Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has frequently spoken of choosing a woman of color to serve as his running mate. The former vice president has a list of names to pick from, and many have suggested that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is a strong candidate.
However, for some members of the party, Harris is not an option, and they include residents of her state.
Sanders delegates reject Harris
That became evident this week when Fox News reported that California delegates representing Sen. Bernie Sanders sent him three vice-presidential recommendations, and Harris was not among them.
Instead, the delegates suggested that either California Reps. Barbara Lee, Karen Bass, or former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner be added to the ticket. According to Fox News, none of the three women in question are believed to be on Biden’s shortlist of possible contenders.
Although Sanders ultimately lost his race for the Democratic nomination, the self-described socialist has significant clout in the nation’s largest state, having won just over half of California’s delegates.
“In order to meet this historic moment, Democrats must select an exceptional progressive vice presidential candidate who will both inspire the 90 million Americans who did not vote in 2016 to cast a ballot this November and lead America into a new era of equality, compassion, and economic justice,” they wrote in an open letter quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle.
“As 2020 DNC delegates representing progressives of California, the state with the largest delegation to the presidential nominating convention, we enthusiastically recommend as nominees for Vice President: Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), former State Senator Nina Turner (D-OH), Representative Karen Bass (D-CA),” the delegates added.
Harris’ problematic background
Harris previously served as San Francisco district attorney and then California attorney general, roles that have put her at odds with the Democratic Party’s increasingly assertive left-wing.
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard famously attacked Harris over her record as attorney general during a televised debate in August of last year.
“I’m concerned about this record of Senator Harris. She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana,” Gabbard alleged.
The Iraq War veteran went on to complain that Harris had “blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row.” “She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California, and she fought to keep cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way,” Gabbard added.
Biden’s own record on criminal justice and other issues is a problem enough for many leftists, particularly Sanders supporters. Adding Harris’ tough-on-crime background into the mix, especially in light of the current anti-policing protests, is something his campaign must weigh carefully.