Americans across the nation spent the week watching a map painted in changing shades of red and blue. The nation was left wondering who will be the next president and vice president of the United States. After a long wait, a winner was announced Saturday.
History in the Making
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris have secured a win for the Democratic party. Harris tweeted a video of her calling Biden to celebrate after hearing the news.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 7, 2020
Both candidates have also made history in the White House. Joe Biden is now the oldest president in U.S. history and the first to defeat an incumbent president in nearly 30 years.
Sen. Kamala Harris made a huge impact on the lives of many with her win. Harris is the first female, first Black and first South Asian to be elected as vice president of the United States.
In recent years more female candidates and candidates of color have run for the presidency. However, former President Barrack Obama and Sen. Kamala Harris are the first and only two to break the mold.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came close to winning the presidency in 2016 but suffered defeat, as current President Donald Trump won the electoral votes necessary to take office.
Earlier into the 2020 election season, many more women ran such as Democrats Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and Libertarian Jo Jorgenson.
The Journey Begins
Sen. Kamala Harris began her trailblazing career in law and politics in 2003 when she was named the first female District Attorney in San Francisco. Harris was also the first female and first Black to serve as California’s Attorney General.
In 2016 Harris ran for the US National Senate and won becoming only the second female Black Senator in U.S. history.
Harris served in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on the Budget.
Harris announced on Good Morning America that she would join the race for president in January of 2019.
“I love my country. I love my country,” 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.”
Harris dropped out of the presidential race in December of 2019 due to a lack of campaign funding.
“I’ve taken stock, and I’ve looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days, I have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life,” Harris said. “As the campaign has gone on, it has become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.”
However, this was not the end of her journey. Biden announced in August of 2020 that he had chosen Harris as his running mate.
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.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 11, 2020
A New Purpose
Since she was announced as Biden’s running mate, Harris has worked toward the goal of becoming the first female and first multiracial candidate to serve as Vice President.
Harris also faces a unique situation going into the office. When Biden officially enters the Oval Office in January he will be 78 years old. Therefore the risk of Harris having to step-up as president in case of Biden’s incapacity is greater.
Currently, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is working on a supposed 25th amendment that would allow Congress to deem a US President incapable of the job. This emerged in light of current President Trump announcing that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 back in October.
The bill would allow for a president to be removed from office if the majority of his or her cabinet members as well as the vice president deemed them unfit to serve due to health complications.
“This is not about President Trump. He will face the judgment of the voters, but he shows the need for us to create a process for future presidents,” Pelosi said, later adding, “This legislation applies to future presidents, but we are reminded of the necessity of action by the health of the current president.”
Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin also added the amendment is only for the most extreme situations.
“This is really only for the most extreme situations where you have a president who cannot fulfill the functions of the office,” Raskin said.
The New Administration
As Biden and Harris prepare to head into office a few things stand in the way. Currently, President Trump is taking legal action against several states including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and more over voter fraud disputes. This action could result in uncovering fraud committed by several states during the election process.
Trump is also calling for recounts in several states, one of which is Michigan, as the state’s results were highly disputed.
Despite all this, Harris and Biden are ready to take office should Trump’s legal processes not prevent them. Both Biden and Harris posted a video to Twitter after hearing the news.
This election is about so much more than @JoeBiden or me. It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s get started.pic.twitter.com/Bb9JZpggLN
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 7, 2020
Edited by Donna Mitchell and Christian Knox
Featured Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons