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Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will soon be the most powerful woman in America come Jan. 21, 2021 — when she is inaugurated.
This momentous occasion will mark the beginning of a hopeful new era — as Harris takes her place as the second most powerful person in command and the first woman and person of color to hold the title as Vice President of the United States.
Harris Has an Iron Sharpens Iron Mentality
Harris’ rise to power in the White House came relatively quickly, denying her the tenure most seasoned vice presidents acquire over many years in Washington.
However, the answer to her limited years on Capitol Hill — is to surround herself with tenured Washington powerhouses — specifically, other powerful women.
Harris is aligning with other seasoned and proven women in Washington who will help her navigate the tough job of vice president. Some of her picks and a snapshot of their experiences are outlined below:
- Tina Flournoy, Chief of Staff
Flournoy is no stranger to Washington — boasting over 30 years of political experience. Her resume impressively displays titles as Chief of Staff to former President Clinton and finance director for former presidential candidate Al Gore’s 2000 campaign.
- Rohini Kosoglu, Domestic Policy Advisor
When Harris held the job as U.S. Senator, Kosoglu was her senior advisor. She adds fifteen years of political experience to Harris’s powerhouse team. Kosoglu takes credit for being part of the team responsible for drafting the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
- Symone Sanders, Spokeswoman
In 2016, Sanders — at 25 years of age — was documented as the youngest press secretary in United States history — for former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. She is the author of the book, “No, You Shut Up: Speaking Truth to Power and Reclaiming America.”
- Ashley Etienne, Communications Director
Etienne is the Senior Advisor to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Her 15 years of experience includes the responsibilities of being an advisor to former President Obama and a consultant for Fortune 500 executives, according to her bio on “The 3% movement” website.
A First Time For Everything
For the first time in U.S. history, the top communication positions in the White House will be held by women. A great number of these women are Black and women of color — mirroring Harris’s image, who identifies as Black and South Asian.
Twenty-twenty has truly proven to be an unprecedented year. From the pandemic to the ushering of a new president, who amassed 80 million votes, to a team of all women —mostly of color — taking charge in the White House – this has been a superfluous year.
Biden will likely be a one-term president — because of his age — making Harris a presidential forerunner in 2024. Therefore, it is essential Harris works on branding herself as a relatable and knowledgeable vice president who can confidently lead the country — if the opportunity presents itself in the next four years.
Harris Expected to Be an Agent of Change
Harris may soon feel the pressures of being the most powerful woman in America. Many, typically, underrepresented people and organizations expect a difference in the way Harris will serve as vice president. Minorities, women, and immigrants are especially hopeful Harris will continue to break barriers.
Harris’ newfound role symbolizes change is always possible — no matter how long it takes. The United States witnessed the first Black president in 2008, who was re-elected for a second term in 2012. Now, America welcomes the first female and minority vice president.
In the words of civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, “keep hope alive,” because all things are possible with just a glimmer of hope.
One Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for All
Jan. 20, 2021, quickly approaches — Biden and Harris are expected to be ready to lead on day one — despite the botched transition of power.
The coronavirus pandemic may take priority. The first batch of COVID-19 vaccinations is expected by the end of 2020. Both biotech companies, Pfizer and Moderna, show vaccines with at least a 94 percent efficacy rates.
How the vaccines are to be distributed is a hot topic that will likely continue through the beginning of 2o21.
Repairing racial and political divisions may be a close second on the duo’s agenda. These two contentious issues have fiercely challenged The Pledge of Allegiance:
One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Biden and Harris will absolutely need hope and God to steer this country back on course and into a new trajectory — where justice for all — finally rings true.
To the soon to be a first oldest, most powerful man and the first most powerful woman in America — Biden, and Harris — God Bless.
Opinion News by Sheree Bynum
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Washington Post: Kamala Harris names chief of staff, other key positions; by Chelsea Janes
Institute of Politics and Public Service: Tina Flournoy (COL ‘78, L ‘ 84) Chief of Staff to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
Harvard Kennedy School: Rohini Kosoglu
Omaha World-Herald: Omaha’s Symone Sanders will be chief spokeswoman for VP-elect Kamala Harris; by Aaron Sanderford
The 3% movement: Ashley Etienne Communications Director/Senior Advisor Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
US History: The Pledge of Allegiance
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Lisa Larson’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License