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Biden picks Kamala Harris as VP nominee

In her own tweet, Harris called joining Biden’s ticket an honor.

Biden, she wrote, “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 will be the first woman, the first Asian American and the first Black vice president if elected. And Biden’s barrier-breaking pick of her comes at a time of racial reckoning in the country, plunging one of the best-known women of color in politics into a contest against President Donald Trump, who has stoked racial divisions in the White House and on the campaign trail.

Biden prioritized choosing a running mate with whom he was “simpatico,” as he frequently said, and his months-long search narrowed the list to a handful of women the campaign believed could help energize Democrats in the homestretch of the campaign. In Harris, Biden is hoping to combine both of his priorities, finding a thrilling campaigner as well as a long-term governing partner.

Harris, 55, has also built a personal rapport with Biden, and she was close with his late son, Beau, a fellow former state attorney general. But Harris had to survive concerns inside the Biden campaign about whether she could be a trusted partner in the job, after a bitter primary clash and a searing debate broadside by Harris strained relationships between their allies.

Biden nodded at Harris’ relationship with his son in announcing his selection Tuesday.

“I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse,” he said of the pair. “I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

Biden “nailed the decision” for running mate in picking Harris, former President Barack Obama said in a statement, calling the selection of a vice presidential nominee “the first important decision a president makes.”

By choosing Senator Kamala Harris as America’s next vice president,” Obama added, Biden “has underscored his own judgment and character. Reality shows us that these attributes are not optional in a president.”

Harris has also faced persistent criticism for her prosecutorial record, including concerns she was too cautious to lead on sweeping changes. Her embrace in recent years of far-reaching changes has won over some skeptics, and she helped steer Democratic efforts to pass police reform this summer. A child of the Civil Rights Movement, whose parents were active in 1960s marches, Harris joined Black Lives Matter demonstrations this summer.

In the Senate, Harris’ must-see cross-examinations of Republican witnesses in hearings helped elevate her national profile. She was considered a top-tier presidential contender when she launched her campaign last year before more than 22,000 people in her hometown of Oakland. But even as she displayed flashes of brilliance as a candidate — including the clash with Biden in the Miami debate, which temporarily boosted her in polls and helped her raise millions of dollars — Harris struggled with consistency and see-sawed between health care policies.

Harris’ campaign unraveled under the weight of a confusing message and an unclear chain of command atop her staff, ending in mutiny amid late-fall layoffs. She flatlined into the low-single before dropping out before the Iowa caucuses.

The Trump campaign wasted no time knocking her as “phony Kamala” and casting Harris as a liberal Trojan horse taking advantage of an aging candidate in a statement and digital ad released on the president’s Twitter feed shortly after the news became public.

Harris, the ad says, attacked Biden “for racist policies” during her White House bid while “rushing to the radical left.”

“Voters rejected Harris, they smartly spotted a phony,” it continues. “But not Joe Biden — he’s not that smart.”

The ad notes that Biden has often referred to himself as a “transition candidate,” and contends that he is merely “handing over the reins to Kamala while they jointly embrace the radical left.”

The president himself went after Harris from the White House briefing room, calling her treatment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh “extraordinarily nasty.”

“I won’t forget that soon,” Trump told reporters, adding that he was “surprised” Biden chose Harris because of her row with Biden over race and her early exit from the primary.

“It’s hard to pick somebody that’s that disrespectful,” Trump said, adding: “I thought she was the meanest, the most horrible, most disrespectful of anybody in the U.S. Senate.”

On a teleconference call with reporters later, Trump campaign adviser Katrina Pierson asserted that Harris’ early exit from the 2020 Democratic presidential primary illustrated that she “does not generate excitement in her own party,” while arguing that the Trump campaign will have no trouble simultaneously portraying Harris as too tough on crime and too far left.

Harris’ 2020 presidential run was the first time she had lost a campaign, after a rapid rise through California. A former line prosecutor who got her start in Alameda County — the same office where former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren once presided — Harris launched her first political run in 2003, for San Francisco district attorney, as a decided longshot. Harris ultimately defeated the incumbent after accusing him of running a dysfunctional office and not addressing rising crime rates.

While Harris cultivated the Bay Area’s wealthy and connected, she also campaigned with an ironing board, passing out leaflets at transit stops and blocking out her weekends to appear at clubs and churches in the famously left-wing city, where politics has been compared to bloodsport. Others have emerged nationally from this crucible, among them House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who became mayor of the city after the assassination of George Moscone and Harvey Milk. But none have reached the heights Harris is now touching, or risen as quickly.

Six years after the district attorney’s race, Harris was again seen as an underdog in her campaign for state attorney general. Up against a popular district attorney from Los Angeles, Republican Steve Cooley, Harris’ was seen even by some in her own party as unelectable, as an anti-death penalty woman of color from San Francisco — a dismissal that Harris has since worn as a badge of pride.

Harris narrowly won the race, before building her political cachet to the point that she drew a nominal challenge for reelection in 2014 and cruised to an open Senate seat in 2016, becoming the first Indian American and only the second Black female senator.

As Harris celebrated her election to the Senate, Trump’s victory in the race for president loomed over her victory speech — and ushered in the next phase of her career, which now has her months away from potentially moving into a White House office alongside Biden.

“Do we retreat, or do we fight?” Harris said on election night 2016. “I say we fight. And I intend to fight.”

Harris won praise Tuesday from other contenders for the vice presidency who did not get selected by Biden.

“Senator Harris is a tenacious and trailblazing leader who will make a great partner on the campaign trail. I am confident that Biden-Harris will prove to be a winning ticket,” said Susan Rice, who was Obama’s national security adviser and was among Harris’ competition to be Biden’s running mate.

California Rep. Karen Bass, who emerged late in Biden’s search, called Harris a “great” pick, and vouched for the senator’s social justice credentials.

“Her tenacious pursuit of justice and relentless advocacy for the people is what is needed right now,” Bass said in a tweet. “I worked closely with her when I was in Sacramento and she was the District Attorney in San Francisco.”

“I continue to work closely with her here in Washington, D.C. as we push to reform our nation’s policing system,” Bass continued. “California is better because of her work as Attorney General and stronger because of her work as Senator. Now all Americans will benefit from her work as Vice President.”

And former President Bill Clinton called Harris a “terrific” pick, while Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic nominee for president, tweeted that Harris “already proven herself to be an incredible public servant and leader. And I know she’ll be a strong partner to @JoeBiden. Please join me in having her back and getting her elected.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was Biden’s last rival in the Democratic primary and remains a leading voice on the left, vowed that Harris would “make history as our next Vice President.”

“She understands what it takes to stand up for working people, fight for health care for all, and take down the most corrupt administration in history,” Sanders said of his Senate colleague and former 2020 foe. “Let’s get to work and win.”

Progressive groups also cheered Biden’s choice, with BlackPAC blasting out an email to supporters that read: “IT’S KAMALA!”

Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of the group, which had pushed Biden to select a Black woman as his running mate, went on to describe Harris as a “fearless champion for American families.”

Moreover, she added, Harris “understands the issues facing Black communities every day and the urgency of the moment. As Vice President, Senator Harris would work to restore competent, moral leadership to Washington.”

Harris even got some words of support from a most unlikely corner of the political world: Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee.

In a lengthy post on Instagram, Palin urged Harris to climb on the shoulders of herself and the first ever female vice presidential pick, Geraldine Ferraro, “and from the most amazing view in your life consider lessons we learned.”

The former governor of Alaska counseled Harris to “trust no one new” and to “fight mightily” to surround herself with her own team whom she knows and trusts. Palin also counseled Harris not to “get muzzled,” and to “stay connected with America as you smile and ignore deceptive ‘handlers’ trying to change you.”

Also among Palin’s tips for Harris: “Don’t forget the women who came before you,” and “have fun!”

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Here’s why Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris as his VP

Harris, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination earlier this year, had been the front-runner to be Biden’s pick for months because, well, she simply made sense.

* She has experience in government — as both the California attorney general and as a US senator since 2017

* At 55 years old, she represents a younger generation of leader — something that Biden, who will be 78 on Inauguration Day 2021, said was a major factor in his choice

* She is a historic pick as the first Black and South Asian American woman to appear on a major party’s national ticket

* She’s from California, a massive treasure trove of both Democratic votes and Democratic donors

* She emerged as an outspoken voice on race — and the need for police reform — following the death of George Floyd in May and the subsequent protests it sparked around the country

There was no one else on Biden’s VP shortlist that checked so many boxes.

What’s telling is that Biden — and his team — didn’t feel the need to reach for a less predictable pick. They knew that while picking Harris would draw considerable attention, it would also be the thing most people expected them to do. Despite the historic nature of putting Harris on the ticket, Biden and his advisers knew that selecting Harris might be described by some as unsurprising.

But one man’s “unsurprising” is another man’s “safe.” And that’s exactly what Harris is — and what Biden believes he needs.

See, if you are Joe Biden, making your third run for president and ahead in virtually every swing state and nationally over President Donald Trump, every day between now and November 3 you want to do nothing that threatens to change the underlying dynamics of the race. And those underlying dynamics are that this election is a referendum on Trump’s first term in office and, more specifically, the deeply haphazard and erratic way in which he has handled the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Under that theory of the case, Biden needs to spend most of his time convincing voters that Trump deserves to be fired and a (relatively) small amount of time making sure they believe he could do the job in the incumbent’s place.

What that all means is that Biden wants the race to be about him as little as possible. He doesn’t want to turn this into 2016 all over again, in which Hillary Clinton was forced by Trump to play defense over her time (and emails) at the State Department. He doesn’t want the race to turn into a war of words or a battle to see who can sink lower in terms of personal attacks.

And so, in making the most important decision of his campaign, Biden abided by that approach. He wanted to, above all, do no harm.

Picking former US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, who saw her fortunes soar in the finals days of the veepstakes, undoubtedly appealed to Biden, since he had the closest personal relationship with her and believed she could help him heal the wounds, internationally, that Trump has created. But Rice’s ties to the attacks in Benghazi, Libya — not to mention her presence in a January 20, 2017, meeting on Michael Flynn — created clear attack lines for Trump’s campaign to turn the spotlight from his flailing bid to Biden and Rice.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was, without question, one of Biden’s most trusted, effective and loyal surrogates throughout the 2020 race. She was with him when no one thought he could come back from dismal finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire. But with her time as mayor of Atlanta being her highest level of experience in elected office, Biden would open himself up to questions about whether she would be ready to take on the top job at a moment’s notice.

California Rep. Karen Bass’ time as speaker of the State Assembly in California and her ability to appeal to Democrats of all ideological stripes made her an attractive choice. But past comments about Fidel Castro and Scientology — and Bass’ shaky responses when pushed on those comments — suggested that she might not be ready for the full glare of the national spotlight.

Harris, by contrast, had no obvious weakness that the Trump campaign would exploit.

Yes, it would note — as it did shortly after the pick was announced! — that she had slammed Biden’s stance on segregated busing in a June 2019 presidential debate. (“Not long ago, Kamala Harris called Joe Biden a racist and asked for an apology she never received,” said Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson.) But it’s hard to see that attack doing much damage, given that Biden made history by picking Harris.

Is the he’s-a-secret-racist message really going to resonate given not only that but also a series of examples of Trump weaponizing White animosity toward minorities during his time in office? No way. And, while her prosecutor past in California might rankle some liberals who believed she was too aggressive in policing, it’s equally hard to imagine that liberals — faced with the prospect of four more years of Trump — would abandon Biden because of it.

What Biden did is make the pick that maximized his chances of continuing to make the race a straight referendum on Trump while also selecting someone, in Harris, whose resume suggests will be ready to step in if and when Biden decides to step aside.

This is the VP choice of a confident candidate, and campaign, who believe they are winning. And who believe that, as long they execute the basics of the campaign between now and November 3, Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president on January 20, 2021.

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Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as running mate, first Black woman – Twin Cities

WILMINGTON, Del. — Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday, making history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket and acknowledging the vital role Black voters will play in his bid to defeat President Donald Trump.

In choosing Harris, Biden is embracing a former rival from the Democratic primary who is familiar with the unique rigor of a national campaign. Born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, the 55-year-old first-term senator is one of the party’s most prominent figures. She quickly became a top contender for the No. 2 spot after her own White House campaign ended.

In a tweet, Biden called Harris a “fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants.”

“Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump,” he said.

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday near Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware.

She joins Biden in the 2020 race at a moment of unprecedented national crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 160,000 people in the U.S., far more than the toll experienced in other countries. Business closures and disruptions resulting from the pandemic have caused severe economic problems. Unrest, meanwhile, has emerged across the country as Americans protest racism and police brutality.

After Tuesday’s announcement, Trump quickly tweeted a campaign ad that dismisses Harris as “phony” and says she and Biden “jointly embrace the radical left.”

Trump’s uneven handling of the crises has given Biden an opening, and he enters the fall campaign in strong position against the president. In adding Harris to the ticket, he can point to her relatively centrist record on issues such as health care and her background in law enforcement in the nation’s largest state.

Harris’s record as California attorney general and district attorney in San Francisco was heavily scrutinized during the Democratic primary and turned away some liberals and younger Black voters who saw her as out of step on issues of racism in the legal system and police brutality. She tried to strike a balance on these issues, declaring herself a “progressive prosecutor” who backs law enforcement reforms.

Biden, who spent eight years as President Barack Obama’s vice president, has spent months weighing who would fill that same role in his White House. He pledged in March to select a woman as his vice president, easing frustration among Democrats that the presidential race would center on two white men in their 70s.

Biden’s search was expansive, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leading progressive, Florida Rep. Val Demings, whose impeachment prosecution of Trump won plaudits, California Rep. Karen Bass, who leads the Congressional Black Caucus, former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, whose passionate response to unrest in her city garnered national attention.

Rice congratulated Harris on her selection, calling her a “tenacious and trailblazing leader.” Rice said she would support Biden and Harris “with all my energy and commitment.”

Bass tweeted, “@KamalaHarris is a great choice for Vice President. Her tenacious pursuit of justice and relentless advocacy for the people is what is needed right now.”

A woman has never served as president or vice president in the United States. Two women have been nominated as running mates on major party tickets: Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Republican Sarah Palin in 2008. Their parties lost in the general election.

The vice presidential pick carries increased significance this year. If elected, Biden would be 78 when he’s inaugurated in January, the oldest man to ever assume the presidency. He’s spoken of himself as a transitional figure and hasn’t fully committed to seeking a second term in 2024. If he declines to do so, his running mate would likely become a front-runner for the nomination that year.

Harris won her first election in 2003 when she became San Francisco’s district attorney. In the role, she created a reentry program for low-level drug offenders and cracked down on student truancy.

She was elected California’s attorney general in 2010, the first woman and Black person to hold the job, and focused on issues including the foreclosure crisis. She declined to defend the state’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage and was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

As her national profile grew, Harris built a reputation around her work as a prosecutor. After being elected to the Senate in 2016, she quickly gained attention for her assertive questioning of Trump administration officials during congressional hearings. In one memorable moment last year, Harris tripped up Attorney General William Barr when she repeatedly pressed him on whether Trump or other White House officials pressured him to investigate certain people.

Harris launched her presidential campaign in early 2019 with the slogan “Kamala Harris For the People,” a reference to her courtroom work. She was one of the highest-profile contenders in a crowded Democratic primary and attracted 20,000 people to her first campaign rally in Oakland.

But the early promise of her campaign eventually faded. Her law enforcement background prompted skepticism from some progressives, and she struggled to land on a consistent message that resonated with voters. Facing fundraising problems, Harris abruptly withdrew from the race in December 2019, two months before the first votes of the primary were cast.

One of Harris’ standout moments of her presidential campaign came at the expense of Biden. During a debate, Harris said Biden made “very hurtful” comments about his past work with segregationist senators and slammed his opposition to busing as schools began to integrate in the 1970s.

“There was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day,” she said. “And that little girl was me.”

Shaken by the attack, Biden called her comments “a mischaracterization of my position.”

The exchange resurfaced recently one of Biden’s closest friends and a co-chair of his vice presidential vetting committee, former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, still harbors concerns about the debate and that Harris hadn’t expressed regret. The comments attributed to Dodd and first reported by Politico drew condemnation, especially from influential Democratic women who said Harris was being held to a standard that wouldn’t apply to a man running for president.

Some Biden confidants said Harris’ campaign attack did irritate the former vice president, who had a friendly relationship with her. Harris was also close with Biden’s late son, Beau, who served as Delaware attorney general while she held the same post in California.

But Biden and Harris have since returned to a warm relationship.

“Joe has empathy, he has a proven track record of leadership and more than ever before we need a president of the United States who understands who the people are, sees them where they are, and has a genuine desire to help and knows how to fight to get us where we need to be,” Harris said at an event for Biden earlier this summer.

At the same event, she bluntly attacked Trump, labeling him a “drug pusher” for his promotion of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus, which has not been proved to be an effective treatment and may even be more harmful. After Trump tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in response to protests about the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody, Harris said his remarks “yet again show what racism looks like.”

Harris has taken a tougher stand on policing since Floyd’s killing. She co-sponsored legislation in June that would ban police from using chokeholds and no-knock warrants, set a national use-of-force standard and create a national police misconduct registry, among other things. It would also reform the qualified immunity system that shields officers from liability.

The list included practices Harris did not vocally fight to reform while leading California’s Department of Justice. Although she required DOJ officers to wear body cameras, she did not support legislation mandating it statewide. And while she now wants independent investigations of police shootings, she didn’t support a 2015 California bill that would have required her office to take on such cases.

“We made progress, but clearly we are not at the place yet as a country where we need to be and California is no exception,” she told The Associated Press recently. But the national focus on racial injustice now shows “there’s no reason that we have to continue to wait.”

___

Ronayne reported from Sacramento, Calif. Associated Press writers Alexandra Jaffe and Julie Pace contributed to this report from Washington.

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55 Things You Need to Know About Kamala Harris

Kamala Devi Harris was born in Oakland, California on October 20, 1964, the eldest of two children born to Shyamala Gopalan, a cancer researcher from India, and Donald Harris, an economist from Jamaica.

2.

Her parents met at UC Berkeley while pursuing graduate degrees, and bonded over a shared passion for the civil rights movement, which was active on campus. After she was born, they took young Kamala along to protests in a stroller.

3.

Her mother chose Kamala’s name as a nod both to her Indian roots — Kamala means “lotus” and is another name for the Hindu goddess Lakshmi — and the empowerment of women.

“A culture that worships goddesses produces strong women,” Gopalan told the Los Angeles Times in 2004.

4.

Harris’ parents divorced when she was seven, and her mother raised her and her sister, Maya, on the top floor of a yellow duplex in Berkeley.

5.

In first grade, Harris was bused to Thousand Oaks Elementary School, which was in its third year of integration. For the next three years, she’d play “Miss Mary Mack” and cat’s cradle with her friends on the bus that traveled from her predominantly black, lower-middle class neighborhood to her school located in a prosperous white district.

6.

As a child, Harris went to both a Black Baptist church and a Hindu temple — embracing both her South Asian and Black identities. “My mother understood very well that she was raising two black daughters,” Harris later wrote in her autobiography, “and she was determined to make sure we would grow into confident, proud black women.”

7.

She visited India as a child and was heavily influenced by her grandfather, a high-ranking government official who fought for Indian independence, and grandmother, an activist who traveled around the countryside teaching impoverished women about birth control.

8.

Harris attended middle school and high school in Montreal, Canada after her mom got a teaching job at McGill University and a position as a cancer researcher at Jewish General Hospital.

9.

In Montreal, a 13-year-old Harris and her younger sister, Maya, led a successful demonstration in front of their apartment building in protest of a policy that banned children from playing on the lawn.

10.

After high school, Harris attended Howard University, the prestigious historically black college in Washington, D.C. There, she majored in political science and economics, and joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

11.

While attending law school in San Francisco, Harris lived with her sister, Maya, and helped potty-train Maya’s daughter.

“I’m dealing with this brutal stuff, dog-eat-dog in school, and then I would come home and we would all stand by the toilet and wave bye to a piece of shit,” Harris recalled in 2018. “It will put this place in perspective.”

12.

In 1990, after passing the bar, Harris joined the Alameda County prosecutor’s office in Oakland as an assistant district attorney focusing on sex crimes.

13.

Harris’ family was initially skeptical of the career choice. While she acknowledged that prosecutors have historically earned a bad reputation, she has said she wanted to change the system from the inside.

14.

In 1994, Harris began dating Willie Brown, a powerhouse in California politics who was then the speaker of the state assembly and was 30 years older than Harris. From his perch in the assembly, Brown appointed Harris to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and the Medical Assistance Commission — positions that together paid her around $80,000 a year on top of her prosecutor’s salary.

15.

In 1995, Brown was elected mayor of San Francisco. That December, Harris broke up with him because “she concluded there was no permanency in our relationship,” Brown told Joan Walsh in 2003. “And she was absolutely right.”

16.

After being recruited to the San Francisco District Attorney’s office by a former colleague in Alameda, Harris cracked down on teenage prostitution in the city, reorienting law enforcement’s approach to focus on the girls as victims rather than as criminals selling sex.

17.

During this time, Harris courted influential friends among San Francisco’s monied elite. In 2003, they would provide the financial backing to make her a formidable candidate in her first campaign for office.

18.

In 2003, she ran for district attorney in San Francisco against incumbent Terence Hallinan, her former boss. Her message, a top strategist on that campaign told POLITICO, was: “We’re progressive, like Terence Hallinan, but we’re competent like Terence Hallinan is not.”

19.

She was elected in a runoff with 56.5 percent of the vote. With her victory, she became the first Black woman in California to be elected district attorney.

20.

That same election, Gavin Newsom was elected mayor, succeeding Willie Brown. Newsom, now governor of California, is a close friend of hers, and the two have even vacationed together.

21.

During her first three years as district attorney, San Francisco’s conviction rate jumped from 52 to 67 percent.

22.

One of Harris’ most controversial decisions came in 2004 when she declined to pursue the death penalty against the man who murdered San Francisco police officer Isaac Espinoza. At the funeral, Senator Dianne Feinstein delivered a eulogy in which she criticized Harris, who was in the audience, prompting a standing ovation from the hundreds of officers in attendance.

Harris would be shunned by police unions for the next decade.

23.

Later, as California attorney general, Harris declined to support two ballot initiatives that would’ve banned the death penalty — raising accusations of political opportunism and inconsistency on the controversial issue.

24.

She was under scrutiny during her tenure as San Francisco district attorney when a technician stole cocaine from the D.A.’s crime lab and mishandled evidence. Harris, trying to keep things under wraps, failed to inform defense attorneys. As a result, about a thousand drug-related cases had to be thrown out.

25.

Her friendship with former President Barack Obama dates back to his run for Senate in 2004. She was the first notable California officeholder to endorse him during his 2008 presidential bid.

26.

In San Francisco, she vocally supported a controversial 2010 law that made truancy a misdemeanor and punished parents who failed to send their children to school. The truancy rate ultimately dropped, but some critics saw the rule as too punitive.

27.

That same year, in her second term as district attorney, Harris ran for California attorney general. Initially, few thought she would win the race — she was a woman of color from liberal San Francisco who opposed the death penalty and she was running against Steve Cooley, a popular white Republican who served as Los Angeles’ district attorney.

28.

The race was so tight that on election night, Cooley made a victory speech and the San Francisco Chronicle declared him the winner. Three weeks later, all ballots having been counted, Harris was declared the victor by 0.8 percentage points.

29.

As attorney general, when California was offered $4 billion in a national mortgage settlement over the foreclosure crisis, Harris fought for a larger amount by refusing to sign the deal. Although she was accused of grandstanding, she managed to secure $20 billion for California homeowners.

30.

One of her signature accomplishments as attorney general was creating Open Justice, an online platform to make criminal justice data available to the public. The database helped improve police accountability by collecting information on the number of deaths and injuries of those in police custody.

31.

The California Department of Justice recommended in 2012 that Harris file a civil enforcement action against OneWest Bank for “widespread misconduct” when foreclosing homes.

Harris, however, declined to prosecute the bank or its then-CEO Steve Mnuchin, who now serves as Treasury secretary.

32.

Some advocates say Harris didn’t do enough to address police brutality while she was attorney general, especially after she refused to investigate the police shootings of two black men in 2014 and 2015. She also didn’t support a 2015 bill in the state assembly that would have required the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor who specializes in police use of deadly force.

33.

In 2013, President Barack Obama was recorded referring to Harris as the “best-looking attorney general in the country.” He later apologized for the comments after critics labeled it as sexist.

34.

Harris was rumored to be a potential Supreme Court nominee under the Obama administration, although she later said she wasn’t interested.

35.

She married Doug Emhoff, a corporate lawyer in Los Angeles, in 2014 at a small and private ceremony officiated by her sister. Emhoff has two children from his previous marriage; they call Harris “Momala.”

36.

She won her U.S. Senate race in 2016, defeating fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez, a moderate congresswoman with 20 years of experience.

37.

She went viral in 2017 for her sharp questioning of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the Russia investigation. After three-and-a-half minutes of persistent questioning, Sessions said, “I’m not able to be rushed this fast! It makes me nervous.”

38.

She implemented a similar strategy of questioning during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 2018, when she grilled him about whether or not he’d discussed the Mueller investigation with anyone.

39.

Her most fervent online supporters were called the “KHive,” a phrase inspired by Beyoncé’s loyal group of fans, the “Beyhive.”

40.

By far the most viral moment of her presidential campaign came in the first Democratic debate, when she confronted Joe Biden over his position on cross-district busing in the 1970s while using a personal anecdote: “There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools. And she was bused to school every day,” she said. “And that little girl was me.” Though her poll numbers briefly surged after the debate, it was only downhill for her from there.

41.

In two different TV interviews over the course of a single week in 2019, President Donald Trump called Harris “nasty” for her questioning of Attorney General WIlliam Barr over his handling of the Mueller report during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

42.

She had an inconsistent stance on health care, which also made voters skeptical. Although she said she supported the abolition of private health care during an earlier town hall, she later denied her statement and said she had misheard the question. She eventually released a health care plan that still included private health insurance.

43.

During the campaign, Harris shied away from discussing specifics about her career as a prosecutor, a strategic choice borne of fear that voters on the left would criticize her over criminal justice issues. She even failed to give a sharp response to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s misleading attacks against her record, leaving voters unclear about her positions.

44.

She ended her presidential campaign in December 2019, a month before the Iowa caucuses, after taking a hard look at her campaign’s financial future and low poll numbers. Internal turmoil cost her presidential bid, with aides accusing Harris of mistreating her staff with sudden layoffs and allowing her sister, Maya, to have too much influence.

45.

She delayed her endorsement for Biden until March 8, when there were no more women left in the race and his nomination was undeniable. Six days after the California primary, she threw her support behind Biden and said he was a leader who could “unify the people.”

46.

She’s an enthusiastic cook who bookmarks recipes from the New York Times’ cooking section and has tried almost all the recipes from Alice Waters’s The Art of Simple Food. Her go-to dinner menu is a simple roast chicken.

47.

She collects Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers, which are her go-to travel shoes.

48.

Her favorite books include Native Son by Richard Wright, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

49.

She typically wakes up around 6 a.m. and works out for half an hour on the elliptical or SoulCycle. She’ll start the day with a bowl of Raisin Bran with almond milk and tea with honey and lemon before leaving for work.

50.

She describes herself as a “tough” boss –– although mostly on herself.

51.

One of the few times her father spoke publicly about her was when he reprimanded her for suggestively pointing to her Jamaican heritage when asked about her support for the legalization of marijuana. He criticized her for connecting Jamaicans to the “fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker.” He said he and his immediate family wished “to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty.”

52.

She’s not a fan of being called the “female Obama.” When a reporter asked her about carrying on Obama’s legacy during her run for president, she said, “I have my own legacy.”

53.

In June, her Wikipedia page was edited 408 times — far more than any other candidate on the shortlist –– in the span of three weeks, which people pointed to as a sign of her nomination as running mate (The Wikipedia page of Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016, saw more activity than any other candidate). The edits, mostly made by one person, had scrubbed controversial information from her page, including her “tough-on-crime” record and her decision not to prosecute Steve Mnuchin for financial fraud in 2013.

54.

If elected in November, she will be the first woman, first African-American and first Asian-American vice president in the history of the United States.

55.

Her motto comes from her mom: “You may be the first, but make sure you’re not the last.”

Sources: Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, POLITICO, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, POLITICO, NPR, USA Today, The Washington Post, The New York Times, GovTrack, The Guardian, Vox, The Intercept, Smart Voter, Book Riot, SF Gate, Mercury News, The Cut, The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris.

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Joe Biden Picks Kamala Harris as 2020 Running Mate

Jahi ChikwendiuGetty Images

Long about 4:20 ET Tuesday afternoon, Mike Pence of Indiana felt a cold chill Down There and he didn’t know why.

Joe Biden returned to the inevitable by selecting Senator Kamala Harris to be his running mate. This decision put Pence in a nutcracker. Either he has to debate Harris on television—and he’s seen what happened to witnesses before Senate committees when Harris’s turn came around to question them—or he won’t get the chance, because this selection has to make some of the cutthroats on the other side wonder if dumping Pence for, say, Nikki Haley, is the proper countermove. (Narrator: They won’t, but you know some of them are thinking about it.) Frankly, given the choice between public evisceration and public defenestration, I don’t know which way Pence would go. Maybe he should poll on it.

columbia, sc   june 22 democratic presidential candidate, sen kamala harris d ca addresses the crowd at the 2019 south carolina democratic party state convention on june 22, 2019 in columbia, south carolina democratic presidential hopefuls are converging on south carolina this weekend for a host of events where the candidates can directly address an important voting bloc in the democratic primary photo by sean rayfordgetty images

Pence will feel a chill.

Sean RayfordGetty Images

The pick makes all kinds of sense. It always made all kinds of sense. It energizes the most loyal segment of the Democratic base. It honors the election of Barack Obama and the legacy of Biden’s work in that administration, while simultaneously acknowledging the reality, seen now in the streets, that, despite the fond anesthetic rhetoric of conservatives, the election of Barack Obama did not solve entirely systemic racism in this society. It puts a prosecutorial edge on the campaign that any campaign against the current president* needs. It injects the campaign with hot molten steel. At the same time, Harris is a genuinely charismatic person. And it demonstrates that, unlike the incumbent, Joe Biden can handle tough criticism like an adult. Nobody was tougher on him during the campaign than Harris was. (Her summoning up his history on busing was the single most memorable haymaker of the entire cycle.) The pick says as much about him as it does about her. There won’t be anyone tailoring intel reports to avoid presidential tantrums.

(Also, Harris’s election would enable Rep. Katie Porter to run for Senate in California. Bonus!)

There is some baggage in Harris’s past as a prosecutor, and as an attorney general, which gives me pause, and which is why I didn’t vote for her in the primaries. But given the way events have unfolded over the past several months, and given the way the entire dynamic of the election has changed so utterly, the logic behind choosing her grew more compelling, not less. I kept coming back to the times I sat in at various hearings in which she challenged the members of the administration* that has led the nation into disaster, and she did so before they led the nation into disaster. She has receipts to carry us into the next decade.

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Joe Biden Selects Sen. Kamala Harris As Vice Presidential Running Mate – CBS San Francisco

(CBS SF / AP) — Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has selected Sen. Kamala Harris of California 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,” Biden said in a tweet on Tuesday.

“Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau,” Biden went on to say, referring to his late son. “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.”

In her first public statement since the announcement Harris says she’s “honored” to join the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee on the party’s November ticket.

Harris said on Twitter that Biden “can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us.” She said Biden would build a country that “lives up to our ideals.”

Her brief statement did not address the historic nature of her nomination. Harris is the first Black woman to join a major party ticket in U.S. history. She would be the first woman to hold the office if Biden defeats President Donald Trump.

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware.

Before being elected senator in 2016, Harris previously served as California Attorney General. Born in Oakland in 1964 and raised in Berkeley, Harris has long ties to the Bay Area. Harris received her law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, where she served as the city’s District Attorney from 2004 to 2011.

The pick was lauded by numerous politicians with Bay Area ties, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, who served alongside Harris while he was mayor of San Francisco, along with the city’s current Mayor, London Breed.

Dianne Feinstein, who serves alongside Harris in the Senate, said in a statement that the senator will “bring passion, intelligence and strength to the White House and officer a viewpoint sorely missing in the current administration.

In choosing Harris, Biden is embracing a former rival from the Democratic primary who is familiar with the unique rigor of a national campaign. Born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, the 55-year-old first-term senator is one of the party’s most prominent figures.  She quickly became a top contender for the No. 2 spot after her own White House campaign ended.

Harris joins Biden in the 2020 race at a moment of unprecedented national crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 150,000 people in the U.S., far more than the toll experienced in other countries. Business closures and disruptions resulting from the pandemic have caused an economic collapse. Unrest, meanwhile, has emerged across the country as Americans protest racism and police brutality.

President Donald Trump’s uneven handling of the crises has given Biden an opening, and he enters the fall campaign in strong position against the president. In adding Harris to the ticket, he can point to her relatively centrist record on issues such as health care and her background in law enforcement in the nation’s largest state.

Harris’ record as California attorney general and district attorney in San Francisco was heavily scrutinized during the Democratic primary and turned off some liberals and younger Black voters who saw her as out of step on issues of systemic racism in the legal system and police brutality. She tried to strike a balance on these issues, declaring herself a “progressive prosecutor” who backs law enforcement reforms.

Biden, who spent eight years as President Barack Obama’s vice president, has spent months weighing who would fill that same role in his White House. He pledged in March to select a woman as his vice president, easing frustration among Democrats that the presidential race would center on two white men in their 70s.

Biden’s search was expansive, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leading progressive, Florida Rep. Val Demings, whose impeachment prosecution of Trump won plaudits, Rep. Karen Bass of Los Angeles, who leads the Congressional Black Caucus, former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, whose passionate response to unrest in her city garnered national attention.

Rice congratulated Harris on her selection, calling her a “tenacious and trailblazing leader.” Rice said she would support Biden and Harris “with all my energy and commitment.”

Bass tweeted, “@KamalaHarris is a great choice for Vice President. Her tenacious pursuit of justice and relentless advocacy for the people is what is needed right now.”

A woman has never served as president or vice president in the United States. Two women have been nominated as running mates on major party tickets: Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Republican Sarah Palin in 2008. Their party lost in the general election.

The vice presidential pick carries increased significance this year. If elected, Biden would be 78 when he’s inaugurated in January, the oldest man to ever assume the presidency. He’s spoken of himself as a transitional figure and hasn’t fully committed to seeking a second term in 2024. If he declines to do so, his running mate would likely become a front-runner for the nomination that year.

Harris won her first election in 2003 when she became San Francisco’s district attorney. In the role, she created a reentry program for low-level drug offenders and cracked down on student truancy.

She was elected California’s attorney general in 2010, the first woman and Black person to hold the job, and focused on issues including the foreclosure crisis. She declined to defend the state’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage and was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

As her national profile grew, Harris built a reputation around her work as a prosecutor. After being elected to the Senate in 2016, she quickly gained attention for her assertive questioning of Trump administration officials during congressional hearings. In one memorable moment last year, Harris tripped up Attorney General William Barr when she repeatedly pressed him on whether Trump or other White House officials pressured him to investigate certain people.

Harris launched her presidential campaign in early 2019 with the slogan “Kamala Harris For the People,” a reference to her courtroom work. She was one of the highest-profile contenders in a crowded Democratic primary and attracted 20,000 people to her first campaign rally in Oakland.

Sen. Kamala Harris announced her candidacy for president at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, Jan. 27, 2019. (Photo: KPIX)

But the early promise of her campaign eventually faded. Her law enforcement background prompted skepticism from some progressives, and she struggled to land on a consistent message that resonated with voters. Facing fundraising problems, Harris abruptly withdrew from the race in December 2019, two months before the first votes of the primary were cast.

One of Harris’ standout moments of her presidential campaign came at the expense of Biden. During a debate, Harris said Biden made “very hurtful” comments about his past work with segregationist senators and slammed his opposition to busing as schools began to integrate in the 1970s.

“There was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day,” she said. “And that little girl was me.”

Shaken by the attack, Biden called her comments “a mischaracterization of my position.”

The exchange resurfaced recently one of Biden’s closest friends and a co-chair of his vice presidential vetting committee, former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, still harbors concerns about the debate and that Harris hadn’t expressed regret. The comments attributed to Dodd and first reported by Politico drew condemnation, especially from influential Democratic women who said Harris was being held to a standard that wouldn’t apply to a man running for president.

Some Biden confidants said Harris’ campaign attack did irritate the former vice president, who had a friendly relationship with her. Harris was also close with Biden’s late son, Beau, who served as Delaware attorney general while she held the same post in California.

But Biden and Harris have since returned to a warm relationship.

“Joe has empathy, he has a proven track record of leadership and more than ever before we need a president of the United States who understands who the people are, sees them where they are, and has a genuine desire to help and knows how to fight to get us where we need to be,” Harris said at an event for Biden earlier this summer.

At the same event, she bluntly attacked Trump, labeling him a “drug pusher” for his promotion of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus, which has not been proved to be an effective treatment and may even be more harmful. After Trump tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in response to protests about the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody, Harris said his remarks “yet again show what racism looks like.”

Harris has taken a tougher stand on policing since Floyd’s killing. She co-sponsored legislation in June that would ban police from using chokeholds and no-knock warrants, set a national use-of-force standard and create a national police misconduct registry, among other things. It would also reform the qualified immunity system that shields officers from liability.

The list included practices Harris did not vocally fight to reform while leading California’s Department of Justice. Although she required DOJ officers to wear body cameras, she did not support legislation mandating it statewide. And while she now wants independent investigations of police shootings, she didn’t support a 2015 California bill that would have required her office to take on such cases.

“We made progress, but clearly we are not at the place yet as a country where we need to be and California is no exception,” she told The Associated Press recently. But the national focus on racial injustice now shows “there’s no reason that we have to continue to wait.”

© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Kamala Harris Picked as Joe Biden’s V.P.: Live Updates

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Kamala Harris Is Biden’s V.P. Pick. Here’s What to Know About Her.

Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic nominee, selected Senator Kamala Harris of California as his running mate. She is the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major party.

A barrier breaking prosecutor with a love for grilling, “I will repeat—” roasting and music. “one nation under a groove.” She ran for president. I am running for president of the United States going head to head with Biden over school busing. You know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools. And she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me. But she later endorsed him. Now California senator Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s pick for vice president. “Racial justice is on the ballot in 2020” And Joe Biden is on the ballot in 2020. So who is she. Harris has a history of being the first. May be the first to do many things, but make sure you’re not the last. In 2010 she was the first woman and person of African and South Asian descent to become California’s attorney general. I’ve decided to become a prosecutor because I believed that there were vulnerable and voiceless people who deserved to have a voice in that system. And in 2016 she became the first black senator from California. Now she is the first black woman and first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major party. So what is she known for in Washington. So my question to you— Harris serves on four senate committees and is perhaps best known for her tough questions. It makes me nervous— Is that a ‘no’? Is that a ‘yes’? Can I get to respond please ma’am. No, sir. No no. And some of her policy priorities criminal justice reform and racial justice legislation after the killing of George Floyd in police custody. Harris returned to the Senate with new purpose. Black Americans want to stop being killed. She found clarity here that she was missing as a presidential candidate. We should have things like a national standard for excessive use of force. But she’s faced criticism from progressive activists over her record as a prosecutor including her push for higher cash bills for certain crimes and for refusing to support independent investigations for police shootings as recently as 2014. So what’s her dynamic with President Trump. She’s called Trump’s border wall— His vanity project. and him— that guy in the wizard of Oz. You know, when you pull back the curtain, it’s a really small dude. Most recently Harris criticized Trump for ordering an aggressive military response to peaceful protesters in Washington for a photo op. turning the US military on its own people. This is not the America that people fought for. Trump has said little about her except for this tweet when she dropped out of the presidential race. Harris ran an unsteady presidential campaign that ended before the first primaries. We are all in this together. But she is among the best known black women in American politics This is our house. now and may appeal to both moderates and liberals. Her proponents hope her experience in law enforcement will help her face the unique challenges of the moment, I voted. but her previous public feud with Biden could cast a shadow on their United front.

Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic nominee, selected Senator Kamala Harris of California as his running mate. She is the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major party.CreditCredit…Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times

Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has selected Senator Kamala Harris of California as his vice-presidential running mate, will appear with her in Delaware on Wednesday. He has embraced a former rival who sharply criticized him in the Democratic primaries but emerged after ending her own campaign as a vocal supporter of Mr. Biden and a prominent advocate of racial-justice legislation after the death of George Floyd in late May.

Ms. Harris, 55, is the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major party, and only the fourth woman in history to be chosen for one of their presidential tickets. She brings to the race a far more vigorous campaign style than Mr. Biden’s, including a gift for capturing moments of raw political electricity on the debate stage and elsewhere, and a personal identity and family story that many find inspiring.

Mr. Biden announced the selection over text message and in a follow-up email to supporters: “Joe Biden here. Big news: I’ve chosen Kamala Harris as my running mate. Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump.”

After her own presidential bid disintegrated last year, many Democrats regarded Ms. Harris as all but certain to attempt another run for the White House in the future. By choosing her as his political partner, Mr. Biden may well be anointing her as the de facto leader of the party in four or eight years.

Shortly after Mr. Biden announced his choice, a top surrogate for the Trump campaign recalled a heated exchange between Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris during a Democratic debate in June of 2019 on the issue of race.

At the time, Ms. Harris criticized Mr. Biden for his collegial rapport with segregationist senators and Mr. Biden’s opposition to school busing in the 1970s. The debate clash drew scrutiny to Mr. Biden’s record on racial equality and gave a lift to Ms. Harris in presidential polls that she could not sustain.

“Not long ago, Kamala Harris called Joe Biden a racist and asked for an apology she never received,” Katrina Pierson, a Trump campaign adviser, said in a statement. “Clearly, Phony Kamala will abandon her own morals, as well as try to bury her record as a prosecutor, in order to appease the anti-police extremists controlling the Democrat Party.”

“She is proof that Joe Biden is an empty shell being filled with the extreme agenda of the radicals on the left,” the statement continued.

On Tuesday, the Biden campaign sent a warning shot ahead of a selection that many Democrats feared would lead to attacks aimed at whichever woman Mr. Biden ultimately chose.

Mr. Biden’s campaign seized on a statement from a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign in which she said that the former vice president had sold “his soul to the radical left” and asserted that his running mate, whomever it ends up being, would do the same.

Ms. Harris, a pragmatic moderate who spent most of her career as a prosecutor, was seen throughout the vice-presidential search as among the safest choices available to Mr. Biden. She has been a reliable ally of the Democratic establishment, with flexible policy priorities that largely mirror Mr. Biden’s, and her supporters argued that she could reinforce Mr. Biden’s appeal to Black voters and women without stirring particularly vehement opposition on the right or left.

After leaving the presidential race in December, Ms. Harris turned her attention back to the Senate and found new purpose amid a wave of nationwide protests this spring against racism and police brutality. She marched beside protesters and forcefully championed proposals to overhaul policing and make lynching a federal crime, often speaking with a kind of clarity that had eluded her in the presidential primaries on economic issues like health care and taxation.

Reporting was contributed by Neil Vigdor and Matt Stevens.

Several of the women who were on Mr. Biden’s running mate short list but were not selected quickly began to coalesce around the party’s ticket after the former vice president announced that he had picked Ms. Harris.

Susan E. Rice, the former national security adviser to President Barack Obama, vowed to work on behalf of the ticket after learning that she had not been selected as Mr. Biden’s running mate.

“As I have said from the outset, I will do my utmost to assist Joe Biden to become the next president of the United States and to help him govern successfully,” Ms. Rice wrote on Twitter.

Representative Karen Bass of California commended Mr. Biden on his selection of Ms. Harris.

“Her tenacious pursuit of justice and relentless advocacy for the people is what is needed right now,” Ms. Bass tweeted.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts cited Ms. Harris’s role during the 2008 financial crisis as a moment of strength for her Senate colleague.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

A new national poll released Tuesday shows Mr. Biden maintaining a 10-point lead over Mr. Trump, with just 4 percent of voters remaining undecided.

The poll, conducted by Monmouth University, showed Mr. Biden garnering the support of 51 percent of registered voters and Mr. Trump earning 41 percent. A small share of support went to third-party candidates and the rest were undecided.

Mr. Biden’s lead was about the same as he had in a late-June survey by the same pollster, in which Mr. Biden was ahead of Mr. Trump by 12 percentage points.

The Monmouth Poll was conducted by telephone from Aug. 6 to Aug. 10 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

In Wisconsin, a swing state won by Mr. Trump in 2016, Mr. Biden led the president by six percentage points in a Marquette Law School poll of registered voters that was released on Tuesday.

Six percent of those polled said that they would not vote for either Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden, 3 percent were undecided and 1 percent would not disclose their choice for president.

Mr. Trump’s job approval ratings continued to slide in Wisconsin, particularly on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic — 58 percent of those polled said they disapproved of his response to the health crisis. The poll had a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.

Credit…Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times

In the weeks before Minnesota’s congressional primary on Tuesday, volunteers for Representative Ilhan Omar’s re-election campaign did something highly unusual: They went door knocking.

In any other year, going door to door to speak with voters in person would be a given. But during the coronavirus pandemic, the traditional methods of identifying, organizing, persuading and turning out voters have been upended.

Some Republican campaigns, including Mr. Trump’s, have resumed in-person campaign activities. But most Democratic candidates, including Mr. Biden, have largely switched to a sort of virtual ground game to connect with voters through phone calls and text messages.

Ms. Omar’s campaign quietly returned to door-knocking in the beginning of July, with new protocols. Volunteers would wear masks. They would ring a doorbell and then step back at least six feet. They would carry safety kits that included hand sanitizer.

“There’s an element that just can’t be re-created not being in person,” said Claire Bergren, Ms. Omar’s campaign manager.

Even Ms. Omar herself briefly hit the pavement.

Her primary is in the spotlight on Tuesday, as she hopes to continue a string of victories by progressive candidates nationwide. She faces a well-financed challenge from Antone Melton-Meaux, a lawyer who has raised more than $4 million.

Ms. Omar, an unabashed progressive who has at times run afoul of some party leaders, won the support of House Democrats like Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her re-election efforts. Mr. Melton-Meaux has tried to cast her as a national lightning rod too controversial for the district.

Mr. Melton-Meaux nearly matched Ms. Omar’s fund-raising over all and outraised her in the most recent cycle, sounding alarms that the race could be closer than expected. Polls opened at 8 a.m. Eastern time and close at 9 p.m.

The race has also been transformed by the killing of George Floyd, in Ms. Omar’s district. She has been a leading voice in advocating systemic changes such as restructuring police departments, while her opponents have focused on more incremental reforms.

Credit…John Bailey/The Rome News-Tribune, via Associated Press

The Republican Party is going to find out just how big a QAnon problem it has on Tuesday when a primary runoff is decided in a northwest Georgia district, where polls opened at 7 a.m. Eastern time.

The favorite in the race in the 14th Congressional District is Marjorie Taylor Greene, a gun-rights activist who is an unabashed supporter of QAnon, a fringe group that has been pushing a convoluted pro-Trump conspiracy theory. Lined up against her is John Cowan, a physician who is no less conservative or pro-Trump, but who does not believe QAnon’s theory that there is a “deep state” of child-molesting Satanist traitors plotting against the president. The winner is a near lock to be elected to Congress in the overwhelmingly Republican district.

The F.B.I. has labeled QAnon a potential domestic terrorism threat, and the conspiracy theory has already inspired real-world violence. Yet its supporters are slowly becoming a political force with more than a dozen candidates who have expressed some degree of support for the theory, running for Congress as Republicans.

Most are expected to lose. Yet all present a fresh headache for Republican leaders.

The party, while already struggling to distance itself from conspiracy theories steeped in racist and anti-Semitic messaging, also cannot afford to turn off voters who share those conspiratorial views if it hopes to retain the Senate and retake the House.

A victory for Ms. Greene would make that balancing act far harder. She has been caught in Facebook videos making a series of offensive remarks about Black people, Jews and Muslims. And unlike some other QAnon-linked candidates, she has made no effort to soft-pedal her support for the conspiracy theory. She recently called it “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out.”

Yet she nonetheless won 40 percent of the vote in the district’s Republican primary in June. Mr. Cowan won 21 percent, and the remainder of the votes were split between seven other candidates.

Credit…John Spink/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via Associated Press

As voting takes place in Georgia and Wisconsin on Tuesday — polls opened at 7 a.m. Eastern in Georgia and 8 a.m. Eastern in Minnesota — attention will be on the election systems just as much as the candidates.

These two battleground states struggled to hold earlier primary elections amid the pandemic; while Tuesday’s elections will probably have lower turnout, they will still be a test of the voting apparatus.

In Wisconsin, which was the first state to hold a large, statewide election as the pandemic was surging in early April, the coronavirus is still near peak levels, but the elections system appears to be on more solid footing. One of the key causes of the long, mask-clad lines in Milwaukee in April was a shortage of poll workers, which led the city to consolidate 180 polling locations down to five.

On Tuesday, about 170 voting sites will be open in Milwaukee, or roughly 95 percent of the regular sites. The state also activated the National Guard, which will be dressed in plain clothes, to be on standby should there be any emergency shortages on Tuesday.

In Georgia, where about 60 percent of the state’s counties are holding elections, the turnout isn’t expected to reach levels at which long lines would be a problem as they were during the primary. The state’s most populous county — Fulton County — also opened an early voting location at State Farm Arena in Atlanta to help alleviate Election Day surges.

The absentee ballot deadlines, which required a ballot to arrive by close of business on Friday, remain unchanged from the primary election in June.

A Republican running for Congress in Connecticut was arrested Monday night and dropped out of the primary campaign just hours before voters went to the polls on Tuesday, the authorities and state party officials said.

The candidate, Thomas Gilmer, was charged with strangulation and unlawful restraint in connection with a “possible domestic assault,” the police in Wethersfield, a Hartford suburb, said in a statement.

In a post on Twitter, the Connecticut Republican Party said Mr. Gilmer had ended his campaign.

Mr. Gilmer, a businessman, had won the Republican Party’s endorsement in May but faced a primary challenge today from Justin Anderson, a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard. In November, the primary winner will take on the longtime Democratic incumbent, Representative Joe Courtney, who was re-elected by a 62-to-35-percent margin in 2018.

Credit…Wethersfield Police Department

Mr. Gilmer, 29, could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday morning.

The police said they were contacted in July about the episode that led to Mr. Gilmer’s arrest. The authorities did not provide any additional details.

Gabe Rosenberg, a spokesman for Connecticut’s Secretary of State, said the office had not received formal notice of Mr. Gilmer’s withdrawal from the race as of Tuesday morning.

Thousands of absentee ballots have already been mailed out, Mr. Rosenberg said, and if Mr. Gilmer wins Tuesday’s primary, he would remain on the November ballot unless he formally withdraws.

Republicans might be able to nominate someone to replace Mr. Gilmer if he wins and withdraws, depending on the timing, Mr. Rosenberg said.

Credit…Charles Sykes/Invision, via Associated Press

The Democratic National Convention will play out like a star-studded Zoom call next week, anchored by nightly prime-time keynote speeches, with Michelle Obama appearing on Monday, Jill Biden on Tuesday, Barack Obama on Wednesday, and Mr. Biden’s acceptance speech on Thursday, according to a schedule of events.

The convention, originally planned for Milwaukee, then forced into a cramped virtual format by the coronavirus, has been a logistical nightmare for planners who have had to grapple with wary television networks, daunting technical challenges and the omnipresent, low-grade threat of a disruption by Mr. Trump.

The schedule, provided by Democratic officials involved in the planning, above all else reflects Mr. Biden’s chief political goal: uniting the jostling progressive and establishment wings of the Democratic Party behind an elder statesman who has spent the last several months courting skeptical progressives.

The first-night schedule reflects that big-tent objective. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Mr. Biden’s main rival for the nomination — and still the standard-bearer of the populist left — has been given a keynote slot, just before Mrs. Obama speaks, and after Andrew M. Cuomo, the moderate governor of New York, delivers what is expected to be a scathing attack on Mr. Trump’s handling of the pandemic.

After the formality of a virtual delegate vote on Tuesday, Mr. Biden’s running mate, whom he announced will be Kamala Harris, will address the convention on Wednesday.

About three-quarters of all American voters will be eligible to receive a ballot in the mail for the 2020 election — the most in U.S. history, according to a New York Times analysis. If recent election trends hold and turnout increases as experts predict, roughly 80 million mail ballots will flood election offices this fall, more than double the 2016 figure.

The rapid and seismic shift can be traced to the coronavirus pandemic. Concerns about virus transmission at polling places have forced many states to make adjustments on the fly that — despite President Trump’s protests — will make mail voting in America more accessible this fall than ever before.

“I have a hard time looking back at history and finding an election where there was this significant of a change to how elections are administered in this short a time period,” said Alex Padilla, the California secretary of state and chairman of the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State.

Most of the changes are temporary and have been made administratively by state and local officials, using emergency powers. Over all, 24 states and the District of Columbia have in some way expanded voter access to mail ballots for the 2020 general election.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

After repeatedly throwing a wrench into plans for the Republican National Convention this summer, Mr. Trump on Monday tried to offer something tantalizing about the upcoming gathering, saying that his renomination speech would take place either at the White House or the Civil War battlefield in Gettysburg, Pa.

“We will announce the decision soon!” Mr. Trump teased in a Twitter post.

It was perhaps a predictable move by the first president to be credited as an executive producer of a network reality show while sitting in office.

But whether Mr. Trump will actually deliver a nationally televised address in Gettysburg — the site of the Civil War’s bloodiest battle, a place memorialized in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln as hallowed ground — remains an open question.

The battlefield, where Mr. Trump gave an indoor campaign speech in 2016, is federal property run by the National Park Service. This presents the same ethical conundrums his re-election team will face if the president delivers the speech from the South Lawn of the White House.

In private, Mr. Trump has expressed to aides more interest in delivering his address at the White House, in part because of the ease of arranging the speech, set for Aug. 27, in a short time frame.

The president is not subject to the Hatch Act, a Depression-era law that prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activities while on the job. But everyone who works for him is. By delivering a speech with the Gettysburg battlefield as a backdrop, experts said, Mr. Trump would risk putting park rangers and other park employees at risk of a violation.

Credit…Bryan Woolston/Reuters

People with low incomes who are eligible to vote are much less likely to do so in national elections than those with higher incomes, and are more often constrained from casting ballots by transportation issues, illness or other problems out of their control, according to a study released Tuesday by the Poor People’s Campaign.

The study, by a Columbia University researcher, found that only 46 percent of potential voters with family incomes less than twice the federal poverty line voted in the 2016 presidential election, compared with 68 percent of those with family incomes above twice the poverty line.

Notwithstanding the practical hurdles lower-income voters face, the reasons voters across the economic spectrum most often cited for staying home were the same: disillusionment with the candidates, campaign issues and the political process writ large.

“They’re saying that they’re not voting because people are not speaking to their issues and that they’re just not interested in those candidates,” said the researcher, Robert Paul Hartley, an assistant professor of social work. “But it’s not that they couldn’t be.”

Though poor and low-income people turned out in large numbers in recent some state and local elections like the 2019 Kentucky governor’s race, the Rev. William J. Barber II, co-chairman of the Poor People’s Campaign, a nonpartisan coalition advocating to increase the power of the poor, said that the over 40 percent of Americans with lower incomes remained a largely untapped political force.

“The only way you can expand the electorate in this country is to expand among poor and low-wealth people,” he said.

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AOC gets prime-time speaking slot at Democratic convention

The Democratic National Convention announced Tuesday it will feature speeches from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, former first couple Michelle and Barack Obama and former first couple Bill and Hillary Clinton as the four-day event goes fully virtual.

Representative Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive New York City congresswoman who helped shape presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s environmental and energy plan, will give remarks on August 18, the second night of the convention.

She will share the virtual stage next Tuesday with Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State John Kerry, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Former U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates and Delaware Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester.

While the convention was originally scheduled for July 13–16, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the prevailing coronavirus pandemic forced the Democratic National Committee to delay the dates until August 17-20 and move all speech to an online forum.

Biden announced last week that instead of traveling to Milwaukee, he will deliver his acceptance speech from his home state of Delaware on Thursday, August 20.

Progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will help headline big-name speeches at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday

Ocasio-Cortez will share the virtual stage with former President Bill Clinton (right) on Tuesday, while former Secretary of State and unsuccessful 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (left) will make remarks at the convention on Wednesday

Ocasio-Cortez will share the virtual stage with former President Bill Clinton (right) on Tuesday, while former Secretary of State and unsuccessful 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (left) will make remarks at the convention on Wednesday 

Former first couple Barack and Michelle Obama will both speak at the convention on Wednesday and Monday respectively

Former first couple Barack and Michelle Obama will both speak at the convention on Wednesday and Monday respectively 

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is prepared to make his acceptance speech virtually from Delaware on the fourth and final night of the convention next Thursday

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is prepared to make his acceptance speech virtually from Delaware on the fourth and final night of the convention next Thursday

‘I’ve wanted to set an example as to how we should respond individually to this crisis,’ Biden said at a virtual fundraiser last week when speaking about the virtual convention. ‘From the start of the process, we’ve made it clear… Science matters.’ 

The presumptive nominee is showing his willingness to work with the far-left branch of the Democratic party by inviting Ocasio-Cortez as well as Democratic-socialist Senator Bernie Sanders to make remarks at his nomination.

Several politicians who previously opposed Biden for the nomination, including Sanders, will also make speeches – among that list are former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, California Senator Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Harris and Warren have also been floated as potential running mates for Biden.

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang is disappointed he won’t be one of the former 2020 Democratic candidates to grace the virtual stage.

‘I’ve got to be honest I kind of expected to speak,’ Yang tweeted Tuesday after the list was released.

‘Maybe I endorsed against one too many incumbents,’ the tech businessman tweeted in a follow-up post. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will make virtual remarks Wednesday night of the convention and share the stage with former Secretary of State and 2016 loser Hillary Clinton.

On each night of the convention, events will begin broadcasting starting at 9:00 p.m. on all major television networks as well as social media sites and some streaming services, like Apple TV and Roku.

Viewers can also watch the convention directly on the DNC’s website.

The announcement of the lineup comes as Biden is preparing to announce who he plans to run with as his No. 2 on the November ticket – the individual will also make a speech on Wednesday night of the convention.

Former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang expressed his disappointment that he was not selected to be a speaker at the convention

Former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang expressed his disappointment that he was not selected to be a speaker at the convention

Several women on the short list to become Biden’s vice president are already scheduled to make speeches.

This includes Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who flew to Delaware earlier this month to visit with Biden, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth.

Biden has vowed to choose a woman as his running mate, but there are some external pressures for him to also choose a woman of color in the midst of months-long nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.

The announcement of the lineup of big-name speakers also comes after the convention revealed Monday it would feature several everyday Americans during the events – including a Pennsylvania farmer who voted for Donald Trump in 2016.

DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION SPEAKER LINE-UP

MONDAY

Former first lady Michelle Obama

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn

Former Ohio Governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate John Kasich 

Minnestoa Senator Amy Klobuchar

Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson, chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security

Alabama Senator Doug Jones

Wisconsin Representative Gwen Moore

TUESDAY

Dr. Jill Biden

Former President Bill Clinton

Former Secretary of State John Kerry

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Former Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates

Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester

WEDNESDAY

Former President Barack Obama

Joe Biden’s yet-to-be-announced vice presidential candidate

House Speaker and California Representative Nancy Pelosi

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee for president

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren

Former Representative Gabby Giffords, a prominent gun control advocate

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers

THURSDAY

Former Vice President Joe Biden accepts the Democratic nomination

Members of Biden’s family

California Senator Kamala Harris

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker

California Governor Gavin Newsom

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth

Delaware Senator Chris Coons