Kamala Harris spoke of the “awesome responsibility” of being crowned the Democratic vice presidential nominee during a convention address on Wednesday, where she warned the fight ahead could get rocky.
In a speech honoring her mother, an Indian-born scientist, female suffragettes who secured the right to vote and her running mate Joe Biden, the senator from California spoke passionately about lifting the country up, and proclaimed the presidency of Donald Trump as a “moment” that would pass.
“I accept your nomination for Vice President of the United States of America,” the Oakland-born lawmaker said on the penultimate night of the Democratic National Convention, promising to “act boldly” and “deal with our challenges honestly” while donning a Hillary Clinton-esque burgundy pantsuit and pearl necklace.
“In this election, we have a chance to change the course of history. We’re all in this fight. You, me, and Joe — together,” she continued. “What an awesome responsibility. What an awesome privilege.”
“So, let’s fight with conviction. Let’s fight with hope. Let’s fight with confidence in ourselves, and a commitment to each other. To the America we know is possible. The America, we love,” she said.
Harris accepted the nomination live in front of a handful of reporters in a nearly-empty convention hall in Wilmington, Del., amid the ongoing pandemic — a far cry from the rowdy and euphoric conventions of years past.
Biden and wife Jill made a cameo at the end of Harris’ speech along with her husband, entertainment lawyer Doug Emhoff.
The 55-year-old warned of the “constant chaos” of the Trump administration and lauded Biden as a leader who would bring the nation together.
“We are at an inflection point. The constant chaos leaves us adrift. The incompetence makes us feel afraid. The callousness makes us feel alone. It’s a lot,” she said. “Donald Trump’s failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods.”
She went on to warn that the task of defeating Trump would be difficult, conceding that at times the Democratic ticket could “fall short.”
“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy. We will stumble. We may fall short,” she warned.
“But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.”
Biden ended months of speculation earlier this month when he announced the former California attorney general as his veep after committing to choosing a woman as his running mate.
The Californian senator was feted as a big-hearted pioneer and champion for women in a video featuring her female relatives. She is the first black woman and woman of Indian heritage to be nominated for national office by a major party.
She was introduced on the video by her younger sister, Maya Harris; her niece, Meena Harris; and her step-daughter, Ella Emhoff. Maya Harris has long been one of Harris’ closest political advisers.
Emhoff is the daughter of Harris’ husband and affectionately calls Harris “Momala.”
Meena Harris called her aunt a role model who taught her she could do anything she wanted, and a role model to so many women and girls of color around the world. Maya Harris says she’ll have Harris’ back the way Harris had hers as children growing up.
The former San Francisco prosecutor pulled the plug on her own sputtering White House bid in December, citing a lack of funding.
But reports forecasting the end of her campaign claimed it was “falling apart from the inside” and departing staffers who claimed they were treated poorly slammed Harris for a lack of focus.
Since joining the Democratic ticket, the Trump campaign has hit Harris as a dangerous and radical progressive and the president has slammed her “more liberal than Bernie Sanders” and a “mad woman.”
While Harris is among the most liberal voters in the Senate, progressives have disowned the former AG and criticized her tough-on-crime prosecutorial past even as she tried to rebrand herself as a “progressive prosecutor.”