SAN JOSE, Calif. -- After weeks of growing speculation, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden answered on Tuesday the most highly anticipated question of his campaign, naming California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his running mate.
"Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau," Biden tweeted, referring to his late son. "I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I'm proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign."
The decision propels Harris back onto the national stage after a disappointing end to her own run for the White House, which peaked with a shot at the man she now joins at the top of the Democratic ticket.
If elected in November, Harris would become the first woman and first African American to serve in the role -- more firsts in a career full of them.
As a senator, Harris has won praise among her Democratic colleagues for her intense questioning of Trump administration officials like Attorney General William Barr and she is widely seen as someone who can hold her own on the campaign trail and in debates.
Born in Oakland in the fall of 1964 to immigrant parents from India and Jamaica and raised in Berkeley, Harris would go on to become the first African American and first woman to serve as California Attorney General.
In 2017, she became the first South Asian American senator in history and only the second Black woman to serve in the Senate.
"The obvious choice before this whole vetting process began was Kamala Harris and the final choice through all the vetting is Kamala Harris," said political analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe. "It's only the third woman and the first African American woman to be a veep choice. There will be some problems because of her past as a prosecutor but what is the alternative? I think that's what Biden is gambling on."
Her nomination could open up a rare vacancy for a Senate seat in California, and Gov. Gavin Newsom would name her successor.
Harris' selection was by no means a foregone conclusion, although her name began surfacing as a vice presidential contender almost as soon as she ended her own presidential campaign last December.