'We did it': Kamala Harris becomes first woman to be elected US vice president

The Democratic victory in the US election not only means Joe Biden will be president but that his running mate Kamala Harris will become the first woman, African American, and South Asian to be vice president.

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris has made history. Source: Getty Images

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has made history after .

The win on Sunday means Ms Harris will become not only the first woman to serve as vice president but the first African American and South Asian American to hold the role.

The daughter of immigrants - with her mother hailing from India and her father from Jamaica - the excitement surrounding Mr Biden's campaign was fueled, in part, by liberal enthusiasm for what Ms Harris would represent, as well as her qualifications. 

Ms Harris was the first black female attorney-general of California, then the first woman of South Asian heritage elected to the US Senate. 

She has long been an inspirational figure for many given her accomplishments.

Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff celebrate victory.
Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff celebrate victory. Source: Getty Images

Ms Harris has spoken publicly about the bond she shared with her late mother who was born in Chennai in India and moved to the US to start a doctoral program at UC Berkeley when she was 19. 

"My mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, was the greatest source of inspiration in my life," Ms Harris said in a video posted on Twitter earlier this year. 

"She taught my sister Maya and me the importance of hard work and to believe in our power to right what is wrong."

After the Democrats won the swing state of Pennsylvania, Ms Harris posted a video of herself calling Mr Biden.

“We did it, we did it Joe,” she said in the video posted on Sunday morning. “You’re going to be the president of the United States.”

Her husband, entertainment lawyer Douglas Emhoff, will also make history as the first Jewish vice-presidential spouse.

On Sunday morning he posted an image of the pair hugging and wrote: “So proud of you”.

Former first lady Michelle Obama said she was “beyond thrilled” that Mr Biden and Ms Harris “are headed to restore some dignity, competence, and heart at the White House”. 

“The voters have spoken,” said 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. “It's a history-making ticket, a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America.”

The excitement was also shared by many in Hollywood who were thrilled to have Ms Harris take on the role. 

“Crying and holding my daughter, ‘look baby, she looks like us’,” actress Mindy Kaling wrote on Twitter.

“Madam Vice President is no longer a fictional character,” Saturday Night Live actress Julia Louise-Dreyfus said.

Feminist author Roxane Gay tweeted: “I did not think I would be this moved to see a black woman/South Asian woman/woman as Vice President. But I am. It’s so wonderful. My nieces know so much more is possible now.”

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3 min read
Published 8 November 2020 at 8:29am
By Eden Gillespie