Biden prioritized choosing a run mate with whom he was “simpatico,” as he often said, and his months of searching narrowed the list to a handful of women who the campaign believed could help make the Democrats at home Strengthen campaign. In Harris, Biden hopes to combine both priorities and find an exciting activist as well as a long-term government partner.
Harris, 55, has also developed a personal relationship with Biden, and she was close to his late son Beau, a former attorney general. But Harris had to survive concerns within the Biden campaign about whether she might be a trustworthy partner on the job, after a bitter primary clash and searing debate on the broadside of Harris strained relations between her allies.
Harris also faced stubborn criticism of her prosecution, including concerns that she was too cautious to make sweeping changes. Her embrace over the past few years of sweeping changes has won over some skeptics, and she has helped steer democratic efforts to pass police reform this summer. Harris, a civil rights child whose parents were active in the 1960s marches, took part in Black Lives Matter demonstrations this summer.
In the Senate, Harris’s indispensable cross-examination of Republican witnesses in hearings helped raise their national profile. She was considered one of the top presidential candidates when she launched her campaign in front of more than 22,000 people in her hometown of Oakland last year. But even when she showed brilliant flashes as a candidate – including the clash with Biden in the Miami debate, which temporarily boosted her in polls and helped her raise millions of dollars – Harris struggled with persistence, vacillating between health policies.
Harris’ campaign disintegrated under the weight of confusing news and an unclear chain of command on its staff and ended in mutiny amid layoffs in late fall. She flattened into the low single before dropping out before the Iowa congregations.
It was the first time Harris lost a campaign after a rapid rise through California. A former prosecutor who started out in Alameda County – the same office once presided over by former Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren – she started her first political run for the San Francisco District Attorney in 2003 when she was decided Longshot. Harris eventually defeated the incumbent after accusing him of running a dysfunctional office and not dealing with rising crime rates.
While cultivating the Bay Area’s rich and connected, Harris also campaigned with an ironing board, handing out flyers at transit stops, and blocking her weekends to perform at clubs and churches in the famous left-wing town where politics has been compared to blood sports . Others have emerged nationally from this melting pot, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Dianne Feinstein, who became mayor of the city after the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk. But no one has reached the heights Harris touched or climbed so quickly.
Six years after the prosecutor’s race, Harris was once again viewed as an outsider in her campaign for the attorney general. Against a popular Los Angeles District Attorney, Republican Steve Cooley, Harris’ was even considered ineligible by some in her own party, as a colored anti-death penalty woman from San Francisco – a dismissal that Harris has since become a badge of pride.
Harris narrowly won the race before building her political hallmark to the point where she faced a nominal challenge for re-election in 2014 and drove to an open Senate seat in 2016, becoming the first Indian American and only the second black Senator.
As Harris celebrated her election to the Senate, Trump’s victory in the race for president was above her victory speech – and ushered in the next phase of her career, in which she now has months to possibly move into an office in the White House next to Biden .
“Do we retreat or do we fight?” Harris said on election night in 2016. “I say we fight. And I plan to fight. “