Reactions to vice president-elect

Community members share their thoughts about Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris.

Reactions to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were mostly favorable, though some were troubled by her record as Attorney General in California.

Ariella Shulman ’21 was impressed by Harris’s experience and charisma.

“I love the fact that she has a history in law and prosecuting and I think that gives her a really unique perspective on political issues,” Shulman said. “I think she’s going to bring a younger, more progressive,  fresher side to the presidency than Joe Biden.”

Zander Iacono ’23 said Harris’s platform in the Democratic primaries was “a little too liberal” to encourage discourse across party lines, but that her progressive agenda may complement Biden’s more moderate politics.   

“I was on the fence about her,” Iacono said. “But I think as a VP to Biden, she can come to a meeting place with [Biden], and a lot of good can come out of finding balance on certain issues.”

Jacqueline Isaacson ’24 said having a Black-South Asian woman in the office was a triumph of diversity but added that Harris’s criminal justice record – which includes perpetuating high rates of incarceration, defending capital punishment – warranted concern. 

“This is obviously a really big moment in U.S history,” Isaacson said. “But she shouldn’t be exempt from the stuff she’s done in the past.”

Anya Juneja said they believed Harris had worked past her controversial record and that they celebrated the prospect of Black–South Asian woman in office. 

“Although she has a problematic past, she has apologized for it,” Juneja said. “I think it’s really important to have a diverse vice-president and I think she could be really good for this country.”

Neelan Martin ’21 was more skeptical of Harris’s record, preferring Georgia House of Representatives Minority Leader Stacey Abrams as Biden’s VP pick, but agreed Harris was qualified. 

“I’ve always had hesitations about Kamala. She was a pretty harsh prosecutor, which I’m not thrilled about,” Martin said. “But she’s a very experienced, smart person. She knows what she’s doing.”

Martin said that as an Indian American, he was especially proud to see a Black-South Asian politician in office. 

“We can’t talk about the [Biden] presidency without mentioning what an incredible achievement it is to have a Black, Indian American in office,” Martin said. “Biden took a huge risk and broke barriers [by picking Harris].”

Martin added that Biden’s age indicated he could only serve one term in office, and that Harris was the likely Democratic presidential nominee in 2024. 

“I think they’re basically just grooming her for the next four years,” Martin said. 

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