Kamala Harris writes history several times: For the first time, a woman and non-white takes over the vice-presidency. She has an excellent chance of becoming the next candidate for the presidency.
Kamala Harris has overcome many hurdles in her life. She took the most groundbreaking step on Wednesday: Harris is the first woman and the first black woman to take the oath as US Vice President. For Harris, America’s promise as the land of opportunity has been fulfilled. Now she wants to work alongside President Joe Biden to ensure that many more can follow her example.
Kamala Harris: Greetings to the fans on the sidelines of the inauguration. (Source: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)
Harris was born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland, California, where she grew up in an African American community. Her father immigrated to the United States from Jamaica to study economics. Her mother – a cancer researcher and civil rights activist – was from India.
Harris breaks through glass ceilings
In the course of her career, Harris was the first several times: After studying in Washington and California, she became the first black District Attorney for San Francisco. As of 2010, she became the first woman to hold the post of Justice Minister in her home state. She became the first black woman to represent California in the US Senate in 2017 – and she was only the second African American woman to sit in the House of Representatives. A few days later, Donald Trump was sworn in as US President.
Her opposition to Trump drove her to run for the Democratic presidential run, but she eventually pulled out of the race. Biden brought her to his side as a presidential candidate as a “running mate”.
Under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, Biden himself was Vice President for eight years. Because of Biden’s advanced age, this time special attention was paid to choosing his deputy. The 78-year-old is older than any of his predecessors when he takes office – 56-year-old Harris could inherit him, at least as the next Democratic candidate for president. It is unlikely that Biden – who describes Harris as a “fearless fighter” – will run for re-election in 2024. He would be 82 years old at the start of a second term.
Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff: “So proud”
As the first female vice president of the USA, Harris is providing another novelty: Instead of a second lady, Harris’ husband Douglas Emhoff will in future be a second gentleman. Emhoff campaigned for Harris and Biden and supported his wife on social media with family photos and encouraging messages. After Harris learned of the election victory, Emhoff tweeted a photo of their embrace with the words, “So proud of you.”
Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff: Her husband supports her, also campaigned for her. (Source: Cbs / imago images)
The story of the relationship between the two 56-year-olds is a topic of conversation. Harris and Emhoff met in 2013. She is single and Attorney General of California, divorced father of two and an attorney in Los Angeles. The first date was arranged by a friend of Harris’s. “She’s hot,” was his reaction to the suggestion, as he recalled in an interview.
After the first dinner, Emhoff sent Harris a list of his free appointments for the next few weeks. “I’m too old to play games. I really like you,” he wrote. The y were closely married in the Santa Barbara Courthouse about a year later.
Harris: I may be the first, I won’t be the last
After winning the election in November, Harris said her mother had shaped her significantly and believed in an America where a moment like this was possible. At 19, her mother came to America from India and, like so many other black women, Asians, Whites, Latinas and Native Americans, fought for freedom, equality and equality. “I stand on her shoulders,” she said.
Kamala Harris at her victory speech in November: She appeared all in white – the color of the suffragettes who fought for women’s suffrage. (Source: UPI Photo / imago images)
And: “Even if I may be the first woman in this position, I will not be the last,” said Harris. “Because every little girl who watches tonight sees that this is a land of opportunity.”