Rep. Eric Swalwell: Kamala Harris will be a great VP and help Biden undo harm Trump has caused

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I know that Sen. Kamala Harris will be an exceptional vice president of the United States because I know where she comes from.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden made a wise choice in selecting Harris, D-Calif., as his running mate Tuesday to oppose President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Harris and I both started our careers in the Alameda County District Attorney’s office, based in Oakland, Calif., as did Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif.


Each of us is where we are today in large part because of the creed we learned in that office steeped in ethics: You don’t seek wins, you seek justice. It’s a place where deputy district attorneys work tirelessly for the community’s betterment and safety. It’s a rigorous and demanding workplace, requiring everyone to be at her or his best from Day One.

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Kamala Harris came to that office already holding herself to high standards — something that she and her sister, Maya, learned from their mother, Shyamala Gopalan, a renowned cancer researcher and civil rights activist.

As a prosecutor trying sex crimes — many of which involved children — Harris quickly made her name as a passionate, fast-thinking attorney who knew her cases and the law inside and out, and who would never let up in the fight for justice for victims and their families.

As I watched her rise, first as San Francisco district attorney and then as California attorney general, I saw Harris carry that excellence forward. Ascending from line prosecutor, she became the boss responsible for holding everyone to the high standards in which she believes so deeply.

As a prosecutor, Harris had a reputation for never asking a deputy to do something she wasn’t willing to do herself — a trait that is the essence of leadership.

I saw her run one of the world’s largest legal operations as California attorney general — cracking down on mortgage fraud, protecting against domestic abuse, championing marriage equality, and fighting Big Oil and the gun lobby.

I’m looking forward to calling her “Madam Vice President.”

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, Harris held out against the big banks to win a much bigger and better deal for the little guy. Someone of lesser determination would’ve caved and struggling Californians would’ve gotten less.

I was an early supporter of her Senate campaign because I knew the Capitol needed someone as dedicated to justice as she is.

While we both were on the presidential campaign trail last year, including our night on the debate stage in Miami in June 2019, I observed her to be among the most formidable and knowledgeable of the candidates.

And since we left the race, I’d hoped that Joe Biden would pick her as his running mate because America is crying out for champions like her to fight for our country.

These difficult times demand leaders not only who know government, but who fully understand and feel the pain and uncertainty Americans now face. These times demand leaders for whom fairness and justice aren’t just catchphrases, but principles by which to live and work day in and day out.

And we need leaders ready to start work the moment they’ve taken their oath of office, knowledgeable and ready to undo all the harm President Trump and his cronies have done. We need leaders who can move our nation to a healthier and more prosperous future.

Just as in her previous jobs, Kamala Harris comes to this new challenge ready on Day One, sharing Joe Biden’s history and passion for defending our nation’s backbone: working Americans.

There is no doubt that Harris could take over as president should the need arise. Representing the nation’s largest state in the Senate, she has served with distinction on the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, so she is fully aware of the threats America faces abroad and at home.

It’s clear she does not suffer fools gladly. If you felt the fire she brought in asking hard questions and getting answers when going head to head with obstinate obstructers Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Attorney General William Barr and others in various Senate hearings in recent years, you’ve seen proof-positive of her commitment to seek truth and do what’s right.


Just as she started her career, Harris will prosecute America’s case as Joe Biden’s top deputy against Donald Trump and Mike Pence on the campaign trail in coming months.

And Americans will be comforted to know that as we transition out of Trumpism and redeem our democracy, Vice President Kamala Harris will be at President Joe Biden’s side. She’ll be asking the hard questions, getting real answers about what’s broken in our government and our country, and planning and executing the repairs.

Within Harris is the girl who saw her mother active in the Free Speech Movement, who rode the desegregation bus across Berkeley, who followed her mother’s example to study hard and excel.


Within Harris is the prosecutor who tried heinous crimes as if it meant the world, because that’s exactly what it meant to victims; the chief who led bigger and bigger legal operations in her quest for equality and justice; and the senator who brought all her light and heat to bear in the hearing rooms and on the floor on behalf of all Americans.

Kamala Harris’ track record shows she’s accomplished, steadfast and formidable. She is the right pick. And I’m looking forward to calling her “Madam Vice President.”


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