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Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama released a statement Tuesday celebrating Joe Biden's selection of Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate and calling it a reflection of Biden's "own judgment and character."

Why it matters: Obama recognized Harris's talent early on, in 2013 famously calling her "brilliant," "dedicated" and "tough." He and former First Lady Michelle Obama remain two of the most popular figures in the Democratic Party and are scheduled to headline two nights of next week's Democratic National Convention, where Harris will also give an address.

Full statement:

Choosing a vice president is the first important decision a president makes. When you’re in the Oval Office, weighing the toughest issues, and the choice you make will affect the lives and livelihoods of the entire country – you need someone with you who’s got the judgment and the character to make the right call. Someone whose focus goes beyond self-interest to consider the lives and prospects of others.
Joe Biden nailed this decision. By choosing Senator Kamala Harris as America’s next vice president, he’s underscored his own judgment and character. Reality shows us that these attributes are not optional in a president. They’re requirements of the job. And now Joe has an ideal partner to help him tackle the very real challenges America faces right now and in the years ahead. 
I’ve known Senator Harris for a long time. She is more than prepared for the job. She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake. Her own life story is one that I and so many others can see ourselves in: a story that says that no matter where you come from, what you look like, how you worship, or who you love, there’s a place for you here. It’s a fundamentally American perspective, one that’s led us out of the hardest times before. And it’s a perspective we can all rally behind right now. 
Michelle and I couldn’t be more thrilled for Kamala, Doug, Cole, and Ella. This is a good day for our country. Now let’s go win this thing.

Go deeper: More reactions from around the political world

Go deeper

Nov 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden to bring Donilon and Ricchetti into White House

Biden after delivering remarks on the economic recovery in Wilmington, Del. Nov. 16. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is bringing two longtime confidants — Steve Ricchetti and Mike Donilon — into the West Wing along with newer faces as he fills out out his senior White House staff.

Driving the news: Biden named Ron Klain as his chief of staff last week, and on Tuesday announced other members of his senior team.

House passes government funding, debt ceiling bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The House passed a bill on Tuesday to fund the government through early December, along with a measure to raise the debt ceiling through December 2022.

Why it matters: The stopgap measure, which needs to be passed to avoid a government shutdown when funding expires on Sept. 30, faces a difficult journey in the Senate where at least ten Republicans would need to vote in favor.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The Democrats' debt dilemma

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats find themselves in a political and potentially catastrophic economic quagmire as Republicans stand firm on denying them any help in raising the federal debt ceiling.

Why it matters: The Democrats are technically right — the debt comes, in part, from past spending by President Trump and his predecessors, not only President Biden's new big-ticket programs. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is saddling them with the public relations challenge of making that distinction during next year's crucial midterms.