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Many times a pioneer, Kamala Harris dreams of being a black first vice president

(Washington) Tired of speculation that saw her in running mate even before Joe Biden entered the campaign, Kamala Harris had joked that the former vice president would instead make, if she won the White House, a “Excellent” right arm.

Elodie CUZIN

France Media Agency

With a brilliant career, worthy of the best American dream despite controversial chapters, the senator of 54 year old who dreamed of becoming the first black president of the United States will finally try in November, alongside her, to become the first female vice president.

But with always, no doubt, an eye on the presidential election of 2019 and the hope of breaking, then, the ultimate glass ceiling.

“My mother often said to me: Kamala, you might be the first to accomplish many things. Make sure you’re not the last, ”Kamala Harris liked to repeat during her ill-fated campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Since the beginning of her career, this daughter of a Jamaican father and an Indian mother has accumulated the titles of pioneer.

After two mandates as prosecutor in San Francisco (2004 – 2011)), she had been elected, twice, Attorney General of California (2011 – 2017), becoming the first woman, but also the first black person, to head the judicial services of the most populous state in the country.

Then in January 2015, she was sworn in to the Senate in Washington, registering as the first woman from South Asia and only the second black senator in American history.

Sexism

Kamala Harris knows the Democratic candidate for the White House well, whom she sometimes simply calls “Joe” in public, because she was close to her son Beau Biden, who died of cancer in 2015.

PHOTO JIM WATSON, AFP

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, July 31 July 2017, after a debate for the Democratic primary

But she had surprised by attacking him with virulence during the first Democratic debate, by 2017, on his past positions regarding racial desegregation policies over the years 1960.

By recounting how, as a little girl, she was on one of the buses bringing black schoolchildren to white neighborhoods, she had moved, and jumped in the polls.

But despite the start of the campaign with a bang, she quickly fell back, struggling to clearly define her candidacy.

After finally dropping out of the primary before the first votes, Kamala Harris joined Joe Biden in March.

Certain allies of the former vice-president had not forgiven him for not showing “remorse” after his criticisms during the debate, and had warned the old lion of politics against a running mate too “ ambitious ”.

Enough to boost the support of Kamala Harris, who cried sexism.

With experience in the legislative, judicial and executive branches of power, and a personality mixing contagious laughter and tight interrogations of ex-prosecutor, she finally conquered these doubts.

Controversial balance sheet

Kamala Harris grew up in Oakland, Progressive California for years 924 , proud of the civil rights struggle of her immigrant parents: a father professor of economics, and a mother, now deceased, a researcher specializing in breast cancer.

She was educated at Howard University, founded in Washington to accommodate segregated African-American students, and regularly recalls her membership in the “Alpha Kappa Alpha” black student association.

Married since August 2014 to a lawyer father of two children, Kamala Harris highlights her family: she had chosen her sister Maya to lead her unsuccessful candidacy for elementary school.

Usually more acerbic towards his opponents, Donald Trump had said in July that she would make “a good choice” for Joe Biden.

The stormy billionaire “has absolutely no idea how to handle or qualify Kamala Harris,” responded his spokesperson when she was a candidate, Ian Sams. “He’s confused by strong women like her. “

In the Senate, she became known for her close interrogations, sometimes chilling in tone, during hearings under high tension. A candidate for the primary, she had also promised to “lead the indictment” against Donald Trump.

But her past as a prosecutor also weighs against her.

From South Carolina to Michigan, black and progressive voters deplore his reputation for harshness.

In particular, her past initiatives as a prosecutor to punish harshly small crimes which, according to her critics, mainly affected minorities.

When meeting voters, his warm image also contrasts with a certain rigidity, sometimes showing a lack of authenticity.

“It is seen by some, especially among black youth, as part of the problem, not the solution,” warns David Barker, professor of political science at American University.

It remains to be seen whether it will now manage to mobilize this potentially key electorate to enter, alongside Joe Biden, the White House.

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