Biden said he will lift reservations about his deputy by early August, but everyone expects the choice to fall on a woman, preferably an African American woman or one belonging to another ethnic minority. CNN has collected a squad of 10 names in recent days: in addition to Duckworth, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, California Senator Kamala Harris, the mayor of Atlanta Keisha Lance Bottoms, the deputy of Florida Val Demings are part of it. And again: New Mexico governor Lujan Grisham, former UN ambassador Susan Rice, Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo, Wisconsin senator Tammy Baldwin and Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Those who have more chances – leaving Duckworth aside for a moment – are Warren and Harris. But both would have weaknesses: in the case of Warren, in addition to not meeting the demand for racial diversity driven by the Black Lives Matter movement, there is the fact of age. The Massachusetts senator and former Democratic nomination candidate is 71 years old; the Biden candidate has 77. A ticket made up of two septuagenarians for a party that should represent the change may be too much. In the case of Harris, however, her name is unpopular with many progressives, and her ability to win the African American vote en masse has been questioned by the failure of her candidacy for the Democratic nomination.
Tammy Duckworth, on the other hand, could be the winning weapon, at least according to the Times editorialist. Born in Bangkok to an American father and a Thai mother, at 52 years old Tammy can say that she has already lived many lives: as a “hungry child who passed out in class”, as she told herself, she became senator of Illinois, after serving for two terms in the Chamber.
In the middle, the harrowing chapter in Iraq, 2004: he was serving as a helicopter pilot when a rocket hit his vehicle, seriously injuring it. To save her, doctors were forced to amputate her right leg to the hip and her left leg below the knee. For anyone it would be the end, for her it was the beginning of a new chapter: in 2006 the first foray into politics, shortly thereafter an assignment in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Then the Congress, years of political commitment at the highest levels. In the meantime, the joy of having two daughters, the last one while she was already in the Senate, becoming the first senator to give birth during the mandate and cross the Capitol Hill colonnade with the bundle in her arms.
Having regained mobility thanks to an iron commitment and two titanium implants, Duckworth has always rejected the narration of himself as a hero, despite the award of the Purple Heart, the purple heart-shaped award that the President of the States United gives those who have been injured or killed while serving in the armed forces. If anything – he has always claimed – the definition of hero belongs to his co-pilot, Dan Milberg, and to the others who brought her to safety from the wreck, tearing her from certain death. His letter to a younger self – aired by CBS This Morning – touched America: “You will only get out of it alive thanks to the determination, sacrifice and absolute heroism of others. You didn’t do anything to be worthy of their sacrifices, but these heroes will give you a second chance at life. ”
Among the topics most dear to her are the protection of the environment, a global immigration reform that opens a path towards citizenship to illegal immigrants already present in the country, a more inclusive health policy and the introduction of a law on control of weapons. In recent weeks on Twitter he has repeatedly criticized President Trump for the disaster of the pandemic in America and the hard punch on the riots against systemic racism of the police.
Asked by Frank Bruni about the possibility of becoming vice president, she limited herself to saying: “It is surreal, isn’t it?”, Once “I was a hungry child who passed out in class because she was undernourished. It is already incredible that I am a senator from the United States”. Then the promise: “I will work as hard as possible to get Joe Biden elected because the country needs it. It is a team effort, no matter what my place will be.”
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