Kamala's niece, born when Maya was 17 years old and recently graduated from high school. Kamala and Shyamala helped raise Meena while Maya went to college. Maya is now a mother herself and makes Harris a great aunt.

Doug Emhoff

Harris & # 39; husband is a Los Angeles corporate attorney. The two married at a small ceremony in Santa Barbara in 2014 after meeting on a blind date a year earlier. Maya officiated. He has two grown children from a previous marriage: Cole and Ella. Harris calls herself "Momala", the name her stepchildren gave her.

It backfired, putting Harris in a run-off against Hallinan, which she continued to win.

Her tenure as the best cop in town has been controversial, especially a case that made national news.

In 2004, shortly after taking over the prosecution, she declined to pursue the death penalty for a gang member accused of shooting 29-year-old San Francisco police officer Isaac Espinoza – despite strong political pressure the police union.

Harris had stood up for the promise never to prosecute the death penalty and had kept it throughout the case.

The killer was sentenced to life imprisonment.

In 1973, California passed a law calling the killer of a police officer into question for the death penalty. Instead, Harris & # 39; s office led an unpopulated life in prison.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein was invited to deliver a laudatory speech at Espinoza's funeral calling for the death penalty to be used in the case. Feinstein received a standing ovation from the hundreds of ordinary officers at the funeral when Harris sat in the front row.

Harris has made her experience as a prosecutor one of her main arguments as to why she should take over President Donald Trump in 2020.

"I've had only one customer all my life: the people," Harris said in January 2019 when she officially launched her campaign for the Democratic President nomination.

"Fighting for people meant fighting for survivors of sexual assault – a fight not only against predators, but also against silence and stigma."

She ran for California Attorney General in 2010 and for the Senate in 2016.

During her tenure in the Senate, she made headlines about her questioning Attorney General Bill Barr at a Justice Committee hearing in May 2019.

“Has the President or anyone in the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation into anyone? Yes or no, please, sir, ”she said to him. Barr stuttered and didn't answer her question.

From her place in the judiciary, she interviewed a number of high-profile figures in hearings, including then Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said Harris' questions made him "nervous"; Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

She was one of the senators who called for Senator Al Franken to resign after allegations of sexual harassment. She voted in favor of both impeachment proceedings against President Trump, who was acquitted by the Senate.

Harris was born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland, California, across the bay in a much less affluent neighborhood than the one where she would make a name for herself.

Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was the daughter of an Indian diplomat and a women's rights activist. She graduated from the University of Delhi at nineteen and, to avoid an arranged marriage, went to the University of California at Berkeley to study. There she met another PhD student, Donald Harris from Jamaica, who was studying for his PhD. in business, during a political protest.

Her parents divorced when she was seven years old. Gopalan, one of the most famous breast cancer researchers in the country, is recognized by Harris as an introduction to the civil rights movement and social activism.

"My mom always said, don't sit around complaining about things, do something," Harris told 20,000 followers at their inaugural rally in Oakland on the 2019 Martin Luther King weekend.

Gopalan died of colon cancer in 2009.

Harris & # 39; father is still alive, but the two are not close. He is a retired Stanford economics professor who has studied issues such as income inequality.

Harris began her career as a lawyer in 1990 after graduating from Howard University in Washington DC and the University of California's Hastings College of the Law.

She married Emhoff, a Los Angeles corporate attorney, at a small ceremony in 2014 after meeting him on a blind date last year. He has two children from a previous marriage: Cole and Ella. Harris calls herself "Momala", the name her stepchildren gave her.

She is close to her sister Maya, who served as the chair of her campaign. She also helped raise her niece Meena, who was born when Maya was 17 years old.

Her first job was with the Alameda County Attorney's Office in Oakland, where Terence Hallinan asked her to work for him to begin her political ascent.

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