Kamala Harris, 12th woman to vie for VP

LaDonna Harris

Kamala HarrisReading the latest NatGeo, I came across a surprising title. “At least 11 women have vied for U.S. vice president. Here’s what happened to them.” Wow. And the subhead: “Kamala Harris isn’t the first Black woman to run for vice president—or the first Asian-American.” Tell us more!

Marietta Stow – National Equal Rights Party (1884)
Running with Belva Lockwood, a lawyer. “Lockwood caught Stow’s attention when she pointed out that, while women couldn’t vote, ‘there is no law against their being voted for…'” The two women campaigned seriously and, out of some 10 million votes, won almost 5,000—cast by men.”

Lena Springs – Democrat (1924)
Nominated at the convention. “Springs received several votes but the slot on the ticket went to Charles Bryan, the governor of Nebraska.”

Charlotta Bass – Progressive (1952)
The first black woman candidate was “a crusading newspaper publisher in California. She joined Vincent Hallinan as his running mate. They won 140,000 votes.”

Frances ‘Sissy’ Farenthold – Democrat (1972)
She was “a serious contender at the convention but lost the nomination to Missouri senator Thomas Eagleton.”

Toni Nathan – Libertarian (1972)
The first female vice-presidential candidate to receive an electoral vote. A “Republican elector who couldn’t stomach Spiro Agnew, Nixon’s running mate, picked Nathan instead.”

Here’s where I started

LaDonna Harris – Citizens Party (1980)
“Harris, an activist and member of the Comanche nation, became the first Native American woman vice-presidential candidate… In the 1970s, she’d been a force for indigenous affairs in Washington as the wife of Oklahoma Senator Fred Harris. She and presidential candidate Barry Commoner ran on an environmental platform and won less than one percent of the popular vote.”

A couple of observations. I voted for Fred Harris in the 1976 Democratic primary. And in 1980, I voted for Commoner and LaDonna Harris in the general election.

Angela Davis – Communist Party (1980, 1984)
“A Black activist and philosophy professor in California who’d been on the FBI’s most-wanted list… She and presidential candidate Gus Hall garnered less than one percent of the vote.”

Geraldine Ferraro – Democrat (1984)
The “first vice presidential nominee on a major party ticket when Walter Mondale named her as his running mate. The congresswoman from Queens shook up the race…” They won “only Minnesota, his home state, and the District of Columbia.” Naturally, I voted for them.

Emma Wong Mar – Peace and Freedom Party (1984)
The “daughter of Chinese immigrants, a longtime anti-war and pro-labor activist from California, became the first Asian-American woman to run for vice president when she joined Sonia Johnson on the ticket…”

Twice, even

Winona LaDuke – Green Party (1996, 2000)
An “economist and Native American activist in Minnesota, joined Ralph Nader on the ticket in 1996 and 2000.” They received 2.7 percent of the popular vote in 2000, or 2.9 million votes—the most garnered by any third-party woman candidate for vice-president to date.”

Yes, I voted for them in both years. Note that Democrats Bill Clinton and Al Gore, respectively, easily won New York State.

Sarah Palin – Republican (2008)
When John McCain selected her as his running mate, she, “who was in her first [and only] term as Alaska’s governor, became the second female vice-presidential candidate for a major party and the first for Republicans. McCain and Palin received nearly 60 million votes, more than any other ticket with a woman as a vice-presidential candidate.”

Which brings us to…

As my blogger buddy Chuck Miller noted when Kamala Harris was first selected by Joe Biden, And the attacks began in four… three… two…. For reasons involving someone else’s reading assignment, I have a particular disdain for the dreadful Dinesh D’Souza. His suggestion that she’s not black because there’s a prominent slaveholder in her Jamaican father’s ancestry is beyond absurd. As I’ve noted, my own fourth great-grandfather was a slaveholder.

Yup, the Same Old Pathologies in attacking Kamala’s family tree. The same birther lies from the Tweeter-in-chief, with his inplausible deniability.

And his son-in-law’s non-clarification is in the same mode. “Kushner, who is both a White House and a campaign aide…” – does that bother anyone? He “pointed out that the President said ‘he had no idea whether that’s right or wrong’ — a technique Trump often uses when he’s trying to shirk responsibility for spreading disinformation.”

In 2020

One can challenge Kamala Harris on her record. She wasn’t my pick for President. But she will get my vote for Vice-President in November! I have voted five times for a woman in that role. You know the old saying, “the fifth time’s the charm”?

Some levity. McSweeney’s: I Don’t Hate Black or Woman Candidates, but Kamala Harris is Running for Vice President and My Head Just Exploded. Borowitz: Harris tells him She Cannot Send Him Birth Certificate Without Postal Service. And, of course, Randy Rainbow.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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