Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the first woman and first woman of color to be elected as vice president, highlighted her historic trajectory to the White House during remarks delivered Saturday evening outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware.
Taking the stage dressed in suffragette white, Harris kicked off her remarks opening for President-elect Joe Biden with a quote from the late Rep. John Lewis — a civil rights icon who died earlier this year — saying “Democracy is not a state, it’s an act.”
“Protecting our democracy takes struggle. It takes sacrifice. But there is joy in it and there is progress,” Harris said.
Contrasting Trump’s baseless allegations that Democrats are out to “STEAL” the election, Harris also thanked poll workers who have been tirelessly counting ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic that spurred a surge of mail-in ballots amid record-setting voter turnout.
“Our nation owes you a debt of gratitude,” Harris said. “You have protected the integrity of our democracy.”
Harris praised Biden — whose incoming return to the White House she described as a choice by voters for “hope and unity, decency, science and, yes, truth” — as “a healer, a uniter, a tested and steady hand.”
Harris then pointed to the president-elect’s experience with loss and how it “gives him a sense of purpose that will help us as a nation reclaim our own sense of purpose.”
Harris nodded to her late mother, Shyamalan Gopalan, who immigrated from India at age 19 and “maybe didn’t quite imagine this moment,” as she reflected on how her elevation to the White House will impact generations of women.
Harris segued into shouting out the many women who paved the way for her to hold office in the White House.
Touting that it’s a “testament to Joe’s character that he has the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exists” in the country by choosing a woman as his VP, Harris applauded the women “who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and justice for all,” especially “the Black women who are often, too often overlooked but so often proven they are the backbone of our democracy.”
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Harris said to cheers.
Harris concluded her remarks by vowing to be a “vice president like Joe was to President Obama” who is “loyal, honest and prepared.”
“And the road ahead will not be easy, but America is ready, and so are Joe and I,” Harris said. “We have elected a president who represents the best in us.”