Kamala Harris, 56, was sworn in as Vice President of the United States on Wednesday. She is the first woman in the nation’s 243-year history to land the position. Joe Biden is installed in Washington, D.C. as president and successor to Donald Trump.
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Harris, who until recently was a California senator, is not only the first female vice president, but also the first black female vice president and first vice president of Asian descent.
The vice president is the second highest political office in the United States after the president. Harris, as Vice President, will replace Biden in his absence. The Vice President also succeeds the President in the event of his resignation, dismissal, or death.
Harris will also become president of the Senate, with the distribution of seats 50 to Democrats and 50 to Republicans over the next two years. Harris can cast a critical vote for the Democratic Party if the votes are equal, giving him a majority (provided all Democrats vote the same).
Harris was initially a presidential candidate himself
In the run-up to the election, Harris herself was running for president, but decided to throw the towel away when she could no longer compete with the other Democratic candidates at the time. Last March, she expressed support for Biden and has been committed to his campaign ever since.
Her career is marked by many early adopters. Before becoming a Senator in 2016, she was San Francisco’s first district attorney. Then she became the first public prosecutor in the California State Department.
Since the death of black American George Floyd as a result of police brutality, Harris has spoken often of racial equality and police reform. She is known in the Senate for her ruthless performance.