MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday selected U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate in his quest to unseat President Donald Trump.
FOX13 talked with a political science professor at Rhodes College about the impact of Senator Harris’ historic selection.
Professor Justin Rose said presidential candidate Joe Biden had a rocky start to this campaign season until the South Carolina primary last spring.
In a way, he said Biden owed black voters, particularly black women, a vice-presidential candidate like Senator Kamala Harris since they have faithfully supported Biden’s campaign.
Harris is making history as the first African American woman and South-Asian American to become as a vice-presidential candidate.
“It has the potential to, I wouldn’t say, galvanize black women because in many ways they already were, but it helps them stay energized,” said Rose. “I think in some sense it’s validation of all the hard work that they’ve done in the past decade in terms of voting, particularly for the democratic party,” said Rose who is the Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at Rhode College.
Rose said Harris’ selection is a double-edged sword. At one end, he said Harris represents a moderate voice who connects with black culture, and the black community.
“I think this is going to help Joe Biden hold up a mirror to the Trump campaign and show America what he and the Democratic party is standing for,” he said. “It’s going to be the opposite of Trump and Trump is going to have to continue to try to keep his base engaged.”
But on the other end, Rose said the senator’s policy choices from her time as the Attorney General for California and District Attorney for San Francisco are some of the reasons why her own presidential run ended early.
“That will come up with heightened scrutiny as we think about the Black Lives Matter movement and this focus on police brutality,” Rose said. “You know, will her track record and that of Joe Biden’s be called into question in terms of their sympathy to police and maybe not holding them accountable in the ways that are being called for by many Black people and I should say not just Black people.”
Rose said the timing of this announcement is also key.
During a typical election year, both political parties would be gearing up for two massive conventions to build up momentum for the November election.
© 2020 Cox Media Group