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Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

Three quick points about Joe Biden's historic selection of Sen. Kamala (pronounced COMMA-luh) Harris of California as his running mate — and clues they give us to how Biden would govern:

  1. She was always at the top of his list. As I look back through my text threads with top Dems over the past five months, she was always assumed to be the most likely pick.
  • It says something encouraging about these dire times for America that Joe Biden could both make history by naming the first Black and South Asian woman to a major-party U.S. presidential ticket — and fulfill conventional wisdom at the same time.
  • Harris, who'd be the first woman vice president, is a skilled, fearless prosecutor who has been vetted by a presidential campaign and statewide races in the biggest state. He can trust her on the campaign trail from Day 1. Ditto in the West Wing if they win. That's the job.

2. We found out when you did — at 4:14 p.m., when the Biden campaign blast-texted: "Joe Biden here. Big news: I've chosen Kamala Harris as my running mate."

  • With some of the best connected reporters in the land obsessing about the choice, there was no definitive leak, even at the end — something Biden's high command is super-proud of.
  • Amid the chaos and improvisation of the Trump Show, Biden ran an old-school, by-the-book process. His White House would be a similar Return to Normal.

3. Biden's selection process raised the profiles of several other women of color who are now set up to star in a new chapter of American politics: Susan Rice, former U.N. ambassador and national security adviser, was considered one of the final two by Biden confidants, and now is the favorite to be Secretary of State if he wins.

  • Because they were viewed as contenders, think how much more airtime has gone to Georgia's Stacey Abrams, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Rep. Val Demings of Florida, Rep. Karen Bass of California and Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois.
  • And because Biden had promised to pick a woman, think how much more attention has been paid to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. And Sen. Elizabeth Warren has stayed in the news.
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Go deeper

Nov 17, 2020 - World

Biden speaks with Israeli leaders Netanyahu and Rivlin

Biden (L) with Netanyahu in 2010. Photo: Baz Ratner-Pool/Getty Images

President-elect Biden spoke on the phone today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin as part of series of congratulatory phone calls with leaders around the world.

The big picture: The order in which these calls are returned by an incoming president is closely watched. Biden called Netanyahu and Rivlin after speaking with the leaders of nine other U.S. allies over the past few days.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 18, 2020 - Energy & Environment

The early skirmishes over Biden's Cabinet

Cedric Richmond and Joe Biden. Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

"U.S. environmental activists are heaping pressure on Democratic president-elect Joe Biden to avoid Cabinet appointees with fossil fuel ties," Reuters points out.

Why it matters: The incoming Biden administration is starting to announce important personnel picks, with Cabinet choices looming, and activists are keen to see advocates of aggressive climate policies.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Nov 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Battle of the Biden books

President-elect Biden waves after speaking with diplomatic, intelligence and defense experts in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The cash value of President-elect Biden's normality will be tested next year with a bookstore battle among Washington journalists who are competing to capture 46's backstory, inside skinny and cast of characters.

What's new: Axios has learned that Ben Schreckinger, a long-form writer who works the "Biden Inc." beat at Politico, has signed a deal with prestige publisher Twelve to write a Biden family book aimed for the second half of 2021.