Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., accepted the vice presidential nomination Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention, laying out her case for the Democratic ticket to replace President Donald Trump.
"Right now we have a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons," she said in her speech, squarely on script and measured. "Joe will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose. Joe will bring us together."
Her speech was delivered live in Wilmington, Delaware, as the first Black and Indian-American woman to join a major party's national ticket.
"We must elect a president who will bring something different, something better, and do the important work," Harris said. "A president who will bring all of us together — Black, White, Latino, Asian, Indigenous — to achieve the future we collectively want. We must elect Joe Biden."
Harris, who gave salute to the fight for women's and Blacks' right to vote, shared the spotlight with the Democratic Party's foremost orator, former President Barack Obama, who delivered his own speech before she capped off the third night of Biden's virtual nominating convention.
"In this election we have a chance to change the course of history," Harris said. "We're all in this fight. You, me, and Joe, together. What an awesome responsibility. What an awesome privilege.
"So let's fight with conviction. Let's fight with hope. Let's fight with confidence in ourselves and a commitment to each other. To the America we know is possible. The America we love."
Obama asked to speak before Harris, allowing her to take the torch for the party and for minority presidential candidates.
Harris raised issues of the global coronavirus pandemic and social injustice.
"This virus, it has no eyes," she said. "And yet it knows exactly how we see each other and how we treat each other.
"And let's be clear: There is no vaccine for racism.
"We have got to do the work for George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for the lives of too many others to name, for our children and for all of us."
Harris, the daughter of immigrations from India and Jamaica, hailed her mother and father meeting during civil rights marches in the 1960s – specifically mentioning her birthright citizenship that had been challenged by a lawyer making a legal argument against her eligibility.
"I keep thinking about that 25-year-old Indian woman all of 5 feet tall who gave birth to me at Kaiser hospital in Oakland, California," she said. "On that day she probably could have never imagined that I would be standing before you now and speaking these words: I accept your nomination for vice president of the United States of America."
The Biden team hopes Harris' historic nomination – the first Black and Indian-American woman to be on a major presidential party ticket – will help nail down votes from African Americans, young voters and women, delivering the former vice president a winning margin too large for Trump to plausibly challenge. For Harris personally, the nomination thrusts her into the role of the party's standard-bearer after a disappointing 2020 presidential campaign that fizzled before the first primary votes were ever cast.
"And years from now, this moment will have passed and our children and our grandchildren will look in our eyes and they're going to ask us, 'where were you when the stakes were so high?'" she concluded. "They will ask us, 'what was it like?' And we will tell them.
"We will tell them not just how we felt, we will tell them what we did."
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