Kamala Harris. District attorney, California Attorney General, U.S. Senator, and now, Vice President-elect of the United States.
I have long been a supporter of Harris. Even though I heard ramblings of information about politics from family members, YouTube and news programs playing in the background in my house, I only started being heavily engaged in politics towards the end of my fourth grade year (which coincided with the general election season of the 2016 election).
Since then, I’ve researched various topics, read the news every day, and have tried to build up a knowledge on politics – both nationally, worldwide and locally. Someone who almost immediately showed up on my radar was the California Attorney General who was running for U.S. Senator at the time – Kamala Harris.
When the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries were picking up, I hoped Harris would run. I knew she was a newcomer on the national stage – having only been a U.S senator for around two years – but I thought that knew could be good, and quite frankly, new was necessary.
So when Harris announced her bid for the presidency on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 21, 2019), I was ecstatic. I watched her campaign announcement as it took place and felt inspired.
I first met Harris in May 2019. It was a few months after she had announced her candidacy and the 2020 Democratic primary election season had just begun.
It was only my second time volunteering at a political event, and I was incredibly nervous. I wasn’t nervous about working the event, rather the notion of meeting possibly the next president of the United States.
When I finally walked up to Harris, that nervousness went away. She was kind, warm, humble, authentic and grateful that I was volunteering (even though the honor was all mine).
She even let me get a few pictures with her and really treated me as if I was a friend, rather than a 13-year-old she had never met before.
I worked a few more events for her campaign after that, but one stands out. I was working an event with a few other students and after the event was done, she made sure to walk over to us to talk to us, take pictures, and thank us. Candidates have multiple events per day, so her taking this extra step to thank us and give us some of her time meant so much.
My final event was in Sept. 2019. At that point, it was starting to become obvious that Harris’s campaign wasn’t where it should be, and would probably wind down soon. Despite that, she was still excited and positive when speaking, and was still kind to me when talking to me. It was as if she was the frontrunner in the race.
Harris also wrote me a congratulatory congratulationaltory letter for my bar mitzvah – – which meant a lot. The pattern of dedicating time to thank volunteers and supporters for their efforts really stuck out to me.
Harris dropped out of the race on Dec. 3, 2019, though, citing a lack of funding. I was a bit upset as I had hoped she would win the primary and be our first female president, but remained hopeful that both she would have a bright political future and the Democratic party would choose a great nominee.
A few months later at the March 15, 2020 Democratic primary debate between Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Biden committed to selecting a woman as his running mate. A few days later, the Biden campaign began its selection process.
Throughout the process, various names were brought up, such as U.S Representative Karen Bass, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Senator Elizabeth Warren and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice. I hopedand predicted that Biden would choose Harris as his running mate.
I guess I was a prophet then because on Aug. 11, 2020, Biden chose Harris as his running mate, making her the third female Vice Presidential nominee in American history. I was thrilled. It’s also exciting to think that I shook hands and met someone who could be the second most powerful person in the world in a few months.
But why am I saying all of this stuff about my personal experiences?
Because politics is often so devoid of kindness. I believe we need a fresh start. We need politicians who truly care for the people.
Am I saying someone should be elected Vice-President because they were nice? No, of course not.
Harris’s campaign slogan was For The People and Biden’s current slogan is Restore The Soul of America.
This small act represents both the For The People slogan and the Restore The Soul of America slogan. I’ve noticed over the past four years everything has become so polarized and people have become more divided, so the act of writing a letter to a young volunteer represents what America should look like. The soul of America is a warm one, which has just been freezing over the past few years.
I also noticed how consistent Harris was. Often in politics, candidates flip flop on the issues and with their personality in order to appeal to voters. But in my experiences meeting Harris, I didn’t notice any flip-flopping. She was consistent throughout the primary season – kind, authentic, and grateful.
If the question of actual qualifications is raised, and not just character traits, even in conservative circles, there is little doubt Harris is qualified to be Vice President. Though she’s only served as a United States senator for almost four years, she’s had a plethora of state experience. And as Senator for California, the state with the highest population, she obviously has experience in representing constituents, something both the president and vice-president do for the US’s 328 million citizens.
Now that Harris is Vice President-elect, there’s no doubt she’ll be attending large events, instead of the small events I volunteered at in which she met supporters and volunteers. But I know that through my experiences, she is truly someone for the people, which our country is in dire need of.
And with all that in mind, I’m unbelievably thrilled that come January, I’ll be able to call Kamala Harris the 49th Vice President of the United States.