Why Joe Biden Picked Kamala Harris as His Vice Presidential Running Mate

Former Vice President Joe Biden announced his running mate for his presidential campaign on Tuesday — California Sen. Kamala Harris. The announcement came abruptly on Tuesday, shortly after CNN reported that it would be on the way soon. Harris is expected to accept the role next week at the Democratic National Convention.

Biden has been criticized for taking so long to announce a running mate in the 2020 election, with some complaining that primary voters cannot judge his campaign accurately without this information. Some have even pointed out that Biden's age — 77 years old — makes the running mate all the more critical since they would assume the presidency temporarily in the event of Biden's death. An analysis by CNN's Stephen Collinson predicted that Biden would choose someone young and energetic, yet relatively moderate as well. To many, Harris fits this bill.

Plenty of guesses at who the running mate would be have been bandied about in political discourse over the last few months, but non has risen to a confident lead. Some expect Biden to seek a youthful, energetic running mate in the hopes of engaging with younger voters. In contrast, others expect him to choose the most centrist option possible, so as not to alienate moderate voters with ideas that seem "radical." The Biden campaign even released a statement to CNN on Tuesday, condemning President Donald Trump's attempts to portray Biden as a radical opponent.

"The Trump campaign has already discredited their attacks before we're even out of the gate by announcing that regardless of who Joe Biden nominates, they'll strain to depict the VP candidate as 'radical' — just like they've tried and failed to do with Biden himself for months. In other words, they've flat out admitted they will lie."

Biden's team is even ready to announce details on his running mate, and even how they would fit within his prospective presidential administration. The campaign announced the running mate's full staff as well — including Karine Jean-Pierre as the vice president's Chief of Staff. Jean-Pierre worked on former President Barack Obama's campaign, while Liz Allel and Sheila Nix both worked for the Obama-Biden administration in the White House itself. Allen would reportedly serve as the new vice president's deputy communications director if Biden won the presidency, while Nix would serve as a senior adviser to them.


Biden's choice seemed to work out well for him, as the initial response from his supporters was positive on Tuesday. The 2020 Democratic National Convention begins on Monday, Aug. 17 and ends on Thursday, Aug. 20. Harris will reportedly accept the position there.