August 12, 2020, 02.28 PM

Harris, who at 55 is two decades Biden's junior, could appeal to younger voters and women, particularly those in the suburbs who have been fleeing Trump.

The former California attorney general is the first person of Indian descent in the running mate role, and personifies the diversity seen as key to building enthusiasm for the Democratic ticket, particularly in a year marked by a historic reckoning on race.

She is the third female vice-presidential nominee for a major party, after the groundbreaking but unsuccessful runs of Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Republican Sarah Palin in 2008.

Hillary Clinton was the first female presidential nominee, losing to Trump in 2016.

Harris, who ran for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination against Biden, said she was "honored" to join the ticket and would "do what it takes" to help him win.

"@JoeBiden can unify the American people because he's spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he'll build an America that lives up to our ideals," she tweeted.

For Harris, being elevated onto a presidential ticket is the political moment of a lifetime. And if they win, the telegenic but tough Californian would almost certainly become the frontrunner in the race for the 2024 or 2028 Democratic nomination.

Biden would be the oldest person to take the office, and there is broad speculation that should Biden win, he would serve one four-year term and groom his deputy to succeed him.

That puts Kamala Harris in the extraordinary position as the potential flag bearer of the Democratic Party.

Joe Biden is likely confident that Harris has the policy chops and governing experience to help lead on day one, and immediately step into the job as president if needed.

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