Who could have predicted a Biden-Harris ticket?

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Christine Shelton, Managing Editor for Editorial Operations

The year 2020 has come with many surprises, to say the least, but one thing that probably shocked most Americans, unless one had been following his campaign, was former Sen. Joe Biden’s announcement of his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris. According to The New York Times, her vice-presidential nomination makes her the first black woman to be nominated for national office and only the fourth woman to run on a president’s ticket.

Honestly, who could have predicted that Biden would choose a black woman as his running mate? A woman who has called him out numerous times when she disagreed with his policies no less. Biden’s realization of Harris being great could mean that he put their past debacles aside for the greater good of the country. This alone speaks volumes for how far this country has come since women were not even afforded the basic right to vote.

While Harris had plans of becoming the president, becoming elected as vice president is a close second. Most Democrats probably assumed that. Harris would attempt to run again in the future, but by Biden selecting her to be his running mate, in the event that anything happens to him, she could become the president this year after all. That is not a concept that most Americans have grappled with, and if she becomes the first black woman to become the president, she will be making history.

Harris being in this race during one of the most crucial and unprecedented times in America is already making history, but more importantly, for African American people in general this is a huge milestone. Her nomination could not have come at a more pressing time during with the black lives matter movement reaching its pinnacle, and in a way, Harris’s nomination symbolizes hope for African Americans in a rather sensitive time regarding police brutality and racism.

Biden and Harris could potentially change the voting turnout for African Americans. Outside of Barack Obama’s elections, some African Americans did not even feel the need to vote in the past election because there was not a candidate that truly identified with their needs or had any ideas that catered to them. While African Americans should exercise their right to vote regardless because it was not a right always afforded to them, they are more likely to do so when it is someone in office in which they feel can actually make a difference.

Even speaking toward African American women specifically, this is a major jump from not even being able to vote 55 years ago. Needless to say, if Biden and Harris are elected into office, the dynamic will shift. There’s no way around that, and this potential victory for Harris will have been shaped by all of her predecessors who essentially paved the way for her.