Kamala Harris: Why the historic Vice-President will have her eyes on the top job from January

By William Evans


CELEBRATIONS over Donald Trump’s defeat have overshadowed the conversation about the new Biden administration that will take over – particularly the ambitions of his VP.

Her victory speech in Delaware moved many with a message aimed at girls all over America, saying: “I may be the first woman in this office, but I won’t be the last.”

As the first female, Black and Asian VP in history, it’s fair to say she has already smashed the glass ceiling.

Having been elected to the senate in 2016, her rise to becoming the highest-ranking female elected official in history spurred calls for her to run for the top job this year.

Originally hoping to win the Democratic nomination for presidency, she was a harsh critic of her then-rival Joe Biden.

She dropped out before the primaries even began after plumetting in the polls in her home state of California, perhaps hoping to secure a cabinet role as she continued to impress in committee hearings.

Despite calls for the eventual nominee to pick a woman of colour for the role, the odds lengthened for Mrs Harris to stay relevant in the race.

It meant many were shocked when she was announced as his running mate.

Despite an outward show of harmony, cracks in their relationship could definitely show up down the line.

BBC Newsnight journalist Jack Evans, who covered the US election, told Redaction Politics that “from inauguration, her eyes will be very much on the prize of 2024” – but questioned her chances.

Joe Biden managed to attract an electorate that the VP-elect may struggle with in four years’ time.

While conceding the states of Florida and Texas as he struggled to gain Latino voters, Biden’s flipping of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin was his key to the White House.

Evans questioned whether she can “make the same appeal” to Rust Belt voters and repeat Biden’s victory through the mid-west and with white college educated voters.”

Then there is the issue of the left wing of the party.

“Without control of the senate can they get anything done to satisfy their progressive flank?” Evans asked.

“If they fail to deliver for them, she could face a challenge from the left”.

And despite likely being ousted from office, there is still the spectre of Donald Trump to contend with.

Still refusing to concede, many, including Evans, believe Trump is likely to run again.

If so, there is the issue of “Biden himself and PTSD from 2016″ after Hillary Clinton’s shock loss.

Evans added: “Biden is a proven winner. If Trump challenges again, will they want to stick with who they know?”

Harris is relatively unknown on the world stage and would she be able to appeal to the whole of America? She is the future of the party and with Biden seen as a transitional leader, this seems like a marriage of convenience. The perfect role to thrust her into the spotlight ready for a presidential run in 2024.

There are many reasons that may stop her from becoming the first female president but there are also some that give her an advantage. The bottom line is that she wants it, and how successful the administration is in the next 4 years may be the deciding factor.


Featured Image: Gage Skidmore @Flickr

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