COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Relieved and anxious.
Those were the first emotions that came to mind shortly after Rep. Jim Clyburn learned of former Vice President Joe Biden’s selection of Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate.
Once Biden became the presumed presidential nominee for the Democratic Party, many wondered who he would select as his running mate.
“I think all of us are a bit relieved now that we’ve got the selection behind us,” Rep. Clyburn said, “and a few of us are going to be very, very anxious going forward because what we’ve experienced here today is one more chapter in this country living out its true creed that all men -- and in this instance, women -- are created equal.”
During a virtual teleconference, Clyburn said he was pleased with Biden’s pick but added he would have been pleased with any of the potential candidates the Democratic nominee had under consideration. He added that he was very optimistic that Harris would be able to unite the party on this ticket.
“From day one, Democratic voters in South Carolina, as I ran around the state talking to people about who should be our nominee, time and time again would say, “I want to see Biden-Harris,‘” Clyburn recalled. “I’ve been hearing that a long time. So this ticket is exactly what Democratic voters in South Carolina wanted to see.”
Clyburn confirmed that Biden called him early Tuesday before the announcement was made to inform him of the pick, but he knew “for some time” who the three finalists were. He added that he was not surprised that Sen. Harris was selected.
“I do believe that it demonstrates a number of things,” Clyburn said. “Number one, it says to everybody it’s time for us to get beyond this foolishness that the Democratic Party takes African Americans for granted. How is it that the party that’s got more than 50 African Americans in it serving in the United States Congress -- two African American senators, she being one of them in the United States Senate -- take people for granted?”
Clyburn also confirmed that Biden sought out advice from the longtime congressman.
“I talked to him several times leading up to today,” Clyburn said. “In fact, over the last four or five days, I’ve talked to him more than I’ve talked to him all year.
The Democratic National Convention is slated to take place Aug. 17-20.