Kamala Harris, ‘female Obama,’ to run for White House

FPJ BureauUpdated: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 03:12 AM IST
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Washington: Indian-origin ‘barrier-breaking’ prosecutor Kamala Harris, the second black woman to serve in the United States Senate, declared her candidacy for White House on Monday. Harris, 54, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, enters the race with the potential advantage of being a Democratic candidate who looks most representative of the party’s increasingly diverse base of young, female and minority voters.

Like former President Obama, to whom she was compared while she was still attorney general, Harris is running for White House just two years after coming to the Senate. But unlike Obama, who became a political celebrity even before he arrived in Washington, Harris has made her name since being elected to Congress.  An outspoken critic of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, she launched her campaign on Monday in an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” She did so as the nation observed what would have been the 90th birthday of the slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

“Let’s do this, together. Let’s claim our future. For ourselves, for our children, and for our country,” Harris, 54, said in a video that was released to coincide with her appearance on the morning television show. The first-term senator portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in the video. “They’re the values we as Americans cherish, and they’re all on the line now,” Harris said. “The future of our country depends on you and millions of others lifting our voices to fight for our American values.”

If elected, she would be the first woman and a coloured one at that to be the president of the United States. For the first time, the Democratic presidential race now includes several high-profile women, with Harris joining two other prominent senators who have announced candidacies, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat, has also said she is running, and more women could enter the race in the coming weeks. She has selected Baltimore, near Washington DC, in the East Coast as her 2020 campaign headquarters.

Her second office would be based in Oakland, her birthplace. It is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary race, the winner of which would grab the party’s nomination and challenge President Donald Trump in the November 2020 presidential race. The Democratic primary begins early next year.

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