In an interview with The New York Times' Astead Herndon for the "Run Up" podcast, Vice President Kamala Harris responded to questions about the significance of her identity in President Biden's decision to select her as his running mate in 2020.
The interview, conducted in Chicago and published on Thursday, touched on Biden's commitment to choosing a woman as his running mate.
Prominent Democrats had urged Biden to select a Black woman, and he acknowledged that Black women were among his final candidates during the selection process.
"He came to the decision that he needed to choose a Black woman," Herndon said. "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?"
Harris informed Herndon that she was unclear about the nature of his question.
"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?" he asked again.
"It happened," she said, along with her customary cackle. "I don’t think, I honestly don’t understand your question. Has it lingered?"
"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," she continued. Herndon then said he would "move on."
"It’s disrespectful," Sen. Laphonza Butler, D-Calif., who was appointed to the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein's seat, told the Times. "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."
In 2020, the former Senator Harry Reid from Nevada, a Democrat, stated to The New York Times that race played a crucial role in Biden's decision-making process.
"I think he came to the conclusion that he should pick a Black woman," Reid said. "They are our most loyal voters and I think that the Black women of America deserved a Black vice-presidential candidate."
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