A recently issued podcast shows Vice President Kamala Harris thrown by a question concerning the race-based process by which she was selected as President Joe Biden’s running mate.
An interview with Harris that was conducted in August by Astead Herndon of The New York Times appeared last week as part of the Times’ “Run Up” podcast.
As reported by Fox News, Herndon sought to home in on the process by which Biden picked Harris in 2020.
As noted by CNN in July 2020, Biden final four candidates for his running mate were black women.
Further, an open letter to Biden from 200 black women who are Democratic activists and leaders all but demanded a black woman be picked, according to NPR.
“It is a fact that the road to the White House is powered by black women and black women are the key to a Democratic victory in 2020,” the letter stated.
Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters declared in August 2020 that Biden would choose a black woman as his running mate because he owed his primary campaign victory to black voters.
Given that race and gender were the driving forces behind the pick, Herndon asked Harris how it felt to be picked based on her racial and sexual identity instead of achievements.
“He came to the decision that he needed to choose a black woman,” Herndon said, according to Fox.
“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?”
Just listened to NYT’s The Run-Up podcast interview with Kamala Harris. She was awful. Like she had never done a day of media training ever. Defensive. Needlessly argumentative with a generally sympathetic interviewer. The opposite of nimble. Apparently unable to pivot to her…
— Kenny Farquharson (@KennyFarq) November 19, 2023
Harris responded by claiming she did not understand what Herndon was asking.
“Does it matter that, that kind of narrative around Biden needed to choose a black woman as a running mate still exists, and has hovered over that selection?” the interviewer asked.
“It happened. I don’t think. I honestly don’t understand your question. Has it lingered?” she said laughing, according to Fox.
“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 said he would “move on,” Fox reported.
Although Harris has faced criticism throughout her term, her defenders say this is misplaced.
“It’s disrespectful,” longtime Harris ally and Democratic Sen. Laphonza Butler of California said, according to a New York Times Magazine report in October.
“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,” she said.
LaTosha Brown, who helped found Black Voters Matter, told the Times Magazine that Democrats are to blame for Harris’s lack of success.
“I think there have been saboteurs within the administration,” she said. “I think that they are worried about the age contrast. And they are worried about Kamala outshining Biden.”
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