• The Student Lens

President Harris?

It doesn’t need to be said that the nomination of Kamala Harris as vice president is a huge step forward for bridging the gender gap and the racial divide in the United States. As one of only two black female senators ever elected to the senate, she certainly is a progressive first choice for Veep and the perfect candidate in the age of identity politics. But is this a winning strategy? Some might argue that Hilary Clinton’s over-focus on breaking the glass ceiling ultimately lost her the presidency in 2016. It seems like Kamala’s selection as VP almost feels like a consolation to all those whose feelings were hurt during the previous election.

Biden’s vice-presidential pick has a deep subtext to it. Biden is leading in the polls and the likelihood of his presidency is high. However, many question whether Biden will make it through two terms. If Biden is elected, he will not just be the oldest president ever inaugurated. But will be the oldest president in history. When Ronald Reagan left office at 77 (currently the oldest president) he was already in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, it is very unlikely that we will see an 86-year-old Biden leave the office. Instead, it is likely that in 8 years’ time, the leader of the free world will be Kamala Harris.

So, who is this mysterious woman at Biden's side? Kamala Devi Harris began her public life as a deputy district attorney of Alameda County, California. From there she worked her way up; going from the district attorney of San Francisco to eventually become attorney general for the state of California. In 2016 she ran for the Senate and won, becoming a senator for California, the following year she ran for president and gained widespread recognition when she attacked Joe Biden’s record on school bussing. However, she dropped out in December due to lack of campaign finances. Finally, she managed to get Biden’s nomination for vice president, her brutal attacks on the former Delaware senator becoming nothing but a distant memory.

It’s hard not to get the impression of Ms Harris as a bit of an opportunist. Her record portrays her as somewhat unprincipled. For example, she’s openly admitted to smoking pot herself, but oversaw more than 1,500 convictions for marijuana offences as district attorney. Even going so far as to oppose a ballot for recreational pot in 2010, and then stayed on the sidelines for the second ballot. Furthermore, during Harris’s 2020 election run she called big pharma execs: high-level dope dealers’ and her campaign said that they wouldn’t take donations from big pharma. Although this was a lie. One of her first jobs as a member of the state unemployment insurance appeals board came from a Mr Willie Brown, the speaker for the California assembly, who Harris just happened to be in a relationship with.

Kamala Harris is a woman who knows how to play the game. As a child, her mother exposed her to the world of political activism. From an early age, Kamala understood the political realities of the United States. And so, beginning as a deputy district attorney of Alameda County has worked her way up to becoming the likely vice president of the United States. It is hard not to imagine that one day we will be seeing a woman with one hand on the bible atop that huge balcony with former presidents and first ladies watching as a new American president is sworn in, President Kamala Devi Harris.

Alfie McNicol

Student at London Screen Academy, studying film. Interested in film and politics.

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