Following a tense election campaign, America’s new Vice President-elect – the first woman and first person of colour to hold the title – delivered a hopeful message to the nation. Read the highlights in this curated piece from Axios.
“While I may be the first woman in this office I will not be the last”
Driving the news: Harris, 56, will become the first woman, Black American and Indian American to serve as vice president. “While I may be the first woman in this office I will not be the last,” she declared.
- Wearing a white suit and blouse, symbolizing the women’s suffrage movement, and an American flag pin, Harris praised Biden’s “audacity” for choosing a woman for his running mate.
- “Every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities,” she said.
What she’s saying: “Congressman John Lewis before his passing wrote, ‘democracy is not a state, it is an act.’ What he meant was that America’s democracy is not guaranteed. It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it, to guard it, and never take it for granted,” Harris said.
- “When our very democracy was on the ballot in this election, with the very soul of America at stake, and the world watching, you ushered in a new day for America.”
- She called Biden “a healer and a uniter, a tested and steady hand, a person whose own experience with loss gives him a sense of purpose that will help us as a nation and reclaim our sense of purpose.”
On the centennial of the 19th Amendment, Harris said she was thinking of the generations of women of all races, including Black women who she said are too often overlooked as the “backbone” of American democracy.
The bottom line: “[T]o the American people, no matter who you voted for, I will strive to be a vice president like Joe was to President Obama: loyal, honest and prepared, waking up every day, thinking of you and your family – because now is when the real work begins,” Harris said.
- “And to the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: dream with ambition, lead with conviction and see yourselves in a way that others may not simply because they’ve never seen it before, but know that we will applaud you every step of the way.”
Between the lines: 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.