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‘Historic’ — Biden chooses Kamala Harris, and all sides respond

Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he has chosen California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate.
(Associated Press and Los Angeles Times)

With Joe Biden’s announcement Tuesday afternoon that California Sen. Kamala Harris would join him on the Democratic presidential ticket, people were quick to take to social media to recognize the decision as ground-breaking.

Harris, who is Black and Indian American, makes history as the first woman of color and the first Asian American to be chosen for a major party’s ticket. Along with the praise, Biden’s choice prompted predictable attacks from President Trump, his campaign and supporters.

“Overwhelmed by this historic moment,” actress Kerry Washington wrote in a tweet. “My heart is soaring for all the kids out there who see themselves in her and will dream bigger because of this.”

Harris’ sister, Maya, who was a political advisor on her presidential campaign, tweeted that she was proud of her sister.

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“That day when a little girl from Oaktown became the first black woman to be a major-party vice-presidential nominee...” she wrote, with a crying emoji and photos of Kamala Harris as an infant and with Biden. “So incredibly proud of you, sis!”

Julián Castro, a former presidential candidate and housing secretary to President Obama, praised Harris in a tweet as “a talented, dynamic, and groundbreaking leader who will make a fantastic VP.”

Less than half an hour after the announcement, Trump posted a video on Twitter that labeled Harris as someone who ran for president by “rushing to the radical left.” Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the Trump campaign, labeled her “Phony Kamala” in a statement.

“In her failed attempt at running for president, Kamala Harris gleefully embraced the left’s radical manifesto,” it read. “She is proof that Joe Biden is an empty shell being filled with the extreme agenda of the radicals on the left.”

Meanwhile, other women who’d been on Biden’s short list praised the decision.

Susan Rice, a former United Nations ambassador and Obama national security advisor, offered congratulations: “Senator Harris is a tenacious and trailblazing leader who will make a great partner on the campaign trail. I am confident that Biden-Harris will prove to be a winning ticket.”

Los Angeles Rep. Karen Bass said Harris was “a great choice” for vice president. “Her tenacious pursuit of justice and relentless advocacy for the people is what is needed right now,” Bass said on Twitter.

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Mehdi Hasan, a columnist for the left-leaning news site the Intercept and a critic of Harris’ record as a prosecutor, tweeted that Harris has been “one of the most progressive voting members by a mile” in the U.S. Senate. While he was disappointed that Biden didn’t pick a progressive candidate such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, he said it would be entertaining to watch Harris debate Vice President Mike Pence.

He shared a video of Harris speaking passionately about marginalized communities, and told “fellow Muslims and lefties” who might be reluctant supporters that “the choice is between Mike Pence and this senator.”

LaTosha Brown, co-founder of the group Black Voters Matters, celebrated the announcement with tweets filled with dancing women emojis. “We asked for it, we prayed for it, we believed in it and we worked for it! Thank you Black women that led the way! Let’s GO!” she wrote.

Obama chimed in as well with his own statement, saying Biden “nailed this decision” in choosing Harris.

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“She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake,” Obama wrote. “This is a good day for our country.”


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