Democratic candidate for President Joe Biden named Kamala Harris, the Jamaican-Indian senator from California, as his vice-presidential choice yesterday, capping months-long speculation about his partner to challenge President Donald Trump in November.
"I have the great honour to announce that I've picked @KamalaHarris -- a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country's finest public servants -- as my running mate," Biden, 77, said on Twitter.
"I'm proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign."
The decision, announced in typical 2020 style on social media, is a huge one for Biden as he aims to build a broad coalition of voters to oust Trump from the White House. Harris is the first ever Indian-American woman running on a major party Presidential ticket.
Harris tweeted she was "honoured" to join Biden as nominee for vice president, and would "do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief."
"@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 wrote.
With Biden stating that he is unlikely to seek a second term, the 55-year-old Californian becomes the automatic frontrunner in the race for the 2024 or 2028 Democratic nomination if the Democrats win in November.
Leading Indian-American groups and individuals hailed Harris' nomination. Global Organisation of People of Indian-Origin (GOPIO) Chairman Dr Thomas Abraham called it "history in the making".
"For the Indian-American community, with only 50+ years of building a community in America, it is a great achievement. One day, she could also become president of the USA. Fifty years back when our migration started, we could never even dream about this day," he said.
“This is a great choice for our country,” tweeted former Pepsico chief Indra Nooyi, who is seen as a role model by millions of women across the world.
Welcoming the decision, IMPACT, a leading Indian-American advocacy group and a Political Action Committee, said it will raise USD 10 million for the campaign.
Harris, whose parents were immigrants to the United States; her father from Jamaica, her mother from India, has been a pioneer for most of her political career. She was the first black woman elected as California's attorney general, and only the second black woman, and the first woman of Indian-American heritage to be elected to the US Senate.
Biden's team stated that the two Democrats will deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware as they kick off their joint campaign.
Harris had clashed with Biden during the first Democratic debate of the 2020 race, chiding the former senator over his opposition to 1970s busing programs that forced integration of segregated schools.
Despite their debate clash, Biden has made it clear he does not hold a grudge, describing Harris as a "first-rate intellect, a first-rate candidate and a real competitor."
Prominent Democrats expressed their support for Harris following the announcement.
Former US President Barack Obama backed the nomination of Harris, saying "she is more than prepared for the job," and it is "a good day for our country."
US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said Harris "will continue her legacy of trailblazing leadership to move our nation forward."
Bill Clinton called Harris a "terrific choice." Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said Harris will be a "strong partner" for Biden.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has said on Tuesday that some men may feel "insulted" by Biden's commitment to choosing a woman as his vice-presidential candidate.
"He roped himself into a certain group of people. Some people would say men are insulted by that and some people would say it is fine," Trump said.
This will be just the third time in US history that a woman is chosen for Vice Presidential Candidate for a major US party, even if both previous cases — Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Sarah Palin in 2008 — turned out to be on losing tickets.
The United States has never had a female vice president, and the move comes four years after the country's first female presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, lost her White House bid.
The US presidential election will be held on November 3.