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Kamala Harris is the current Vice President of the United States and a former acting United States Senator representing the state of California. One of the Democratic parties more recognizable officials, Harris announced her candidacy for the United States Presidency in January 2019. After making little headway in the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary, she dropped out of the race. She was later selected by Democratic nominee Joe Biden to be his running made in the race.
Kamala Harris's political career began in 1990, when she was elected as deputy district attorney of Alameda County California, which she served from 1990 to 1998.
In 2003, she was elected the District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco. Winning the position in two votes, the second, which she won unopposed, Harris held office until 2010, when she was elected California Attorney General. Harris held the position of California Attorney General until 2016, when she was elected United States Senator in California.
2020 Presidential Run
Kamala Harris announced that she would be running for president of the United States on Twitter on January 21st, 2019. That day, she posted a video announcing her candidacy on Twitter. The post received more than 58,000 retweets and 192,000 likes in 24 hours (shown below).
I'm running for president. Let's do this together. Join us: https://t.co/9KwgFlgZHA pic.twitter.com/otf2ez7t1p
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 21, 2019
Kamala Harris announced that she would be running for president of the United States on the Good Morning America morning show (announcement below). In her announcement, she said, "This is a moment in time that I feel a sense of responsibility to stand up and fight for the best of who we are, and that fight will always include, as one of the highest priorities, our national security."
Similar to the attacks made upon former President Barack Obama, some accused Harris of being disqualified from the office of president because of unsubstantiated attacks on her place of birth. Conspiracy theorist and conservative activist Jacob Wohl tweeted, "Kamala Harris is NOT eligible to be President. Her father arrived from Jamaica in 1961--mother from India arrived in 1960. Neither parent was a legal resident for 5 years prior to Harris’s birth, a requirement for naturalization. Kamala was raised in Canada." The tweet received more than 5,000 retweets, 8,000 likes and 9,300 comments, making it the recipient of a Twitter ratio, a mark that the tweet was largely disliked.
This comment was quickly refuted. Twitter user @aalali44 tweeted, "Ah, that was quick. Birtherism redux has arrived. Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California. She is a natural born citizen and thus eligible to run for President of the United States. Period." The tweet received more than 275 retweets and 895 likes in 24 hours (shown below, right).
However, despite the charges being unsubstantiated, CNN's Chris Cuomo said in a since-deleted tweeted, "And hopefully there will be no games where the issue keeps changing for righty accusers…and…the legit info abt Harris comes out to deal with the allegation ASAP. The longer there is no proof either way, the deeper the effect."
Many online mocked and criticized Cuomo for validating the claims. Twitter user @gilbertjasono tweeted, "RIGHT-WING NUTJOB: Kamala Harris was born in the ocean. I read it on the Deep Web. She has gills CHRIS CUOMO: It is now up to Kamala Harris to rebut this potentially damning claim." The tweet received more than 600 retweets and 4,400 likes in 24 hours (shown below, right).
Selection As Biden's Running Mate
On August 11th, 2020, presumptive nominee Joe Biden selected Harris to be his running mate in the 2020 Presidential Election. The move was widely praised by Democratic officials and Biden's political rivals from the primary. However, progressives were upset by the move, feeling as though Biden and Harris were similarly center-left ideologically while the Democratic base moved in a more progressive direction.
Harris is known as one of the country's leading Democratic political figures, appearing in numerous Senate hearings, while maintaining a reputation of being smart, honest and sharp. Her popularity helped her raise more than $1.5 million in campaign contributions within 24 hours of her announcement that she would be running for president. The average contribution was $37 from about 35,000 donors.
While Harris has been popular with American liberals, some have taken issue with her work in the California Attorney Generals office. Some, particularly progressives on the left have criticized her for invoking conservative policies when battling crime in California. Jacobin magazine wrote:
It should matter to us that Harris, the ardent criminal justice reformer, not only did little to enact this reform during her years as a prosecutor but backed harsh, punitive policies that undermined her own progressive rhetoric on the issue. It should matter that she at times did so needlessly, taking a harsher stance than her right-wing opponents. It should matter that she repeatedly attempted to keep an innocent man locked up in prison and attempted to defend a falsified confession.
Harris married her husband Douglas Emhoff, a California attorney on August 22nd, 2014. She has two step-children through this marriage.
 New York Times – Kamala Harris, a ‘Top Cop’ in the Era of Black Lives Matter
 Wikipedia – Electoral history of Kamala Harris
 Politico – Kamala Harris raises $1.5 million in first 24 hours
 Twitter – @JacobAWohl's Tweet
 Twitter – @aalali44's Tweet
 Twitter – @gilbertjasono's Tweet
 Jacobin – The Two Faces of Kamala Harris
 Wikipedia – Kamala Harris
 HuffPost – Chris Cuomo Blames Kamala Harris For Not Addressing Racist ‘Birther’ Hoax
 Variety – Joe Biden Picks Kamala Harris as Running Mate
 New York Times – Sanders and other former presidential primary challengers congratulate Harris.
 New York Times – In Harris, Biden chooses ideological match even as party tilts left.
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