Vice President Elect Kamala Harris. Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
Kamala Harris is the first African American Vice President elect, a second historic moment in this defeat of incumbent Donald Trump by former Vice President Joe Biden.
History was made when the Biden-Harris won more than 74 million votes, the highest in the popular vote totals for any American presidential candidate. Harris adds a double-historic moment by becoming the first woman vice president and the first woman of color to be elected to the post.
Celebrations erupted allover the country today when all the major media outlets called the state of Pennsylvania to Biden, giving him 290 electors, well above the 270 needed to capture the White House. Hundreds of thousands of Americans came out spontaneously to celebrate in New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Detroit, and other major cities.
Some analysts compare the exuberance on the streets to some of the celebrations associated with the collapse of dictatorships in developing countries. Trump has not yet conceded the race and earlier this week in rambling speech and in a series of tweets claimed he was the winner of this election.
Many of the people dancing on the streets were holding large photographs of the victims of police murders, including Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.
Senator Harris, 56, now vice president elect, is a former attorney general of California. Her father was an immigrant from Jamaica and her mother came to the United States from India.
She and Biden were opponents earlier in the election cycle when Harris was still a presidential candidate. At one point when she was still a leading presidential candidate she and Biden clashed when Harris put him on the defensive by recalling that he once opposed bussing. The two later became a team after Harris pulled out of the race.
Biden himself became Obama’s vice president after he’d started out as a presidential candidate in the 2008 election cycle.