During an interview with The New York Times’ Astead Herndon for the “Run Up” podcast, Vice President Kamala Harris expressed confusion over questions regarding the narrative that President Biden chose her as his running mate partly because she is a black woman.
The interview, conducted in Chicago in August and published on Thursday, delved into Biden’s 2020 running mate selection process. Biden had committed to selecting a woman for the role, with several prominent Democrats urging him to choose a black woman. Biden acknowledged that black women were among his finalists during the selection process.
“He came to the decision that he needed to choose a black woman,” Herndon said. “While that is obviously about you, it’s not necessarily you personally, but your identity. How should it matter, does it matter that that narrative has existed, that Biden needed to choose someone who was a black person, and should it matter?”
Harris responded to Herndon’s question by stating her confusion.
“It happened,” Harris said, laughing. “I don’t think, I honestly don’t understand your question. Has it lingered?”
She continued, “He chose a black woman, that woman is me, so I don’t know that anything lingers about what he should choose. He has chosen, he asked me to join him on the ticket.” Herndon then decided to move on from the topic.
In October, Herndon reported that Harris’ allies were frustrated with the Democratic criticism of the vice president.
“It’s disrespectful,” California Sen. Laphonza Butler, appointed to the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat, told the Times. “And the thing that makes it more disrespectful is that we’re talking about a historic VP who has been a high-quality partner and asset to the country at a time when everything is at stake. Right now is the time to respect what she’s done and what she brings.”
The late Nevada Sen. Harry Reid also spoke to The New York Times in 2020, emphasizing the significance of race in Biden’s decision.
“I think he came to the conclusion that he should pick a black woman,” Reid stated. “They are our most loyal voters and I think that the black women of America deserved a black vice-presidential candidate.”
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