Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is on the February cover of Vogue Magazine sharing how she plans to move forward with Joe Biden and how she felt the day she found out they won the election.
Read snips below:
Despite those victories, Harris, Biden, and the rest of us had to wait for nearly a week for news outlets to declare them the winners, and another two weeks for the federal government to approve the transition.
All the while, President Donald J. Trump refused to concede, telling his followers that he had won the election, spreading conspiracy theories about fraud, and demanding recounts in as many states as he could.
In January, a mob of Trump’s supporters followed his lead: they rioted at the Capitol, violently raging through the halls and offices of Congress as lawmakers hid; they looted and fought police officers, leaving five people dead.
This is the second time Harris, 56, has been through a dragged-out contest; when she ran for attorney general of California in 2010, the race was so close that ballot counting went on for more than three weeks.
(On election night that year, her opponent had declared victory, too.) On the chilly, sunny morning of November 7, Harris started the day by power walking with her husband, entertainment lawyer Douglas Emhoff.
She then headed back to the inn where they were staying, near Biden’s campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, to take a shower and prepare for meetings; Emhoff decided to continue on by himself. Harris ran the shower to get it hot.
“Then I looked at my phone, and the texts came that they had called the race, and I ran downstairs to find Doug—never turned off the water,” Harris says to me with a laugh.
“Luckily enough there were people in the house. ‘Somebody go turn off the water!’ ” We all saw a clip of what came next: Harris standing on a grassy lawn, still in workout wear, on the phone with President-elect Joe Biden.
“We did it. We did it, Joe,” she tells him, and laughs with a tired happiness. What they had done was remarkable—ousting a bigoted and cruel president from office—but, given the wreckage left behind, it was only the beginning.
“It was very important for me to speak to the moment, and the moment includes understanding that there is a great responsibility that comes with being a first,” Harris says of that evening.
We are talking over Zoom, and she’s dressed in a deep brown blazer and black pearls, sitting in front of not one but two American flags, on a week in which she and Biden have begun naming their Cabinet.
She wanted to say something that night that young Americans would remember. “I always say this: I may be the first to do many things—make sure I’m not the last,” she tells me.
“I was thinking of my baby nieces, who will only know one world where a woman is vice president of the United States, a woman of color, a Black woman, a woman with parents who were born outside of the United States.”
Harris was also emotional that night, thinking of her mother, an Indian immigrant and breast cancer researcher named Shyamala Gopalan who passed away 12 years ago.
“I thought about what her life meant” and how it had gotten Harris to that victory. And she was thinking about the weight on her and Biden “to unify our country and to heal.”
Kamala Harris on the first 100 days
“We think about the first 100 days in terms of what we need to do to support mayors and governors and local officials around their distribution and their public-health systems,” she says.
“When we get control of this pandemic, that’s going to be a critical factor in being able to reopen our economy.”
When I ask Harris how she will govern a deeply fractured electorate, she returns to her oft-repeated “3:00 a.m. agenda” talking point: the idea that all Americans share the same concerns that keep them up at night, anxieties that unite Americans regardless “of where they live, the color of their skin, the God they pray to.
It’s about, How can I get a job, keep a job, pay the bills by the end of the month, make sure that my kids have a decent education and an opportunity to succeed, especially amid COVID?” she says. “It’s about, How can I buy a home and keep a home?”
We’re also united by the fundamental challenge of keeping our families healthy and safe, she argues.
It’s a belief that has guided Harris and Biden through the winter, as Trump and his surrogates have mocked his opponents and denied their win, dreaming up fantasies of election rigging, losing one court challenge after another. “At the risk of oversimplifying it, you don’t meet hate with hate,” Harris says.
“You don’t meet one line of division with another line of division. We believe that the vast majority of American people don’t agree with that approach, don’t accept it, and don’t like it.”
Read the entire Kamala Harris piece from Vogue here.
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