Transcript for How Black women secured Kamala Harris' nomination
Moving on now we start this half hour with a look at the rise in power of a key voting bloc, black women playing a crucial role in securing the selection of kamala Harris as Joe Biden's running mate. ABC's janai Norman takes a look at their influence. Good morning, janai. Reporter: Yeah, hey, ava. Joe Biden said that he'd pick a woman and seeing kamala Harris announced as his vp pick was a big win for a small determined group of women pushing to see a black woman on the ticket. For the first time your next vice president of the united States, kamala Harris. Reporter: Kamala Harris' ascension to Joe Biden's running mate for the 2020 election is not only historic as the first woman of color to run for vice president but for many, the move feels like validation. For us to be -- see ourselves at the top of the ticket is an affirmation that our time has come. Reporter: Earlier this year, in March, Biden made a public pledge to pick a woman to join him on the democratic ticket. I commit I will in fact appoint -- pick a woman to be vice president. Reporter: That sparked a collective of black women, political strategists, activists and advisers to come together urging that his running mate be a black woman, even compiling a list of accomplished, experienced potential candidates. It was a list of six black women, some -- you know, we had a mayor, we had several congressional members, we had a former cabinet member. We had a U.S. Senator. Reporter: Statistically black women have long been a dominant and dependable bloc of the democratic party with a whopping 92% voting Democrat at the polls in 2016. We have elected everything known to man. We've elected white men, we've elected black men. We have covered the gamut. Reporter: The historic announcement showing little black and brown girls what they can aspire to do. Her selection indicates that we are not in the back. I have daughters and when they see her picture as, you know, vice presidential candidate and then vice president, it gives them hope and inspiration. Reporter: And so many drawing comparisons between kamala Harris and Shirley Chisholm saying Harris' selection as his running mate is an end to the journey Chisholm started when she ran for president nearly 50 years ago. Guys? All right. Janai, thank you. Now joining us is congresswoman Lisa blunt Rochester, who wa sco-chair of the voting committee that helped pick senator Harris as Joe Biden's running mate. Thanks for being with us. We want to start if you could, walk us through the process for picking the vice presidential nomination. Why was kamala Harris chosen in particular? First of all, good morning, Eva, and good morning, America. This is an exciting day and I will first start off by saying how excited I was to serve on this committee because it is an important pick and one of the first that the vice president Biden had to make on this journey. What he was looking for was someone who was qualified, someone who could start on day one and, as he mentioned, had that simpatico relationship with him and it is no surprise that of the many women that were considered, a substantial number were African-American women, were black women, and so, you know, he was looking for those things and that's what he found in kamala Harris was a person who could start on day one and could really be that real partner with him as Barack Obama and he were together and so it's an exciting moment for us in our country. We heard just in janai's story about the growing importance of black women as a voting bloc. Did the committee discuss that there could be possible backlash if Biden did not choose a black vp? You know, again, the focus for us, we had to provide him with some names, so that he could ultimately make the decision, but the reality is that a pick of kamala Harris is historic and is significant. It's significant for all women, but it's also special if you're an asian-american woman or if you are from the caribbean, but for black women as a voting bloc, I mean, you mentioned Shirley Chisholm and I think back to even my run for this office as the first congresswoman in Delaware and first African-American, Shirley Chisholm said, if people don't give you a seat at the table, you bring a folding chair and it was -- she's representative of so many women who have worked -- black women who have worked in the democratic party for many years and had been a consistent voting bloc and so we took into consideration all kinds of things, people's experience globally. We took into account their ability to energize, but probably the most important thing that we thought of as a committee and in our recommendation was who could govern, who could govern with Joe Biden because what we're about to face is unprecedented. So that was the number one consideration and we're just fortunate that we were able to recommend individuals to him and that he selected someone who could be that perfect running mate. Congresswoman, thank you so much for being with us this morning.
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