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‘A monumental and historic choice’: College Dems, Republicans react to Sen. Kamala Harris joining Joe Biden’s ticket

Sen. Kamala Harris was announced as presidential nominee Joe Biden's running mate on Tuesday. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Sen. Kamala Harris was announced as presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate on Tuesday. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Tentative Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden selected Sen. Kamala Harris of California, a former rival for the Democratic party presidential nomination, as his vice-presidential running mate on Tuesday. 

Announced through text and tweet, Biden’s historic decision makes Harris the first Black woman and the first woman of Indian descent to be chosen to run for national office on a major party ticket, according to the New York Times

“Kamala Harris being chosen is a monumental and historic choice for the second-highest elected office (in the U.S.) and is yet another reminder of the ever-increasing number of women running for and getting elected to government, which bodes well for not just the (Democratic) party, but the country as well,” said College Democrats vice president Abraham Sanchez.

For College Republicans President Natalia Melo Malfitano, Biden’s vice-presidential pick did not come as a surprise. 

“It was clear that he would pick a female and person of color in order to quiet the critics from progressives of having an older white male as the Democratic nominee,” Malfitano said. 

Biden’s barrier-busting choice comes in the midst of an ongoing discussion surrounding systemic racial discrimination and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement across the nation. 

After dropping out of the presidential race in December due to a lack of funds, Harris has advocated for legislation to address the impact of the coronavirus on minority communities.

Harris has also assisted in drafting a bill that would end qualified immunity for police following the murder of George Floyd

Harris’s current calls for reform come after receiving harsh criticism during her presidential campaign for her record as a prosecutor of infrequently prosecuting police officers who had murdered civilians. 

Sanchez thinks that while Harris’s police record on police accountability during her time as a prosecutor could put off progressive voters, her political experience is a significant benefit.

“The benefit of Harris as vice president is (that) she is very representative of what our party strives to represent in progress for gender and minority equality,” Sanchez said.

“Add to that her extensive political experience at the forefront of national politics as Senator, she has a very recognizable brand and will be a formidable opponent for vice president (Mike) Pence for the debates,” Sanchez continued.

While it is unclear precisely how Harris’s presence as Biden’s running mate will make a difference in the election, the decision could stimulate Black voters to turn out in the numbers needed for Biden to win in specific states. 

For Sanchez, Biden’s decision has reaffirmed his choice to vote for him in the upcoming presidential election.

“Simply knowing we have a chance of putting thoughtful and competent adults back in the White House is exciting after the turbulent four years of this administration,” Sanchez said.

For Malfitano, Biden choosing Harris as his vice-presidential pick is one of the best things to happen to President Trump’s re-election campaign, she said.

“I think it’s probably a win for Trump. There are a lot of flaws with Kamala (Harris) and she has a sketchy past as a prosecutor,” Malfitano said. “I think Trump just needs to focus on rallying his base and stop with the defensive attacks by trying to pander to progressives.”

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