Kamala Harris: Interesting Things About Joe Biden's Running Mate

by Margaret Minnicks about a month ago in politicians

There are a lot of "firsts" surrounding Kamala Harris who will be on the ticket with Joe Biden.

Kamala Harris: Interesting Things About Joe Biden's Running Mate
(Photo via commons.wikimedia.org)

Senator Kamala Harris was already well known by some who follow politics. However, there are some interesting things that people might not know about the person who will be on the ticket along with Joe Biden for the 2020 Presidential Election.

Harris found out 90-minutes before the public found out she was Biden's pick on Tuesday, August 11, 2020. Biden called Harris his running mate: “a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants.”

Name and Age

Some people mispronounce her name even though it is easy when you look carefully at the three short syllables in her first name Kamala (/ˈkɑːmələ/ COMMA-lə). In her autobiography, she tells people to think of comma, the punctuation mark. Her mother chose Kamala’s name to celebrate both her Indian roots and the empowerment of women. Kamala means "lotus" which is a beautiful flower and also another name for the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. Her middle name Devi is a Sanskrit word for "goddess."

As of this writing, Kamala is 55 years old. She was born on October 20, 1964. Therefore, she will be 56 when the election takes place on November 3. Her running mate, Joe Biden will be 78 on November 20. If he wins, he will be the oldest sitting President of the United States.

Family

Kamal was born in Oakland, California and grew up in Berkeley. She is the daughter of immigrants. Her Jamaican father, Donald Harris, is a professor emeritus at Stanford University where he taught economics. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was a cancer researcher from India. The couple was active in the Civil Rights Movement and took Kamala to protests strapped in a stroller. They divorced when Harris was 7, and her younger sister Maya was 5. The girls were raised by their mother on the top floor of a duplex in Berkeley.

Harris met attorney Douglas Emhoff, an entertainment lawyer on a blind date. Her younger sister officiated their marriage ceremony on August 22, 2014, in Santa Barbara, California. They do not have children together, but Emhoff has two adult children, Ella and Cole, from a previous marriage. The children call Kamala "Momala" instead of referring to her as a "stepmother."

Kamala's younger sister Maya Harris received her law degree from Stanford. Maya is an MSNBC political analyst, and her daughter Meena is the founder of the Phenomenal Women Action Campaign.

Education

Harris has a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Howard University in Washington, DC where she was on the debate team and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. She received her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Political Career

After passing the bar in 1990, Harris began her career as an assistant district attorney in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. In 2003, she ran for district attorney in San Francisco against incumbent Terence Hallinan, her former boss. She was elected in a runoff with 56.5 percent of the vote. She became the first Black woman in California to be elected district attorney. She served from 2004-2011. Then she served as California attorney general from 2011-2016.

Records are on file that President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka donated $8,000 to re-elect Senator Kamala Harris as Attorney General back in 2011 and 2014.

She won her U.S. Senate race in 2016, defeating fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez, with 20 years of experience. In 2017, she was sworn in as the second African American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history. She serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on the Budget.

She was among 29 candidates campaigning for the President of the United States in 2019. She withdrew from the race in December. In March 2020, she endorsed Joe Biden.

On August 11, 2020, Joe Biden announced Harris as his running mate for the 2020 United States Presidential Election. She became the first Black and first South Asian vice-presidential nominee of a major party in United States history. She is the third major party female U.S. vice presidential nominee after Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Sarah Palin in 2008.

Summary of Kamala's Firsts

After over 26 years in public life, Kamala Harris has racked up a long list of firsts. She was the first Black woman to be elected district attorney in California history. She was the first woman to be California’s attorney general. She was the first Indian American senator. Now, Harris is the first Black woman and first Asian American to be on a ticket to become the Vice-President of the United States.

Religion

Harris was raised in a Black Baptist Church where she sang in the choir. She also attended a Hindu temple with her mother. That way, she embraced both her South Asian and Black identities.

Publications

Harris has written three books: The Truths We Hold: An American Journey; Smart on Crime; and the children’s book Superheroes Are Everywhere.

Tidbits About Kamala Harris

Harris and her husband have an estimated net worth of $5.8 million. She collects Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers and keeps them on hand to wear when she is traveling.

She’s an enthusiastic cook. Her go-to dinner entree is a simple roast chicken. She loves French fries.

Kamala's daily routine is to get out of bed around 6 a.m. and work out for half an hour on the elliptical or SoulCycle. For breakfast, she eats a bowl of Raisin Bran cereal with almond milk. Before leaving for work, she also drinks tea with honey and lemon.

Senator Harris lives by a motto that she got from her mother: “You may be the first, but make sure you’re not the last.”

politicians
Margaret Minnicks
Margaret Minnicks
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Margaret Minnicks

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