VP candidate offer from Biden probably one of the most memorable days of my life: Harris
Washington: Senator Kamala Harris said that a call from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden offering her to be his running mate in the 2020 US presidential election is probably one of the most memorable days of her life.
The 55-year-old feisty lawyer and Senator from California scripted history in August by becoming the first ever Indian-origin, Black and African-American to be a vice presidential candidate of a major political party. On Wednesday night, she shared the stage with incumbent Republican Vice President Mike Pence for the vice presidential debate at The University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
In the November 3 presidential election, Biden will challenge incumbent President Donald Trump, a Republican.
"The day I got the call from Joe Biden, it was actually a Zoom call asking me to serve with him on this ticket, was probably one of the most memorable days of my life, Harris said during the 90-minute vice-presidential debate.
I thought about my mother who came to the United States at the age of 19, gave birth to me at the age of 25 at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, California and the thought that I'd be sitting here right now, I know would make her proud. She must be looking down on this, she said, referring to her Chennai-born mother Shyamala Gopalan, a biomedical scientist, who succumbed to cancer in 2009.
Her father Donald J Harris is a Jamaican-American. He is an economist and professor emeritus at the Stanford University. Harris' parents split when she was five-year-old.
During the debate, Harris did not specifically refer to her Indian heritage.
Earlier, greeting her on the stage, Pence said, Senator Harris, it's a privilege to be on the stage with you.
Responding to a question from moderator Susan Page from the USA Today newspaper, Harris said she and Biden were raised in a very similar way "with values that are about hard work, about the value and the dignity of public service, and about the importance of fighting for the dignity of all people".
I think Joe asked me to serve with him because, you know, I have a career that included being elected the first woman district attorney in San Francisco where I created models of innovation for law enforcement in terms of reform of the criminal justice system," she said.
Harris said she was elected the first woman of colour and Black woman to be elected attorney general of the state of California where she ran the second largest Department of Justice in the US, second only to the Department of Justice.
"There, I took on everything from transnational criminal organisations to the big banks that were taking advantage of homeowners to for-profit colleges that were taking advantage of veterans, she said during the debate.
"Now I serve in the US Senate as only the second black woman ever elected to the US Senate. I serve on a Senate Intelligence Committee where I've been in regular receipt of classified information about threats to our nation and hotspots around the world," she said.
Harris underlined that she has travelled the world and met US soldiers in war zones.
"I think Joe has asked me to serve with him because he knows that we share a purpose, which is about lifting up the American people and, after the four years that we have seen of Donald Trump, unifying our country around our common values and principles, Harris said justifying her historic vice-presidential candidature.