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Sen. Kamala Harris launches her presidential campaign in Oakland on Jan. 27, 2019. Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo/MediaNews Group/East Bay Times via Getty Images

What we're hearing about Joe Biden picking Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate from the text chain of the Axios political team.

White House editor Margaret Talev: So far, Harris has been the hardest for Trump to brand. The initial Trump campaign response is to brand her as a sellout willing to look past her earlier concerns about Biden.

  • Harris is a Black woman, but also an Indian-American and the daughter of immigrants. This potentially gives her a much broader identification than we usually talk about.
  • If Biden, 77, wins and serves only one term, he’ll have positioned Harris, 55, in the lead spot to be the next president.

Alexi McCammond ... Adrianne Shropshire, founder of BlackPAC, which will soon release ads for KDH, just told me:

  • "I've of course launched into 'how do we defend against the attacks' mode. I'm trying to remain excited by the amazing history of this moment and the fact that Kamala is built for this moment. But the attacks have already begun and it's important to not let the trolls, racists, and misogynists steal this moment."

Jonathan Swan: Ignore Trumpworld's public crowing over the announcement of Kamala Harris. Very few, if any, of Trump's top political advisers were rooting for Biden to pick Harris.

  • One top aide told me she was the one on the shortlist he least wanted Biden to pick. Many on the Trump campaign would have preferred "Communist Karen" Bass or "Spyin' Susan" Rice, who they felt would be more easily branded as a figure to be feared and despised.
  • They wanted Biden to pick somebody who would be an avatar for the far-left, and unimpeachable proof that Biden was the radical leftist puppet they are trying to brand him as.
  • In the eyes of several senior Trump advisers, Harris doesn't particularly help that endeavor.

Hans Nichols, filing from the Hotel Du Pont in Wilmington: Biden is presiding over the transformation of his party. The fact that a Black and Indian-American woman is the safe/conservative choice tells us quite a bit about the party — and (maybe) the country.

  • This is a big moment, but the virus is still likely to decide the election: Closed schools, closed economies and closed sports — that’s what is likely to matter.
  • The post-announcement fundraising numbers are insane. The enthusiasm is real.

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.

14 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

15 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."

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