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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.

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

Mike Allen, author of AM
Dec 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Kamala Harris to name Bill Clinton aide Tina Flournoy as chief of staff

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Harris plans to name Tina Flournoy, currently chief of staff to former President Clinton, as her chief of staff in the White House, a source familiar with transition planning tells me, confirming a report by Yashar Ali.

Why it matters: There's been intense fascination about this post among top Democrats, with Harris likely to remain a power in the party for many years to come.

24 mins ago - Health

U.S. exceeds 100,000 COVID-related hospitalizations for the first time

People wait outside the Emergency room of the Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, California on Dec 1. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

More than 100,200 Americans were hospitalized as of Wednesday due to the coronavirus for the first time since the outbreak began in early 2020, per the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The milestone comes as health officials anticipated cases to surge due to holiday travel and gatherings. The impact of the holiday remains notable, as many states across the country are only reporting partial data.

4 hours ago - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”