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Left wing rankled by choice of Harris as VP

Already, Harris is being described by pundits as the frontrunner in the next open Democratic primary, whether it’s in 2024 or 2028. Progressives said that means they could be locked out of the White House for more than a decade.

“We might be looking at 12 years of neoliberal power at the top of the Democratic Party because of the specter of a very young and ambitious — as most politicians are — person on the ticket,” said Norman Solomon, co-founder of the left-wing group RootsAction.org. “That’s a real fear.”

The fact that Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee after serving as former President Barack Obama’s No. 2 — contrary to many party insiders’ low expectations for him this year — underscores the leg up that former vice presidents have in presidential primaries. And after anti-establishment Democrats and socialists watched Bernie Sanders come close to winning the nomination, that’s a serious letdown.

“The former vice president always has a major advantage so it’s definitely possible that we progressives might not have a real shot at the presidency for many years,” said an ex-senior aide to Sanders. “I think our power is going to have to come from building movements.”

The overall attitude on the left toward Harris is mixed. Compared with other politicians who were previously viewed as potential running mates to Biden, she is viewed as somewhere in the middle, neither as progressive as Bass or Elizabeth Warren nor as moderate as Rice or Amy Klobuchar.

Some liberals said Harris’ selection is a serious disappointment because of her record as a prosecutor and history of flip-flopping on “Medicare for All.” Others said they’re relieved Biden didn’t go with someone more centrist, and praised the fact that she is the first Black woman and South Asian woman on a major party’s presidential ticket.

“We are in the middle of the biggest protest movement in American history, which is protesting exactly the same kind of policies that, at the time, Attorney General Harris oversaw, had direct authority to change, and declined to change in meaningful ways,” said Briahna Joy Gray, Sanders’ former national press secretary, referring to Harris’ time as the lead prosecutor in California. “I would like a candidate who offers big, structural change.”

Conversely, progressive consultant Rebecca Katz said that while she wanted Biden to tap Warren, “I would take Kamala Harris any day of the week over Amy Klobuchar.”

Even Berniecrats such as Gray view parts of Harris’ legislative record as more liberal than Biden’s. Harris co-sponsored Sanders’ Medicare for All bill, though she backed away from single-payer in the primary. She also endorsed the Green New Deal and a ban on fracking.

A top 2020 aide to Sanders said the Vermont senator personally gets along with Harris, and the two introduced a proposal together in May to send $2,000 monthly checks to millions of Americans during the Covid-19 pandemic. Harris has also teamed up with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on a climate change bill.

“I think she can be a real climate leader and look forward to working with her team on those issues,” said Sean McElwee, co-founder of the progressive think tank Data for Progress.

As Biden’s running mate, however, Harris has effectively signed onto Biden’s agenda. In what is possibly a demonstration of that reality, the Biden campaign declined to comment on a question about whether he backs the $2,000 monthly payments she proposed with Sanders.

At the same time, Biden said in the first event announcing Harris as his running mate on Wednesday that he asked her to be the last person in the room when he made big decisions. “To always tell me the truth, which she will. Challenge my assumptions if she disagrees. Ask the hard questions,” he said.

Progressives said that selecting Harris shows that Biden is likely to govern as a moderate, despite his recent efforts to win over former Sanders voters, including by creating “unity” task forces with the Vermont senator.

“The fact that Warren and Sanders weren’t seriously considered reflects something about Joe Biden,” Bhaskar Sunkara, founder of the socialist magazine Jacobin and a former vice chairman of Democratic Socialists of America, said of Biden’s running mate selection process. “It shows that Joe Biden is going to run as Joe Biden and not pivot in any serious way to the left.”

Solomon, whose organization is spending six figures on a digital campaign to persuade swing-state progressives to back Biden, said Harris being on the ticket makes his job more difficult.

“There’s no doubt,” he said. “Harris is an archetype of apparently not having firm commitments, so it unfortunately adds to the justified cynicism that a lot of Bernie activists and overall supporters feel.”

But several people on the left said the fact that Harris has changed her positions in reaction to political pressure could be an asset to them at a time when progressives are gaining power and ousting establishment Democrats in congressional primaries.

“He and Kamala Harris are not going to be able to stop these social movements that President Obama was able to placate,” said David Duhalde, former political director of the Sanders-founded Our Revolution.

Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ longtime senior adviser and 2016 campaign manager, said it is significant that Harris is more liberal than Hillary Clinton’s running mate four years ago, Sen. Tim Kaine.

“This is positive movement,” he said. “If you look at what this party was and the policies that were being advocated as recently as 2016, we’ve really seen a sea change. And there is no going back.”

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Fox News stars go on a Kamala Harris bash-fest

Fox News was in full attack mode Tuesday night, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Kamala Harris. From depicting her as a “radical running mate” to mocking the pronunciation of her name to suggesting Joe Biden didn’t actually select her himself, the conservative network’s prime time lineup was in overdrive.

Frankly, if you stripped the network’s programming of any identifying labels or names, and just looked at a transcript of the 8pm to 11pm hours, you’d be forgiven if you mistook the channel for a Trump 2020 campaign livestream.

Of course, that isn’t terribly surprising. The alliance between Fox News and President Trump has been well documented. But the attacks on Tuesday night serve as a guide for what the Trump campaign and right-wing media at large are going to throw at Harris. So I thought it would be useful to provide a tick-tock of the network’s coverage here.

While her show isn’t technically in a prime time slot, I thought it was noteworthy how Martha MacCallum — who Fox News markets as a “straight news” journalist — covered the selection of Harris. In the opening of her show, MacCallum noted that black leaders had urged Biden to select a woman of color as his running mate. MacCallum commented, “I think, in a way, as a woman, it takes away from some of the selection in some ways.”

Carlson mocks name

Tucker Carlson started his show attacking Harris as a “one-dimensional” candidate who he described as perhaps the “single most transactional human being in America.” Carlson said that “there are time-share salesman you could trust more” than Harris and “payday lenders who are more sincere.”

But it was Carlson’s mockery of Harris’ name that drew the most attention. Carlson repeatedly mispronounced the senator’s name, even getting called out by a guest for doing so. Carlson claimed his mispronunciation was unintentional. But it should be noted that Carlson often mispronounces the names of people he doesn’t like. It’s sort of a feature on his show and it seems pretty intentional. And, as Mediaite pointed out, he kept doing so after his guest corrected him.

Hannity and Trump team up to bash

Sean Hannity’s opening monologue was fairly predictable — and it’s not hard to envision Hannity reciting the same monologue for any of the other candidates who were under consideration. Hannity framed Harris as a supporter of socialism with a “radical extremist record” that is “atrocious.” In Hannity’s words: “This pick solidifies what’s the most extreme radical far-left out of the mainstream ticket of any major political party in American history.” And on and on it went, with Jeanine Pirro openly saying that she was “not sure” Biden himself actually picked Harris and wondering, “Who really picked this woman to be the vice presidential candidate?”

Trump eventually phoned into the show and the two continued beating up on Harris. Trump didn’t quite say anything new or notable. He suggested Biden didn’t have control over the Democratic Party — even though it will formally nominate him for president next week — and railed against the news media for some time. What was noticeably absent from Hannity’s conversation: the coronavirus. Hannity only lobbed a softball to Trump on the topic at the very end of his 30+ minute chat.

Meanwhile, Ingraham scrapes bottom of barrel

Laura Ingraham opened her show by perpetuating the theme from right-wing media that Biden won’t actually be in control of his White House. Ingraham read what she characterized as a “telling tidbit” from Biden’s email to supporters in which he said, “I’ve decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Donald Trump and Mike Pence and then to lead this nation starting in January 2021.”

Ingraham then commented, “Wait, wait, to lead this nation? Wasn’t that you supposed to be on the top of the ticket doing all that leading for us, Joe? You know, that whole presidency then? Come on, man. Even Joe is witted enough to understand that he’s not really going to be running the show if he wins in November.” Ingraham deserves credit for extrapolating all of that from an innocuous line in the Biden campaign email.

FOR THE RECORD, PART ONE

— “The very first words of the very first statement President Trump’s reelection campaign offered in response” to the Harris news “were false,” Philip Bump notes… (WaPo)
— The progressive media watchdog Media Matters notes that right-leaning Facebook pages “have been laying the groundwork to attack Kamala Harris online…” (Media Matters)
— The Obamas and the Bidens will be the keynote speakers at next week’s DNC convention. Sarah Mucha and Dan Merica have all the schedule details… (CNN)
— Several TV networks have announced their DNC and GOP convention coverage plans… Ted Johnson has the details… (Deadline)

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Watch Live: Biden and Harris Make First Appearance as Running Mates in Delaware

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Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic nominee, and Senator Kamala Harris of California make their first appearance as running mates on Wednesday in Wilmington, Del.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Kamala Harris, two Democrats from opposite coasts and different generations, made their first public appearance as running mates on the Democratic ticket on Wednesday afternoon.

“I have no doubt that I picked the right person to join me as the next vice president of the United States of America,” Mr. Biden said.

The appearance, held at Alexis I. duPont High School in Wilmington, Del., offered the first indication of how Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, formerly political rivals who sparred on debate stages, might fuse their messages together as they campaign to unseat President Trump in the White House this fall.

The event also marks a significant first, with Ms. Harris taking to the stage as the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major political party.

As he introduced Ms. Harris as his running mate for the first time, Mr. Biden leaned heavily on the qualities that set her apart and added diversity to the Democratic ticket. He presented her as a historic candidate, and someone whose background reflected a diversifying country.

“This morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls, who so often feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities,” Mr. Biden said. “But today just maybe they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way: as the stuff of president and vice presidents.”

Mr. Biden, who has said in the past that he wanted a vice president with whom he was “simpatico” also stressed that he and Ms. Harris shared similar values and ideals that would guide their campaign.

“One of the reasons that I chose Kamala is that we both believe that we can define America simply in one word: possibilities,” he said.

Yet he added that he expected Ms. Harris, with whom he publicly disagreed several times as he sought the nomination, to challenge him at times.

“I asked Kamala to be the last voice in the room, to always tell me the truth, which she will, to challenge my assumptions if she disagrees, to ask the hard questions,” Mr. Biden said.

President Trump, his Republican allies and conservative hosts on Fox News unfurled a string of sexist attacks on Senator Kamala Harris, a day after she was chosen by Joseph R. Biden Jr. as his vice-presidential running mate.

Mr. Trump added to the barrage with a racist tweet on Wednesday morning claiming that Mr. Biden would put another Black leader, Senator Cory Booker, in charge of low-income housing in the suburbs. That tweet did not mention Ms. Harris, but it continued Mr. Trump’s tactic of playing into white racist fears about integration efforts as he declared, “The ‘suburban housewife’ will be voting for me.

“They want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Biden would reinstall it, in a bigger form, with Corey Booker in charge!”

The president did not explain why he referred to Mr. Booker, whose first name he misspelled. (Mr. Booker’s campaign team quickly turned the tweet into a fund-raising opportunity.) But the salvo came after a chorus of Fox News hosts on Tuesday night assailed Ms. Harris, attacking everything from the pronunciation of her name to Mr. Biden’s selection process for focusing on women of color.

Over and over on Tuesday night, Tucker Carlson, the Fox News host, mispronounced her first name, even growing angry when corrected. “So what?” he said, when a guest told him it was pronounced “Comma-la.”

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transcript

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Tucker Carlson’s Guest Corrects His Pronunciation of ‘Kamala’

The Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday mangled the first name of Senator Kamala Harris, Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s running mate, and was corrected by a guest on his show.

“Seriously, I’ve heard every sort of bastardization.” “So what?” “That’s how it is: ‘Kamala.’ Pronouncing her name right is actually —” “OK —” “it’s not, it’s kind of a bare minimum —” “So I’m disrespecting her by mispronouncing her name unintentionally. So it begins. You’re not allowed to criticize Kamala Harris or Kamala Harris or whatever —” “Kamala — ” “because it’s —” “no, no it’s —” “Kamala Harris.” “No, not whatever.”

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The Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday mangled the first name of Senator Kamala Harris, Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s running mate, and was corrected by a guest on his show.CreditCredit…Richard Drew/Associated Press

Mr. Carlson said that there were “time-share salesmen you could trust more” than Ms. Harris and “payday lenders who are more sincere,” alluding to an institution long accused of exploiting poor communities of color.

Martha MacCallum, the Fox anchor, said that focusing the search for a running mate on women of color “takes away” from the selection process overall. The Fox News host Sean Hannity called Ms. Harris a senator with a “radical extremist record” whose selection “solidifies what’s the most extreme radical far-left out-of-the-mainstream ticket of any major political party in American history.”

Jeanine Pirro, another opinion host on the cable news channel, threw in a wildly conspiratorial twist, asking viewers, “Who really picked this woman to be the vice-presidential candidate?’

Ms. Harris ran her own presidential campaign and was widely seen as the most obvious choice for Mr. Biden: at once a conventional and groundbreaking choice. But when he finally announced her selection on Tuesday, Mr. Trump and his allies appeared to be caught without a coordinated game plan, lurching from one attack to another.

After Ms. Harris was chosen, Mr. Trump described her four times as “nasty” or “nastier,” using some of his favorite terms for female opponents, and complained that she had not been nice to his Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh during confirmation hearings.

Hours after calling Ms. Harris the “most liberal” member of the Senate, the Republican National Committee sent out an email blast saying that progressives hated her because she was not progressive enough.

Ms. Harris will have several chances in the coming months to respond directly to criticism from Mr. Trump’s allies, including during the vice presidential debate on Oct. 7, when she will share the stage with Vice President Mike Pence.

Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, said Mr. Trump’s tweet about suburban housing amounted to “clumsy, bigoted lies” and showed the president was “dumbfounded after Joe Biden’s selection of a strong running mate.”

In announcing Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, Joseph R. Biden Jr. told supporters she was the person best equipped to “take this fight” to Mr. Trump, making space in a campaign premised on restoring American decency for a willing brawler who learned early in her career that fortune would not favor the meek among Black women in her lines of work.

“She had to be savvy to find a way,” said Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who has known Ms. Harris for more than two decades. “There was no path laid out for her. She had to find her way through the kind of set of obstacles that most people in the positions that she’s held have not had to ever deal with.”

It is this dexterity, people close to her say, that has most powered Ms. Harris’s rise — and can be most frustrating to those who wish her electoral fearlessness were accompanied by policy audacity to match.

Caustic when she needs to be but cautious on substantive issues more often than many liberals would like, Ms. Harris has spent her public life negotiating disparate orbits, fluent in both activist and establishment circles without ever feeling entirely anchored to either.

Friends say she can be difficult to pin down in part because she is, by virtue of her identity, not like any political figure who came before — a lawmaker whose strengths and tics can at times feel incongruous.

As a young candidate for district attorney, Ms. Harris was by turns an irrepressible fixture in supermarket parking lots, unfurling an ironing board from her car as a canvas for campaign materials, and a canny veteran of the San Francisco society pages, with an overstuffed Filofax full of high-end fund-raising contacts. (Friends eventually made her switch to a Palm Pilot.)

She can project an air of disarming nonchalance, holding forth on cooking and 1990s hip-hop music with a just-between-us touch. She has also often defaulted to a political reticence so firmly held that her own aides had trouble explaining her positions on several key issues throughout a 2020 campaign that did not make it to 2020.

Credit…Lauren Petracca Ipetracca/The Post and Courier, via Associated Press

President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, met privately last weekend with Kanye West, the rapper who has filed petitions to get on the November ballots for president in several states.

The meeting took place in Colorado, where Mr. Kushner was traveling with his wife, Ivanka Trump, those familiar with the meeting said. Mr. West had been camping in Colorado with his family, and afterward flew to Telluride to meet with Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump, but was not accompanied by his wife, Kim Kardashian West, those with knowledge of the meeting said.

After an inquiry, Mr. West tweeted Tuesday evening: “I’m willing to do a live interview with the New York Time about my meeting with Jared,” adding that they had discussed a book about Black empowerment called “PowerNomics.” He did not elaborate on his meeting with Mr. Kushner in a brief follow-up interview. He instead expressed anger about abortion rates among Black women and said he didn’t reflexively support Democrats.

A White House spokesman did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The meeting came at a notable time. Mr. West recently criticized Joseph R. Biden Jr. in an interview with Forbes. He did not deny that he is acting as a spoiler to damage the Biden campaign with his effort to get on several ballots in states like Colorado, where he will appear. It’s less clear that his name will be on the ballot in Wisconsin, where his signature petitions are being challenged.

Credit…Gabby Jones for The New York Times

Silicon Valley and Wall Street cheered the selection of Kamala Harris as a running mate who would reinforce Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s moderate policy stances. Mr. Biden had already been gaining traction among tech and finance executives, and his pick is likely to strengthen that support.

In Ms. Harris, Silicon Valley sees a familiar face: She got her start in the Bay Area and has been a fixture in fund-raising circles there for decades. Tech executives appear reassured by her circumspect stance on things like breaking up the sector’s dominant companies.

During her presidential primary run last year, when asked by The New York Times whether she would break up tech companies, she didn’t answer directly but said her “first priority” was regulation that gave consumers better control of their privacy.

For Wall Street, Ms. Harris was a moderate choice, in contrast to more left-leaning candidates in the Democratic primary race who called for a tougher line on finance firms. That said, during her presidential primary campaign, Ms. Harris said that she would pay for her health-care plans with taxes on financial transactions, an unpopular move in bank boardrooms.

Although Mr. Biden has vowed to raise some taxes and has signaled that he will crack down on corporate America, many of the details remain vague. Traders and financiers have donated more to Mr. Biden’s campaign than to President Trump’s by a factor of nearly five to one.

“I think she’s the perfect partner for Biden,” said Marc Lasry, co-founder of Avenue Capital and a supporter of Mr. Biden’s campaign. “She’s smart and extremely experienced.”

Wall Street was likely to look favorably on almost any moderate running mate, said Michael Novogratz, who runs a cryptocurrency investment firm and has been a big Biden backer. Stock market futures rose after Mr. Biden announced his pick.

But given his expectation that a Biden administration would raise taxes and adopt a more conservative approach to spending, Mr. Novogratz said, “I think Wall Street is out of their minds, thinking the Democrats are going to be good for the stock market.”

Climate activists praised the selection of Ms. Harris, saying the move signaled a sustained Democratic focus on environmental justice.

Ms. Harris was an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, an expansive plan to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions while also addressing economic inequality. She supports abolishing the Senate filibuster if Republicans stand in the way of passing climate change legislation. And she has called for a $10 trillion increase in spending over a decade as well as a price on carbon dioxide pollution, with a dividend that is returned directly to households.

Ms. Harris’s core environmental focus has consistently been on how poor communities are disproportionately affected by polluting industries.

A former prosecutor, Ms. Harris vowed to maximize the power of the legal system to punish corporate polluters. Last year she laid out specific plans for protecting vulnerable communities, including establishing an independent Office of Climate and Environmental Justice Accountability and scoring environmental regulations or legislation based on how they affect low-income communities.

“I’m super hopeful,” said Catherine Flowers, a senior fellow at the Center for Earth Ethics. The choice of Ms. Harris, she said, “is elevating the conversation and making it a priority.”

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

White House officials have explored whether President Trump has the power to sidestep Congress and unilaterally cut a broad swath of taxes as the president looks for ways to inject fuel into a slumping economy, according to a senior administration official.

While such a move is not imminent, Mr. Trump’s advisers have sought legal guidance from White House lawyers about whether the president has the authority to eliminate certain taxes, including income and business taxes, without the approval of Congress.

The discussions about how much power the president can wield over tax policy come as Mr. Trump prepares to delay payroll taxes for some workers until the end of the year. But unlike that move, which simply defers what workers owe until some point in the future, the White House is discussing whether the president can actually eliminate taxes owed by businesses, workers and investors.

The legality of such a move is dubious, but Mr. Trump has not been shy about pushing the boundaries of his authority. He has made clear that another big tax cut will be a central part of his pitch for a second term. Getting such a tax cut through Congress would be tough, particularly if Democrats retain control of the House.

A Treasury spokeswoman declined to comment on internal discussions about additional tax cuts. A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

White House officials are aware that stretching the boundaries of tax policy would bring backlash from Democrats and Republicans, along with possible legal challenges. But Mr. Trump, who had planned to campaign on a record economic expansion before the coronavirus pandemic struck, has made little headway in developing new economic policies that could help the U.S. climb out of what is expected to be a long, slow and painful recovery.

White House officials believe that temporarily delaying taxes is a powerful political tool for the president. It allows him to draw a contrast Mr. Biden, who would raise some taxes if elected. And they believe that it will put Democrats in what will be the uncomfortable position of allowing those taxes to be reinstated when the deferment expires.

A Republican candidate for Congress in Connecticut who dropped out of the primary race at the last moment after being arrested Monday night was in a virtual tie with his opponent as of Wednesday afternoon.

The candidate, Thomas Gilmer, trailed his opponent, Justin Anderson, by just 11 votes out of more than 17,000 votes cast. Mr. Gilmer, 29, was charged Monday with strangulation and unlawful restraint in connection with a “possible domestic assault,” the authorities said.

Credit…Lt. Don Crabtree/Wethersfield Police Department, via Associated Press

State officials said on Tuesday that if Mr. Gilmer won the primary, he would remain on the November ballot unless he formally withdrew. Republicans might be able to nominate someone to replace Mr. Gilmer if he wins and withdraws, depending on the timing, the Connecticut Secretary of State’s office said.

Whoever ends up as the Republican candidate faces long odds in November against the seven-term Democratic incumbent, Representative Joe Courtney, who was re-elected with 62 percent of the vote in 2018.

Here are results from some of Tuesday’s other races:

  • In a Georgia runoff between two Republicans to replace Representative Doug Collins, Andrew Clyde, a gun dealer and a Navy veteran, beat Matt Gurtler, a state legislator. Mr. Collins, also a Republican, is leaving his seat to challenge Senator Kelly Loeffler in November.

  • Republicans in Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District chose Michelle Fischbach, a former lieutenant governor, to face off in November against the longtime incumbent Representative Collin Peterson, a conservative Democrat in a rural district that leans heavily Republican.

Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times

If Kamala Harris becomes vice president, her ascension would leave an opening in January for her seat in the Senate. The pick would be made by Gov. Gavin Newsom of California.

In this morning’s California Today newsletter, The Times’s California correspondents Adam Nagourney and Jennifer Medina tossed around names of possible successors. One is Representative Karen Bass of Los Angeles, who was herself on Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s short list for vice president and is the former speaker of the State Assembly. Another is the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti.

Here’s more of our reporters’ thinking:

  • Jennifer Medina: “Within minutes of the announcement, I had texts from politicos around the state throwing out names that included Ms. Bass, Mr. Garcetti, as well as State Senator Maria Elena Durazo, former Senate majority leader Kevin de Leon and Attorney General Xavier Becerra (who was appointed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown after Ms. Harris won her Senate seat). Needless to say, there will be a lot of jockeying in the coming months.”

  • Adam Nagourney: “Here’s a conspiracy theory for you. Mr. Newsom picks Mayor Eric Garcetti, just to make absolutely sure Mr. Garcetti doesn’t think of primary-ing him in a few years.”

Credit…Amy Harris/Invision, via Associated Press

In 2015, when Donald Trump used the Neil Young song “Rockin’ in the Free World” to announce his presidential campaign, it did not make Mr. Young happy.

But the rocker did not think there was anything he could do, and the song became yet another in the long list of anthems repurposed by candidates against artists’ wishes. (Other examples: Ronald Reagan’s use of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” Barack Obama’s use of Sam and Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin’” and John McCain’s use of “Still the One” by Orleans.)

Now, Mr. Young is trying a new strategy. Last week, he sued the Trump campaign over the use of “Rockin’ in the Free World” and another song, “Devil’s Sidewalk,” both of which were played at Mr. Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Okla., in June.

Mr. Young accused the campaign of copyright infringement for playing the tracks without a license, and asked for the campaign to be ordered to stop using them, as well as for statutory damages.

Mr. Young’s complaint said he “in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song’ for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate.”

The suit, and others like it filed in the last few years, relies on artists withdrawing songs from the lists of works offered to political campaigns by performing-rights organizations like ASCAP and BMI, which license the rights for millions of songs in exchange for a fee.

But it is not clear whether such withdrawals are allowed under ASCAP and BMI’s agreements with the federal government, which were instituted to prevent anticompetitive conduct.

Mr. Young’s case is being closely watched as a test of artists’ power to protect their work against political use.

As a nation unpacks the political implications of Kamala Harris’s selection on Tuesday as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, at least one sizable constituency could stand to benefit: those who enjoyed Maya Rudolph’s star appearances as the California senator on “Saturday Night Live.”

The former “S.N.L.” cast member shined in three guest appearances lampooning the Democratic primaries, depicting Ms. Harris as a “fun aunt” who “will give you weed, but then arrest you for having weed.” The performances earned Ms. Rudolph an Emmy nomination for guest actress in a comedy series and an approving tweet from Ms. Harris herself.

Ms. Rudolph, who was in the cast of “S.N.L.” on NBC from 2000 to 2007, was in the middle of recording an “Entertainment Weekly” panel discussion on Tuesday when Ms. Harris was announced as Mr. Biden’s pick. She did not commit to playing Ms. Harris when “S.N.L.” returns for its scheduled 46th season in the fall, but seemed intrigued by the idea.

“I love going to the show,” Ms. Rudolph said. “Any excuse I can get, I love.”

Ms. Harris appeared to have little problem with the impersonation. In October, before she dropped out of the race, she told MSNBC, “I plan on keeping Maya Rudolph in work for the next eight years.”

The Times is hosting a discussion at 6 p.m. Eastern about what Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s selection of Senator Kamala Harris of California as his running mate means for his campaign and the election. A former rival who later became a vocal supporter, Ms. Harris will be the first Black woman to be nominated for national office by a major political party. The virtual event will be hosted by Rachel Dry, deputy politics editor, and include the Miami bureau chief, Patricia Mazzei, and the politics reporters Alexander Burns, Astead W. Herndon and Nick Corasaniti. Sign up here.

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Kamala Harris is Biden’s running mate—here’s what she means (and doesn’t mean) for financial markets

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he has selected California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate in the race for the White House against President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

The markets have been unperturbed thus far about the pick of the first Black American woman and the first person of Indian decent to appear on the ticket of a major national party—and, perhaps, for a good reason,

The vice presidential candidate isn’t normally a make-or-break selection in the campaign for the Oval Office. Running mates are selected to complement the top of the ticket, but in this case, questions of whether Biden is willing to go beyond a four-year term may have raised the stakes.

Biden, who is 77, would be 78 years and 61 days old when he takes the oath of office in 2021, should he prevail against Republican Trump. Harris is 55, and market participants may be viewing her as having a greater chance of eventually influencing financial market policy.

Notably, Biden holds a 6.9 percentage-point lead over Trump in an average of national polls, according to RealClear Politics, suggesting that his chances of winning the election on Nov. 3 are better than average, if the polling data are an accurate reflection of ultimate outcomes.

On Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the Harris’s selection by Biden, the stock market was climbing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+1.04%,
the S&P 500
SPX,
+1.40%
and the Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
+2.12%
indexes were all headed solidly higher, on the back of hope for vaccines to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and optimism about further stimulus from the government to help laborers who have lost jobs due to business closures to curb the spread of the deadly illness.

The gains weren’t because of Harris, to be sure, but market participants say that Biden’s selection, one that had been widely telegraphed, perhaps, eases fears of a candidate that could have been viewed as less market friendly, experts told MarketWatch.

Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investment product, at E-Trade Financial Corp.
ETFC,
+1.13%,
said that “there’s a bit more certainty around what a Biden administration would look like, with Harris joining the ticket, who no less is understood as a moderate by the Street.”

Some analysts said that markets may have been heartened by Biden’s decision to not pick a progressive candidate like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is seen by some as a negative for stocks and the banking industry in particular.

Andrew Adams, analyst at Saut Strategy, said “[Harris] was the betting favorite and seems to be more palatable to the market than someone like long-shot Elizabeth Warren would have been from what little I’ve read.”

Read: Kamala Harris on student-loan forgiveness, Medicare, universal basic income, credit scores — and a tax on trading stocks

Bespoke Investment Group’s researchers wrote in a Wednesday note that “while the selection [of Harris] isn’t likely to provide much of a boost for Biden, at this point it likely won’t hurt him either,” and that could be read as not likely to hurt the market either.

“Kamala’s history as a California representative during a period of economic boom reflects a more ‘hands-off’ approach to markets and commerce in general,” Pierce Crosby, general manager, at TradingView, an online trading community with some 10 million users, told MarketWatch via email.

“Those not given the appointment – i.e. Warren – says more to market confidence than Harris’ appointment specifically, which indeed strips out some of the implied volatility in the November race,” he said. “Traders will be watching closely for thoughts on additional stimulus, as well as more social protections for the working class,” he continued.

Harris’s selection does have some specific implications for the stock market and financial markets broadly, given her stance on taxing trading. “I would tax Wall Street stock trades at 0.2%, bond trades at 0.1%, and derivative transactions at 0.002%,” Harris said when she was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Harris had said the transaction tax would raise $2 trillion over 10 years, and Biden has expressed some support for those ideas.

She has advocated for an expanded version of Medicare, popularly known as “Medicare For All,” and she has made the case that Wall Street can pay for it in part via taxes on trading.

MarketWatch’s Jon Swartz reports that Harris doesn’t support breaking up Facebook Inc.
FB,
+1.46%,
Google parent Alphabet Inc.
GOOG,
+1.77%
GOOGL,
+1.80%
and Amazon.com Inc.
AMZN,
+2.64%,
as Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had in their respective presidential bids. She was, however, open to strengthening antitrust enforcement.

It is important to note that the market is fickle.

VP candidates aside, market participants had spent considerably amounts of time hand-wringing about the possibility of a Biden candidacy up until recently.

JPMorgan strategists have said that a Biden win in November would be “neutral to slight positive” for equities. The Democrat’s major economic policies include lifting the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% — partially reversing the Republican corporate tax cut of 2017 — and increasing the federal minimum wage. The investment bank’s U.S. equity strategy team also says it expects the former vice president to ease tariffs on China and increase infrastructure spending, which could assuage market fears about rising Sino-American tensions.

Market participants caviled about the potential Trump victory back in 2016, up until the point that the 45th president actually secured victory over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in a stunning outcome and the market preceded to surge on the view that the real estate billionaire would be friendly to business.

Another point worth noting is that the overall impact of a candidate may not be as significant as the timing of their presidency.

Barack Obama became president in the aftermath of what was then the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression in 2008-09, and helmed a recovery for the overall economy and the markets, while whomever is elected president will preside over the fallout from the worst public-health crisis in generations and a rising stock market that seems disassociated from the economic calamity created by the pandemic.

Trillions of dollars have been spent by the government to help ailing businesses and out-of-work Americans and interest rates are at or near 0% while the unemployment rate is at 10.2%.

In the end, the circumstances may have a greater influence over the market than who is in the Oval Office or the person who serves as that leader’s No. 2.

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Watch Live: Biden and Harris Make First Appearance as Running Mates in Delaware

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Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic nominee, and Senator Kamala Harris of California make their first appearance as running mates on Wednesday in Wilmington, Del.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Kamala Harris, two Democrats from opposite coasts and different generations, made their first public appearance as running mates on the Democratic ticket on Wednesday afternoon.

“I have no doubt that I picked the right person to join me as the next vice president of the United States of America,” Mr. Biden said.

The appearance, held at Alexis I. duPont High School in Wilmington, Del., offered the first indication of how Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, formerly political rivals who sparred on debate stages, might fuse their messages together as they campaign to unseat President Trump in the White House this fall.

The event also marks a significant first, with Ms. Harris taking to the stage as the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major political party.

As he introduced Ms. Harris as his running mate for the first time, Mr. Biden leaned heavily on the qualities that set her apart and added diversity to the Democratic ticket. He presented her as a historic candidate, and someone whose background reflected a diversifying country.

“This morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls, who so often feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities,” Mr. Biden said. “But today just maybe they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way: as the stuff of president and vice presidents.”

Mr. Biden, who has said in the past that he wanted a vice president with whom he was “simpatico” also stressed that he and Ms. Harris shared similar values and ideals that would guide their campaign.

“One of the reasons that I chose Kamala is that we both believe that we can define America simply in one word: possibilities,” he said.

Yet he added that he expected Ms. Harris, with whom he publicly disagreed several times as he sought the nomination, to challenge him at times.

“I asked Kamala to be the last voice in the room, to always tell me the truth, which she will, to challenge my assumptions if she disagrees, to ask the hard questions,” Mr. Biden said.

President Trump, his Republican allies and conservative hosts on Fox News unfurled a string of sexist attacks on Senator Kamala Harris, a day after she was chosen by Joseph R. Biden Jr. as his vice-presidential running mate.

Mr. Trump added to the barrage with a racist tweet on Wednesday morning claiming that Mr. Biden would put another Black leader, Senator Cory Booker, in charge of low-income housing in the suburbs. That tweet did not mention Ms. Harris, but it continued Mr. Trump’s tactic of playing into white racist fears about integration efforts as he declared, “The ‘suburban housewife’ will be voting for me.

“They want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Biden would reinstall it, in a bigger form, with Corey Booker in charge!”

The president did not explain why he referred to Mr. Booker, whose first name he misspelled. (Mr. Booker’s campaign team quickly turned the tweet into a fund-raising opportunity.) But the salvo came after a chorus of Fox News hosts on Tuesday night assailed Ms. Harris, attacking everything from the pronunciation of her name to Mr. Biden’s selection process for focusing on women of color.

Over and over on Tuesday night, Tucker Carlson, the Fox News host, mispronounced her first name, even growing angry when corrected. “So what?” he said, when a guest told him it was pronounced “Comma-la.”

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transcript

transcript

Tucker Carlson’s Guest Corrects His Pronunciation of ‘Kamala’

The Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday mangled the first name of Senator Kamala Harris, Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s running mate, and was corrected by a guest on his show.

“Seriously, I’ve heard every sort of bastardization.” “So what?” “That’s how it is: ‘Kamala.’ Pronouncing her name right is actually —” “OK —” “it’s not, it’s kind of a bare minimum —” “So I’m disrespecting her by mispronouncing her name unintentionally. So it begins. You’re not allowed to criticize Kamala Harris or Kamala Harris or whatever —” “Kamala — ” “because it’s —” “no, no it’s —” “Kamala Harris.” “No, not whatever.”

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The Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday mangled the first name of Senator Kamala Harris, Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s running mate, and was corrected by a guest on his show.CreditCredit…Richard Drew/Associated Press

Mr. Carlson said that there were “time-share salesmen you could trust more” than Ms. Harris and “payday lenders who are more sincere,” alluding to an institution long accused of exploiting poor communities of color.

Martha MacCallum, the Fox anchor, said that focusing the search for a running mate on women of color “takes away” from the selection process overall. The Fox News host Sean Hannity called Ms. Harris a senator with a “radical extremist record” whose selection “solidifies what’s the most extreme radical far-left out-of-the-mainstream ticket of any major political party in American history.”

Jeanine Pirro, another opinion host on the cable news channel, threw in a wildly conspiratorial twist, asking viewers, “Who really picked this woman to be the vice-presidential candidate?’

Ms. Harris ran her own presidential campaign and was widely seen as the most obvious choice for Mr. Biden: at once a conventional and groundbreaking choice. But when he finally announced her selection on Tuesday, Mr. Trump and his allies appeared to be caught without a coordinated game plan, lurching from one attack to another.

After Ms. Harris was chosen, Mr. Trump described her four times as “nasty” or “nastier,” using some of his favorite terms for female opponents, and complained that she had not been nice to his Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh during confirmation hearings.

Hours after calling Ms. Harris the “most liberal” member of the Senate, the Republican National Committee sent out an email blast saying that progressives hated her because she was not progressive enough.

Ms. Harris will have several chances in the coming months to respond directly to criticism from Mr. Trump’s allies, including during the vice presidential debate on Oct. 7, when she will share the stage with Vice President Mike Pence.

Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, said Mr. Trump’s tweet about suburban housing amounted to “clumsy, bigoted lies” and showed the president was “dumbfounded after Joe Biden’s selection of a strong running mate.”

In announcing Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, Joseph R. Biden Jr. told supporters she was the person best equipped to “take this fight” to Mr. Trump, making space in a campaign premised on restoring American decency for a willing brawler who learned early in her career that fortune would not favor the meek among Black women in her lines of work.

“She had to be savvy to find a way,” said Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who has known Ms. Harris for more than two decades. “There was no path laid out for her. She had to find her way through the kind of set of obstacles that most people in the positions that she’s held have not had to ever deal with.”

It is this dexterity, people close to her say, that has most powered Ms. Harris’s rise — and can be most frustrating to those who wish her electoral fearlessness were accompanied by policy audacity to match.

Caustic when she needs to be but cautious on substantive issues more often than many liberals would like, Ms. Harris has spent her public life negotiating disparate orbits, fluent in both activist and establishment circles without ever feeling entirely anchored to either.

Friends say she can be difficult to pin down in part because she is, by virtue of her identity, not like any political figure who came before — a lawmaker whose strengths and tics can at times feel incongruous.

As a young candidate for district attorney, Ms. Harris was by turns an irrepressible fixture in supermarket parking lots, unfurling an ironing board from her car as a canvas for campaign materials, and a canny veteran of the San Francisco society pages, with an overstuffed Filofax full of high-end fund-raising contacts. (Friends eventually made her switch to a Palm Pilot.)

She can project an air of disarming nonchalance, holding forth on cooking and 1990s hip-hop music with a just-between-us touch. She has also often defaulted to a political reticence so firmly held that her own aides had trouble explaining her positions on several key issues throughout a 2020 campaign that did not make it to 2020.

Credit…Lauren Petracca Ipetracca/The Post and Courier, via Associated Press

President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, met privately last weekend with Kanye West, the rapper who has filed petitions to get on the November ballots for president in several states.

The meeting took place in Colorado, where Mr. Kushner was traveling with his wife, Ivanka Trump, those familiar with the meeting said. Mr. West had been camping in Colorado with his family, and afterward flew to Telluride to meet with Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump, but was not accompanied by his wife, Kim Kardashian West, those with knowledge of the meeting said.

After an inquiry, Mr. West tweeted Tuesday evening: “I’m willing to do a live interview with the New York Time about my meeting with Jared,” adding that they had discussed a book about Black empowerment called “PowerNomics.” He did not elaborate on his meeting with Mr. Kushner in a brief follow-up interview. He instead expressed anger about abortion rates among Black women and said he didn’t reflexively support Democrats.

A White House spokesman did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The meeting came at a notable time. Mr. West recently criticized Joseph R. Biden Jr. in an interview with Forbes. He did not deny that he is acting as a spoiler to damage the Biden campaign with his effort to get on several ballots in states like Colorado, where he will appear. It’s less clear that his name will be on the ballot in Wisconsin, where his signature petitions are being challenged.

Credit…Gabby Jones for The New York Times

Silicon Valley and Wall Street cheered the selection of Kamala Harris as a running mate who would reinforce Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s moderate policy stances. Mr. Biden had already been gaining traction among tech and finance executives, and his pick is likely to strengthen that support.

In Ms. Harris, Silicon Valley sees a familiar face: She got her start in the Bay Area and has been a fixture in fund-raising circles there for decades. Tech executives appear reassured by her circumspect stance on things like breaking up the sector’s dominant companies.

During her presidential primary run last year, when asked by The New York Times whether she would break up tech companies, she didn’t answer directly but said her “first priority” was regulation that gave consumers better control of their privacy.

For Wall Street, Ms. Harris was a moderate choice, in contrast to more left-leaning candidates in the Democratic primary race who called for a tougher line on finance firms. That said, during her presidential primary campaign, Ms. Harris said that she would pay for her health-care plans with taxes on financial transactions, an unpopular move in bank boardrooms.

Although Mr. Biden has vowed to raise some taxes and has signaled that he will crack down on corporate America, many of the details remain vague. Traders and financiers have donated more to Mr. Biden’s campaign than to President Trump’s by a factor of nearly five to one.

“I think she’s the perfect partner for Biden,” said Marc Lasry, co-founder of Avenue Capital and a supporter of Mr. Biden’s campaign. “She’s smart and extremely experienced.”

Wall Street was likely to look favorably on almost any moderate running mate, said Michael Novogratz, who runs a cryptocurrency investment firm and has been a big Biden backer. Stock market futures rose after Mr. Biden announced his pick.

But given his expectation that a Biden administration would raise taxes and adopt a more conservative approach to spending, Mr. Novogratz said, “I think Wall Street is out of their minds, thinking the Democrats are going to be good for the stock market.”

Climate activists praised the selection of Ms. Harris, saying the move signaled a sustained Democratic focus on environmental justice.

Ms. Harris was an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, an expansive plan to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions while also addressing economic inequality. She supports abolishing the Senate filibuster if Republicans stand in the way of passing climate change legislation. And she has called for a $10 trillion increase in spending over a decade as well as a price on carbon dioxide pollution, with a dividend that is returned directly to households.

Ms. Harris’s core environmental focus has consistently been on how poor communities are disproportionately affected by polluting industries.

A former prosecutor, Ms. Harris vowed to maximize the power of the legal system to punish corporate polluters. Last year she laid out specific plans for protecting vulnerable communities, including establishing an independent Office of Climate and Environmental Justice Accountability and scoring environmental regulations or legislation based on how they affect low-income communities.

“I’m super hopeful,” said Catherine Flowers, a senior fellow at the Center for Earth Ethics. The choice of Ms. Harris, she said, “is elevating the conversation and making it a priority.”

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

White House officials have explored whether President Trump has the power to sidestep Congress and unilaterally cut a broad swath of taxes as the president looks for ways to inject fuel into a slumping economy, according to a senior administration official.

While such a move is not imminent, Mr. Trump’s advisers have sought legal guidance from White House lawyers about whether the president has the authority to eliminate certain taxes, including income and business taxes, without the approval of Congress.

The discussions about how much power the president can wield over tax policy come as Mr. Trump prepares to delay payroll taxes for some workers until the end of the year. But unlike that move, which simply defers what workers owe until some point in the future, the White House is discussing whether the president can actually eliminate taxes owed by businesses, workers and investors.

The legality of such a move is dubious, but Mr. Trump has not been shy about pushing the boundaries of his authority. He has made clear that another big tax cut will be a central part of his pitch for a second term. Getting such a tax cut through Congress would be tough, particularly if Democrats retain control of the House.

A Treasury spokeswoman declined to comment on internal discussions about additional tax cuts. A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

White House officials are aware that stretching the boundaries of tax policy would bring backlash from Democrats and Republicans, along with possible legal challenges. But Mr. Trump, who had planned to campaign on a record economic expansion before the coronavirus pandemic struck, has made little headway in developing new economic policies that could help the U.S. climb out of what is expected to be a long, slow and painful recovery.

White House officials believe that temporarily delaying taxes is a powerful political tool for the president. It allows him to draw a contrast Mr. Biden, who would raise some taxes if elected. And they believe that it will put Democrats in what will be the uncomfortable position of allowing those taxes to be reinstated when the deferment expires.

A Republican candidate for Congress in Connecticut who dropped out of the primary race at the last moment after being arrested Monday night was in a virtual tie with his opponent as of Wednesday afternoon.

The candidate, Thomas Gilmer, trailed his opponent, Justin Anderson, by just 11 votes out of more than 17,000 votes cast. Mr. Gilmer, 29, was charged Monday with strangulation and unlawful restraint in connection with a “possible domestic assault,” the authorities said.

Credit…Lt. Don Crabtree/Wethersfield Police Department, via Associated Press

State officials said on Tuesday that if Mr. Gilmer won the primary, he would remain on the November ballot unless he formally withdrew. Republicans might be able to nominate someone to replace Mr. Gilmer if he wins and withdraws, depending on the timing, the Connecticut Secretary of State’s office said.

Whoever ends up as the Republican candidate faces long odds in November against the seven-term Democratic incumbent, Representative Joe Courtney, who was re-elected with 62 percent of the vote in 2018.

Here are results from some of Tuesday’s other races:

  • In a Georgia runoff between two Republicans to replace Representative Doug Collins, Andrew Clyde, a gun dealer and a Navy veteran, beat Matt Gurtler, a state legislator. Mr. Collins, also a Republican, is leaving his seat to challenge Senator Kelly Loeffler in November.

  • Republicans in Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District chose Michelle Fischbach, a former lieutenant governor, to face off in November against the longtime incumbent Representative Collin Peterson, a conservative Democrat in a rural district that leans heavily Republican.

Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times

If Kamala Harris becomes vice president, her ascension would leave an opening in January for her seat in the Senate. The pick would be made by Gov. Gavin Newsom of California.

In this morning’s California Today newsletter, The Times’s California correspondents Adam Nagourney and Jennifer Medina tossed around names of possible successors. One is Representative Karen Bass of Los Angeles, who was herself on Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s short list for vice president and is the former speaker of the State Assembly. Another is the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti.

Here’s more of our reporters’ thinking:

  • Jennifer Medina: “Within minutes of the announcement, I had texts from politicos around the state throwing out names that included Ms. Bass, Mr. Garcetti, as well as State Senator Maria Elena Durazo, former Senate majority leader Kevin de Leon and Attorney General Xavier Becerra (who was appointed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown after Ms. Harris won her Senate seat). Needless to say, there will be a lot of jockeying in the coming months.”

  • Adam Nagourney: “Here’s a conspiracy theory for you. Mr. Newsom picks Mayor Eric Garcetti, just to make absolutely sure Mr. Garcetti doesn’t think of primary-ing him in a few years.”

Credit…Amy Harris/Invision, via Associated Press

In 2015, when Donald Trump used the Neil Young song “Rockin’ in the Free World” to announce his presidential campaign, it did not make Mr. Young happy.

But the rocker did not think there was anything he could do, and the song became yet another in the long list of anthems repurposed by candidates against artists’ wishes. (Other examples: Ronald Reagan’s use of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” Barack Obama’s use of Sam and Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin’” and John McCain’s use of “Still the One” by Orleans.)

Now, Mr. Young is trying a new strategy. Last week, he sued the Trump campaign over the use of “Rockin’ in the Free World” and another song, “Devil’s Sidewalk,” both of which were played at Mr. Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Okla., in June.

Mr. Young accused the campaign of copyright infringement for playing the tracks without a license, and asked for the campaign to be ordered to stop using them, as well as for statutory damages.

Mr. Young’s complaint said he “in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song’ for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate.”

The suit, and others like it filed in the last few years, relies on artists withdrawing songs from the lists of works offered to political campaigns by performing-rights organizations like ASCAP and BMI, which license the rights for millions of songs in exchange for a fee.

But it is not clear whether such withdrawals are allowed under ASCAP and BMI’s agreements with the federal government, which were instituted to prevent anticompetitive conduct.

Mr. Young’s case is being closely watched as a test of artists’ power to protect their work against political use.

As a nation unpacks the political implications of Kamala Harris’s selection on Tuesday as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, at least one sizable constituency could stand to benefit: those who enjoyed Maya Rudolph’s star appearances as the California senator on “Saturday Night Live.”

The former “S.N.L.” cast member shined in three guest appearances lampooning the Democratic primaries, depicting Ms. Harris as a “fun aunt” who “will give you weed, but then arrest you for having weed.” The performances earned Ms. Rudolph an Emmy nomination for guest actress in a comedy series and an approving tweet from Ms. Harris herself.

Ms. Rudolph, who was in the cast of “S.N.L.” on NBC from 2000 to 2007, was in the middle of recording an “Entertainment Weekly” panel discussion on Tuesday when Ms. Harris was announced as Mr. Biden’s pick. She did not commit to playing Ms. Harris when “S.N.L.” returns for its scheduled 46th season in the fall, but seemed intrigued by the idea.

“I love going to the show,” Ms. Rudolph said. “Any excuse I can get, I love.”

Ms. Harris appeared to have little problem with the impersonation. In October, before she dropped out of the race, she told MSNBC, “I plan on keeping Maya Rudolph in work for the next eight years.”

The Times is hosting a discussion at 6 p.m. Eastern about what Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s selection of Senator Kamala Harris of California as his running mate means for his campaign and the election. A former rival who later became a vocal supporter, Ms. Harris will be the first Black woman to be nominated for national office by a major political party. The virtual event will be hosted by Rachel Dry, deputy politics editor, and include the Miami bureau chief, Patricia Mazzei, and the politics reporters Alexander Burns, Astead W. Herndon and Nick Corasaniti. Sign up here.

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Why Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris

In 2016, Hillary Clinton tapped Tim Kaine to be her vice president. In 2008, Barack Obama chose Joe Biden. In 2004, John Kerry named John Edwards. In 2000, Al Gore ran with Joe Lieberman. What did all these picks have in common? They were all to the right of the candidate atop the ticket — each of them was meant, at least in part, to mollify voters uncomfortable with either the ideology or the identity of the Democratic nominee.

Biden’s decision to run alongside Sen. Kamala Harris breaks the trend. Harris is, by any measure, to Biden’s left. The New York Times describes her as “a pragmatic moderate.” But according to the DW-NOMINATE system, which measures the ideology of members of Congress by tracking what they vote for and whom they vote with, Harris has been one of the most liberal members of the Senate since arriving in 2017, sitting reliably alongside Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Cory Booker atop the rankings. In Biden’s final term in the Senate, he was the 26th most liberal member — and the Democratic Party was significantly more conservative then.

It is conventional wisdom that Democrats run to the left during primaries and the center during general elections. Biden is bucking that cliché. He ran to the center in the primary, but he’s been steadily shifting his policies and personnel left ever since.

Harris is, it should be said, a liberal, not a leftist. Her record as a prosecutor angered many on the left (I highly recommend reading German Lopez’s deep dive on that record), she’s close to big donors in Silicon Valley, and her decision to back away from Sanders’s Medicare-for-all bill during the primary deepened the mistrust. But Harris’s record as a prosecutor is far more liberal than Biden’s record on criminal justice issues, and her ultimate health care plan, which obliterated employer-based insurance entirely, was the most ambitious proposal put forth besides Medicare-for-all — and was, again, well to Biden’s left, as were most of her other policies (including, crucially, filibuster reform, where she’s said she’d end the rule to pass climate change legislation).

Alongside Sens. Sanders and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Harris introduced a coronavirus relief bill that would issue monthly checks of up to $2,000 to Americans making less than $120,000 for the duration of the crisis. She also introduced legislation banning evictions and foreclosures for a year. Both proposals are to the left of Biden’s current offerings, and as the Washington Post reports, the Biden campaign has declined to say whether he would back them.

Harris is also the first woman of color ever on a major presidential ticket. She would be the first woman, full stop, to serve as vice president. Within the complex narrative that governs campaign politics, Harris came to be seen as the “safe” choice for Biden. But that says more about how American politics has changed than it does about who she is and what she believes. At the turn of the century, a Black, Indian American woman with one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate wouldn’t have been priced in by pundits as the safe pick.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks at a hearing of the Homeland Security Committee.
Alexander Drago-Pool/Getty Images

But adding Harris to the ticket fits Biden’s strategy more generally. Rather than declaring victory for the grand forces of moderation after beating Sanders, Biden spun up a series of unity task forces charged with finding common ground between the two campaigns across six issue areas. The process pushed Biden’s agenda left, most notably on climate change.

In a less high-profile but just as consequential announcement, the Biden transition team — the team that will do the work of staffing his administration if he wins — was stocked with staffers with deep ties to the more left-leaning, diverse wings of the Democratic Party, like Gautam Raghavan, chief of staff to Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus; Angela Ramirez, the executive director of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; and Julie Siegel, a senior adviser to Warren on economic policy.

Quietly, Biden is pushing his own agenda and potential administration left. “As the Democratic nominees, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton did not make a major effort to appoint progressives,” says Waleed Shahid, communications director for the left-leaning Justice Democrats. Biden’s been different, and there are a few reasons for it.

Biden’s long profile in American politics has given his campaign cover. “They feel they have room because Biden is seen as a moderate,” says David Axelrod, who served as Obama’s chief strategist. And polls back that up: 26 percent of voters see Biden as moderate, while only 15 percent say the same about President Trump.

Biden isn’t seen as a radical, a socialist, or even a particularly progressive politician. That arguably cost him some excitement in the Democratic primary, where candidates with sharper ideological profiles dominated social media and got the loudest applause at debates. But in the general election, it’s given him room to get a bit more radical, to build bridges to the more socialist wing of the party, and to normalize a more progressive agenda, without fearing some of the backlash that other candidates might receive.

More importantly, Biden is changing because the country is changing. In 2018, for the first time, a majority of Americans under age 15 were nonwhite. Decades of economic failures have radicalized younger voters against the economic consensus that Biden himself helped buttress. The Movement for Black Lives has forced an overdue reckoning with systemic racism in America. Covid-19 has led to Depression-era levels of unemployment. Biden isn’t moving left because he discovered Gramsci in his 70s. He’s moving left because that’s necessary to keep up with the politics and needs of the moment.

None of this is to say Biden is as far left as leftists would prefer. Nor that Harris is the pick they wanted — though she was the most popular pick among Democrats and independents. But Biden and Harris are politicians skilled at reading the room and sensing the moment. In recent decades, national Democratic politicians have read the room and shifted right, acting as if the pressure in American politics came from whiter, more Southern, and more conservative voters. Now they’re shifting left, feeling pressure from a rising, diverse generation of voters furious with the failures of the past, and looking for something different in the future.

“Both Biden and Kamala Harris have somewhat floating ideologies, like a balloon tied to a rock where the rock is the Democratic Party consensus,” says Shahid. “Harris being to Biden’s left, as senator and 2020 candidate, means that progressives and social movements have moved that rock substantially since the Obama era.”

Biden has always said he intends to be a “transition candidate,” and it’s increasingly clear that he understands that transition as leading to a more diverse, liberal America.


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Kamala Harris is the future, so Mike Pence may be history

Already, I am dreaming of the debate.

There’s Mike Pence, white of hair as well as cheek, his demeanor more starched than his dress shirt, his smile so tight it’s the twin of a grimace. He represents more than the Trump administration, God help him. He represents an America that’s half memory, half myth.

And there’s Kamala Harris — younger, blacker and more buoyant. She’s only the fourth woman on the presidential ticket of one of the country’s two major political parties and she’s the first woman of color. She represents an America that’s evolving, fitfully, toward equal opportunity and equal justice.

Under her gaze, Pence has to defend a racist, sexist president. As he watches helplessly, Harris gets to talk about how that racism and sexism feel to a Black woman like her. This isn’t any ordinary clash of perspectives and philosophies. It’s an extraordinary collision of life experiences.

And that’s exactly what Joe Biden wants.

Throughout his campaign for the presidency, Biden has defined himself as the opposite of President Donald Trump in experience and earnestness and as the antidote to Trump in how he sees America and what he values about it. He has used his choice of a running mate to hammer home that last bit.

Harris is a distinguished public servant with a résumé — U.S. senator from California, state attorney general — unquestionably suited to this exhilarating and daunting opportunity, which she has earned. She is also an agent of contrast, emphasizing the difference between the Republican ticket and the Democratic one, between Trump’s politics of division and Biden’s politics of inclusion.

But even as she affirms Biden’s orientation toward the future, she reflects his appreciation of his own past. She enables him, for a second time, to be part of a presidential ticket that sets a precedent and blazes a trail. It’s almost as if he’s trying to recreate the established magic, to repurpose the victorious script.

Twelve years ago, he was the running mate of the first Black nominee of one of the country’s two major parties, Barack Obama, who then became the country’s first Black president. Harris would be the country’s first Black vice president, its first Asian American vice president and its first female vice president, in excellent position to be the country’s first female president down the line. Having a hand in that no doubt excited Biden.

In selecting Harris, Biden had to forgive her attacks during a Democratic primary debate for his past alliances with segregationists and his opposition to busing to integrate public schools. He and his aides considered that a cheap shot. They clearly got over it.

So why Harris and not Susan Rice, Karen Bass, Val Demings, Keisha Lance Bottoms or Stacey Abrams? Because Biden obviously believes the polls that give him a significant lead over Trump and wants above all to protect it. Harris is the safest of the bunch.

No sooner had her selection leaked than several Democratic operatives emailed me to say, anxiously, “I hope she’s better in the general election than she was in the primary!” She certainly flopped then, leaving the race even before the Iowa caucuses. But Biden flopped as miserably in the 2008 primary, and that didn’t scare off Obama.

And oh, can she be nimble and fierce. That’s what Biden learned in that tense primary debate, cheap shot or no cheap shot. That’s what Jeff Sessions, Brett Kavanaugh and William Barr learned when they appeared before Senate committees and endured her grilling.

That’s what I hope and trust Pence will learn on Oct. 7, at the University of Utah, where the sole vice-presidential debate is scheduled to take place. A man who reputedly doesn’t like to eat alone with any woman other than his wife — it looks weird and is a recipe for trouble — will face off against a woman who’s big trouble indeed. I suspect she’ll have him for breakfast.

Frank Bruni is a New York Times columnist.

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Joe Biden and Kamala Harris speeches: Election 2020 live updates

A sign advertises the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee. The speaker list for the convention has been scaled back significantly after the coronavirus forced Democratic planners to scrap plans for an in-person event in Milwaukee and shrink most of the live programming to two hours each night from 9 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET. Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic party’s presumptive nominee, is set to accept the party’s nomination and deliver his acceptance speech next Thursday during the Democratic National Convention held in a virtual setting. Vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is expected to do the same a night earlier.

The Democratic National Convention Committee on Tuesday announced its speaker line-up for the convention, unveiling a list that includes both Barack and Michelle Obama, Jill Biden and a host of women Biden had considered as his running mate.

The speaker list for the convention has been scaled back significantly after coronavirus forced Democratic planners to scrap plans for an in-person event in Milwaukee and shrink most of the live programming to two hours each night from 9 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET.

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden will headline the first two nights of the convention, and Harris, along with former President Barack Obama, are expected to deliver the keynote Wednesday evening. Biden, introduced by his family, will accept the nomination on Thursday night.

The list of speakers from the four-night event aims to represent the ideological diversity inside the Democratic Party, with representatives from the party’s left like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking, along with more moderate members of the party like vulnerable Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar each getting key speaking slots.

Monday’s speaker line-up features the broadest representation of Joe Biden’s supporters across the Democratic spectrum, from Sanders, a leader of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party to Klobuchar, his one-time primary opponent. Former Gov. John Kasich, who ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, is also slated to speak on the same evening.

Neither Biden nor Harris will travel to Milwaukee, the original convention site, due to safety concerns related to Covid-19. Instead, Biden will accept the nomination from Delaware.

Read more about the DNC line-up here.

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How Black women secured Kamala Harris’ spot on the ticket

The lobby for a Black woman on the ticket worked in public and in private, with backdoor conversations with Biden’s core team of advisers as well as a consistent media campaign in favor of a Black woman for vice president. Few were willing to pick a favorite among the Black women Biden considered for the job, saying the most important criterion for Biden’s vice presidential pick was the strength of his relationship with the woman who would join him on the ticket.

Rumors that Harris’ June 2019 debate jab at Biden might hurt her chances were overblown, Moore said. When some Biden allies launched a campaign to counter Harris, citing her ambitions to become president, the Black operatives pushing for her or another Black woman used the media to answer back. Several Biden allies, including House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, pushed back on the criticism, saying there is a double standard for women, and particularly women of color, with big goals.

People familiar with the vetting process said Biden’s team took their recommendation very seriously — a dynamic that hasn’t always come through in other vice presidential vettings, which by their nature can be closed off and insular processes.

“They have really spent an invaluable amount of time listening to people, soliciting advice,” said Brazile, who managed Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign.

The last time she lobbied for a Black woman vice presidential nominee, during Walter Mondale’s 1984 campaign, Brazile said her request fell on deaf ears.

“A Black woman was never even considered,” Brazile continued, citing Barbara Jordan, Patricia Harris and Shirley Chisholm as Black women in politics who “could have easily fit the description of what Walter Mondale was looking for.”

Harris’ selection, she said, is a sign that both Biden and his team finally listened. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), who served as one of Biden’s core advisers in the vice presidential selection process, was cited as an influential figure in his ultimate decision.

Hours after Biden announced Harris as his pick, Moore reflected on the push to nominate the California senator as the latest step in a winding, often painful path for women in national Democratic politics. That path traced from Geraldine Ferraro joining Mondale’s 1984 ticket through Clinton’s 2016 run to Tuesday’s elevation of Harris, the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants and a graduate of Howard University, a historically Black university.

“We all did what we felt like we needed to do at this particular time in history. We all believed that Kamala Harris was the right person for this job,” Moore said. “She had more qualifications than a lot of people on the list. She was battle-tested. She brings the experience that [Biden] needs to serve as his No. 2.”

Harris polled no higher than third among African Americans during her run for the Democratic presidential nomination, running into wariness about her record as a prosecutor and support for Biden that was more enduring than many assumed in the year before he won the primary.

Still, Black legislators saw her as a favorite to join a Biden ticket as early as May 2019, as both were actively petitioning Congressional Black Caucus members for support of their presidential campaigns. And Harris’ recent work in the Senate dovetails with months of protests and activism in response to police violence and a public health crisis that has exacerbated racial inequities. Since the onset of Covid-19, Harris has sponsored legislation addressing an impending eviction crisis as well as the dearth of racial and ethnic data on coronavirus cases.

Glynda Carr, founder and CEO of the Higher Heights PAC, which supports Black women running for office, said Harris’ selection affirms “that we have a bench of Black women who are qualified that come to our American democracy with a lived experience and are ready to lead on Day One.”

“Every single one of the women who were on the long list or the short list, that’s a prideful moment,” Carr continued, calling it the end of a journey that started with Shirley Chisholm running for president almost a half-century earlier. “I think this is a day for a sense of pride for Black women across this country. And tomorrow will be the day that people get to work.”

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Ron Johnson says committee Republicans blocking Comey, Brennan subpoenas

Hewitt repeatedly asked Johnson to name the Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security Committee who would oppose subpoenaing Comey.

“Hugh, I’m just not going to be naming names that way,” Johnson replied.

“If there’s a senator who is blocking a subpoena, we need to know who that is so we throw them out,” Hewitt said later.

Johnson, who said he’s working on the investigation “non-stop,” also refused to commit to calling a vote on a Comey subpoena the next time his committee meets. “Not on a radio show, Hugh. Sorry,” Johnson said, prompting Hewitt to demand an apology from Johnson “to the American people.”

The interview underscores the degree to which there’s a reluctance among some Senate Republicans to advance an investigation that Democrats have viewed as a conduit for foreign disinformation aimed at former Vice President Joe Biden less than three months before the election as well as to amplify allegations of corruption by the FBI in its Trump-Russia probe. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), one of the eight Republicans on Johnson’s panel, raised concerns about the investigation’s political overtones in the spring, though he ultimately has backed some of the panel’s subpoena requests.

Johnson said Republican resistance had delayed his effort to subpoena Blue Star Strategies, a Democratic public relations firm that did work for Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company that Hunter Biden served on the board of. He also cited the lengthy criminal investigations and the coronavirus pandemic for delaying his committee’s ability to get documents from the FBI, which he said were essential before seeking live testimony from central witnesses.

Johnson said he’s not interested in holding a “show trial” with high-profile witnesses without the documents his committee needs to ask effective questions.

When Hewitt pressed Johnson on whether his committee is working hard enough — questioning why the Senate goes home on weekends and isn’t in Washington, D.C., seven days a week — Johnson rejected the premise.

“Whether I’m in D.C. or not, I’m working on this almost nonstop,” Johnson said. “So is my staff. I don’t need to be in D.C. here.”

Johnson also revealed that he hasn’t ever met with U.S. attorney John Durham, who is leading a Justice Department probe of the origins of the FBI Russia investigation. Though Johnson said he has met multiple times with Attorney General William Barr, he said he hasn’t discussed — and doesn’t know — whether Durham has convened a grand jury.