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.

Go deeper

Kamala Harris' Supreme opening

Sen. Kamala Harris during a campaign stop in Philadelphia. Photo: Michael Perez/AP

President Trump's Supreme Court plans have created a major opportunity for Sen. Kamala Harris to go on offense.

Why it matters: A confirmation fight puts Harris back in the spotlight thanks to her role on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

Sep 22, 2020 - Podcasts

Washington's stimulus failure

After months of back and forth on a new coronavirus stimulus bill, it's now even less likely one will pass before the election as members of Congress shift their focus toward their own re-election campaigns and a Supreme Court pick.

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