US presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s selection of Senator Kamala Harris gives him a running mate who can appeal to African American voters who are core to Biden’s base of support and serve as a fierce critic of President Donald Trump’s record in office.
A former top state prosecutor in California, Senator Harris brings a law-and-order career record that will help Biden steer a tricky, centrist line between Black Lives Matter protesters and white Americans who worry about attacks on police funding.
At the same time, picking a woman who competed with Biden during the presidential primaries and attacked him memorably on race during a debate, shows Biden asserting a degree of self-confidence that he can forge a cooperative, working relationship with her, political analysts told Al Jazeera.
“Biden faced unprecedented pressure to pick a Black woman,” said John Jackson, a professor at the Public Policy Institute of the University of Southern Illinois.
“He wanted someone who is going to command some respect and will balance the ticket with demographic characteristics of gender and race,” Jackson said.
“And he wanted somebody who he has personal chemistry with that is good,” he said.