In a move that should surprise no one, President Barack Obama has endorsed California Attorney General Kamala Harris in her campaign to become the state's next US senator.
In a statement sent to media Tuesday, Obama said “I am proud to endorse Kamala Harris for United States Senate because I’ve seen her work."
“Kamala is a lifelong courtroom prosecutor with only one client: the people of the State of California. That’s the approach she’ll take to the United States Senate."
Tuesday's words were far more circumspect than those Obama used a few years ago, when he praised her appearance at a Silicon Valley fundraising event.
"She's brilliant and she's dedicated, she's tough... She also happens to be, by far, the best-looking attorney general," Obama said during a Atherton lunch in April, 2013.
Later that day, the president called Harris to apologize for the remark.
“You know, they are old friends and good friends,” then-White House press secretary Jay Carney, told the New York Times. "he did not want in any way to diminish the attorney general’s professional accomplishments and her capabilities.”
“Kamala’s experience has taught her that if you’re going to give everybody a fair shot, you’ve got to take on the special interests that too often stand in the way of progress,” Obama said in today's statement.
Vice-President Joe Biden also gave his nod to Harris, saying via press release Tuesday that “Today’s Senate needs people like her - leaders who will always fight to make a difference and who never forget where they come from.”
Harris served two terms as San Francisco's District Attorney before being elected as CA AG in 2010. In January of last year she announced her campaign to run for the US Senate seat presently occupied by Barbara Boxer, who has represented California in the Senate since 1992 and will be retiring. From her announcement on, Harris was seen as the frontrunner for the seat, roundly beating her opponent, Orange County Democratic congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, in both polling and fundraising.
If elected, Harris will make history: As the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, she would be the first Indian woman and second black woman elected to the Senate. In a brief email sent Tuesday morning, Harris responded to the endorsements, saying that she was was honored to receive the support of two “incredible leaders for our nation.”