What does Kamala Harris stand for?

Kamala Harris gave her victory speech on Saturday evening dressed all in white, the colour of the suffragettes. She commemorated the women of all skin colours who fought for freedom and equality. Not all commentators are convinced that Harris can meet the high expectations that being the first woman and black woman in the vice presidency entails.

Open/close all quotes
La Vanguardia (ES) /

A wider angle for the family photo

La Vanguardia hopes Harris will be like a breath of fresh air for US politics:

“The future vice president painted the picture of an open family, which has nothing to do with the dusty and exclusionary model that Trump promoted during the election campaign. A family in which she included not only her close relatives, but also the woman who became her second mother and her friends from university. A family in which there was no father. ... This message will strengthen the self-confidence of so many girls and young women who live in precarious circumstances and are excluded from the photo of the traditional American family.”

Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

He couldn't have done it without her

Kamala Harris has been indispensable to Joe Biden during the campaign and will remain so during his presidency, Hospodářské noviny points out:

“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take office in the US in January as a near-equal tandem. Biden would not have become president if he hadn't had Harris by his side. ... The 56-year-old politician is the first woman to hold this office, the first Afro-American and the first woman of Asian descent to rise so high in the American government administration. ... For Americans - and especially those who aren't white - this is a moment comparable to when Barack Obama was elected twelve years ago.”

taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

Not a role model for the underprivileged

For the taz there's one big catch to the choice of Kamala Harris:

“Her moving into the White House isn't going to improve one bit the life of a single black mother from Minneapolis who works at Wendy's and has a second job to make ends meet. On the contrary, with her bearing that reflects a will for self-optimisation and her programme focused on personal ambition, Kamala Harris will trigger feelings among the underprivileged that there's no point even trying to improve their lot. ... Because they don't speak the right lingo, they weren't born into the 'right' family (Harris's father was a Stanford professor and her mother a cancer researcher), and they're light years away from performance-based thinking and constant self-optimisation - which only puts them under more stress.”

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Also inspire white men

Harris's election and inaugural address have not least inspired hope among women. But other voter groups are also decisive for the new team's success, Dagens Nyheter stresses:

“This weekend the US vice president elect Kamala Harris declared that 'every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities'. The challenge now is to give the same hope to middle-aged white men. ... This year's presidential election is not just a victory for democracy and the climate, but also for gender equality. Even so, Harris's and Joe Biden's most important domestic political task is to ensure that more people than just little girls can look to the future with confidence.”