Forget Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro. Texas Democrats say Kamala Harris was the best possible vice presidential pick for Joe Biden’s chances in Texas. They hope Harris — who is both the first African-American woman and the first Asian-American on a major party’s presidential ticket — will be a cleanup hitter, especially in the increasingly diverse suburbs that represent the most likely path to flipping Texas for the first time in a generation.
“For Texas, there is not a better pick,” said Mustafa Tameez, a Democratic strategist in Houston. “She has a multicultural background,” Tameez said. “Having someone who can authentically speak to those populations in the suburbs is going to create momentum. Having somebody like that on the ticket automatically jump starts it.”
FIRST REACTION: Texas Democrats applaud selection of Kamala Harris “By selecting someone who isn’t overwhelmingly identified with the most progressive wing of the party, Biden’s pick can technically appeal to both sets of voters — moderate whites and moderate white women who may be considering the Democratic party, and people of color in Texas,” said Joshua Blank, research director at the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Politics Project.
Harris also could appeal to minority voters who make up the bulk of the Democrats’ base in Texas — both the Asian-Americans who are driving much of the growth of the state’s suburbs, and the Black women who “have been the base and buckle of the Democratic party,” said Michael O. Adams, a political scientist at Texas Southern University “There’s a lot of energy there,” Adams said.
Texas Republicans were quick to attack Harris as a liberal extremist. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s campaign described her like this: “She believes in RADICAL ideas like: Tearing down measures at the border that keep Texans SAFE and protect our communities from traffickers and drug smugglers, solely blaming President Trump while staying quiet on China for their lies about Coronavirus while it ravaged the GLOBE and killed MILLIONS, and promoting a single- payer health care plan that is even MORE radical than ObamaCare.”
“We can’t afford her dangerous ideas anywhere NEAR the White House,” the campaign wrote in an email to supporters.