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Credit: Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senator Kamala Harris of California will become the first woman, Black American and Indian American to serve as vice president.

The big picture: No woman has served as U.S. president, but Harris' ascent will put a woman first in the line of succession for the first time in history, in a year marking the 100th anniversary of women obtaining the constitutional right to vote.

Details: Harris, 56, is the daughter of immigrants; her father is from Brown's Town, Jamaica, and her mother is from Chennai, India.

  • She is an alumna of Howard University, an HBCU, and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first historically Black sorority.
  • Her victory was being celebrated by women and people of color across the country and the world, on the Howard campus, and at Black Lives Matter Plaza across from the White House.
  • Harris would not be the first vice president of color. That designation goes to Charles Curtis, President Hoover's vice president nearly a century ago, a member of the Kaw Nation, whose father was white and mother was Native American.

What they're saying: In a statement congratulating the Bidens, Obama saved a line for Harris and her husband, saying he "couldn’t be prouder to congratulate Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff for Kamala’s groundbreaking election as our next Vice President."

Harris's husband, future second gentleman Doug Emhoff tweeted a photo of the couple moments after they learned the race had been called, with his arms around his wife and the simple words, "So proud of you." The photo captured an intimate moment, parallel to the photo Barack Obama posted after his reelection, embracing his wife, Michelle.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Biden senior adviser Symone Sanders:  "It's a monumental thing. It's a historic day."

Actress Mindy Kaling wrote on Twitter: "Crying and holding my daughter, 'look baby, she looks like us.'"

Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of BlackPAC: "This is fundamentally about the ways in which the Democratic Party needs to shift — ushering in a living example for the country to be able to imagine what it looks like to have diverse leadership at the highest levels of government...it feels like we’ve spent the entire run-up to the election suppressing, in some ways, the historic nature of this race and her candidacy because it’s overshadowed by the fact that we’re trying to save democracy."

Arisha Hatch, executive director of Color of Change PAC: "She’s deemed herself a progressive prosecutor back in her day and I’m looking forward to her being able to meet this moment with a real idea of how to reimagine policy for black communities." 

Nse Ufot, New Georgia Project: "There’s a belief among Democratic Party that holding the center is important, and the idea of this mythical unicorn of a white, male, moderate Democrat that they need to placate in order to win elections has been thoroughly debunked."

Neil Makhija, Executive Director of IMPACT: "Her election will supercharge the political engagement of the Indian American community."


Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

Updated 10 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 12 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.