Joe Biden and Kamala Harris appeared together in person for the first time since the California senator was named his 2020 running mate. Speaking at a high school in Wilmington, Delaware on August 12, the Democratic nominees for president and vice president expressed their mutual admiration for each other, and one important bond they shared before even meeting: Biden’s son, Beau Biden. The late Delaware Attorney General was one of Harris’ closest confidants when she was California’s Attorney General, and someone she considered a dear friend.
Harris teared up as she spoke about the younger Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015 at 46, while explaining why she wanted to work with his father. “Ever since I received Joe’s call, I’ve been thinking about the first Biden that I really came to know, and that, of course, is Joe’s beloved son, Beau.” Harris said that during the Great Recession, she and Beau spoke on the phone “multiple times a day.” She continued, “I learned quickly that Beau Biden was the kind of guy who inspired people to be a better version of themselves.”
“He really was the best of us. And I would ask him, ‘where’d you get that? Where’d this come from?’ He’d always talk about his dad. And I will tell you the love that they shared was incredible. It was the most beautiful display of the love between a father and a son.” As Harris spoke, the former vice president wiped tears from his eyes. He also spoke of his son while introducing Harris as his running mate during his speech. “I know how much Beau respected Kamala and her work and that mattered a lot to me, to be honest with you, as I made this decision,” Biden said.
Biden and Harris’ joint speech comes one day after he announced that she would be his running mate in the 2020 election. He broke the news to his supporters on Twitter, writing, “I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” he tweeted. “Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”
Harris said on social media that, “@JoeBiden can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.” Harris becomes the first Black woman and first person of Indian descent to run for national office for a major party. She is only the fourth woman to run for national office for a major party, following Geraldine Ferraro, Sarah Palin, and Hillary Clinton.
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