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Kamala Harris: The USA Is One Step Closer To Electing Its First Black Female President

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Kamala Harris: The USA Is One Step Closer To Electing Its First Black Female President

In the feel-good news 2020 so desperately needs, Senator Kamala Harris has just got one step closer to becoming USA's first black, female president.

This week, Joe Biden selected Kamala as his Vice President, describing her as a "fearless fighter" and explaining he wanted someone who could step into his shoes as President of the United States should anything happen to him.

If Biden wins the election in November, Kamala, 55, will not only be the first female Vice President in US history; she will also be the first black and first South Asian woman to be nominated by a major party. Finally, a watershed moment in 2020 that we actually want to celebrate!

Out of 48 vice presidents throughout history, 14 have gone on to take the top job; and experts are already touting Harris as Biden's potential 2024 successor. And with good reason...

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Announcing the news this week, Biden said: "The most important thing is that it has to be someone who, the day after they're picked, is prepared to be president of the United States of America if something happened.

"I have the great honor to announce that I've picked Kamala Harris - a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country's finest public servants - as my running mate."

A vice president is required to step up to the role if the president dies, resigns, is temporarily incapacitated or if the vice president (and a majority of the cabinet) judge that the president is no longer able to fulfil duties.

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With 16 years in politics under her belt, and as former Attorney General of California - who actually ran for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination against Biden - it would be hard to find anyone more up to the job.

Added to that, Trump recently described Kamala as a "nasty woman" - which we've come to translate as any female who challenges powerful men. It certainly seems like every box is ticked, doesn't it?

Biden said he was looking for someone who could step up to be President, if necessary (Credit: PA)
Biden said he was looking for someone who could step up to be President, if necessary (Credit: PA)

But her VP role isn't the first time Kamala has made history, and we'd bet it won't be the last.

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In fact, over the last 20 years she's smashed through a number of glass ceilings. When she was elected to the US Senate in 2016, she became the second black woman to do so in history.

She was also the first woman to be elected as District Attorney of San Francisco and the first black and first South Asian woman to become Attorney General of California.

And during her time as Attorney General, she made some pretty big waves. One being her fight in the national housing crisis in 2012. When California was offered a $4 billion (£3bn) mortgage settlement, Kamala fought to secure a $20 billion (£15bn) deal for California homeowners instead.

She also highly prioritised the prosecution of gangs known for human trafficking, which led to a momentous study on transnational crime in California.

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Over the last 20 years Kamala has smashed through a number of glass ceilings (Credit: PA)
Over the last 20 years Kamala has smashed through a number of glass ceilings (Credit: PA)

Another landmark achievement was creating Open Justice, an interactive online portal which makes criminal justice data readily available to the public.

Meanwhile, her support for same sex marriage in California directly led to the US Supreme Court overturning the state's ban and ruling that couples of the same sex had the right to marry.

Just hours after the decision, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier became the first gay couple to marry in San Francisco - and in a mega cool move, Kamala officiated their wedding.

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if that wasn't impressive enough, during her time as District Attorney, she also created a Hate Crimes Unit which worked to prosecute hate crimes against LGBTQ teenagers.

Kamala even officiated the wedding (Credit: Shutterstock)
Kamala even officiated the wedding (Credit: Shutterstock)

As she explained following this week's announcement: "Growing up, whenever I got upset about something, my mother would look me in the eye and say 'so what are you going to do about it?'"

"That's why, when I saw a broken justice system I became a lawyer, to try and fix it. It's why during the foreclosure crisis I took on the big banks as California's attorney general. It's why, as US senator, I have thought to represent people like my mother."

It's easy to see why Kamala has such a loyal fan base - known as the KHive (inspired by Beyoncé's BeyHive no less).

Kamala lives by the motto 'you may be the first, but make sure you're not the last' (inspired from her mother) and outside of office and she's a dog person, a mega keen cook (she recently made masala dosa with Mindy Kahling) and her signature dish is a roast chicken. She also loves SoulCycle because it's "like being in a club".

As Barack Obama put it: "This is a good day for our country. Now let's go win this thing."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, USA

Lucy Devine
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