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As thousands of Americans queued up to cast their votes, on the other side of the world on November 3, hundreds of people in  US Vice President Kamala  Harris’s  ancestral village Thulasenthipuram offered prayers for Kamala’s victory. Big banners were placed in several parts of the village. 

Senator Kamala Harris has made history by becoming the first woman, first black, and first Asian vice president elect. By now so much has been written about Kamala, her roots, and her mother Shyamala Gopalan’s role in her life. 

This is a vital moment in the American history for women and in politics. For women of color and for all women, she represents triumph against all odds.Kamala represents the American dream as the child of immigrant parents. Democrats and human rights activists have celebrated the unprecedented victory. As she has shattered the glass ceiling.  Moreover since the president Joe Biden has already announced that he will be a one-term president, she has the chance to contest the 2024 presidential polls. 

President Trump, of course has called her names and said she is “totally unlikable” and a “monster.”  The current vice president Mike Pence graciously noted “Biden well understands the importance of the vice presidential office, and I believe he’ll position Harris front and center to make an impact on the world stage. “Biden spilled the beans recently he called it “the Harris-Biden administration” while talking to the press. Kamala too had made a slip of the tongue by calling it  “the Harris administration.” 

During an interview with Norah O’Donnell on “60 Minutes,”  “It helps change the perception of who can do what, because that is still part of the battle after all,” says Kamala Harris about the potential impact of being the first woman of color as vice 

Harris said the role she thinks she would play in the White House is “Joe Biden’s partner,” adding that he told her he wants her “to be the first person in the room and the last person in the room.”

 In another interview aired on the 60 minutes programme, Biden listed the reasons why he thinks Harris would step into presidential role if something happened to him. He said “Number one: Her values. Number two: She is smart as a devil. Number three: She has a backbone like a ramrod. Number four: She is really principled,” he said. “

What is Kamala’s role as the Vice President? The American constitution created the post as a back up in case something happened to the sitting president. That is why it is said that it is a heartbeat away from the presidency.  But the post has been evolving and as obama’s vice-president, played an effective role. 

Secondly, it is the VP’s job to preside over the Senate and also cast the tie-breaking vote. 

Thirdly, the VP would represent when the President is not available. The VP would also represent President on diplomatic events and attend global conferences. Biden as an Obama’s VP travelled over 1.2 million miles through 50 countries on behalf of Obama. Mr. Biden, himself a former Vice President, seems very willing to share the burden with his VP. 

Fourthly the VP would work with the Congress to accomplish the Biden agenda/ Above all, she would be deputizing for the oldest president in the US history, and might wield power than any of her predecessors. 

Lastly, She is seen as the president in waiting as Biden had already announced that he would be a one-term president.

Kalyani Shankar is a Delhi- based political commentator and currently consulting editor of the web portal "The Print" as also a syndicated columnist. She is a senior journalist, political analyst and a keen observer of Indo-US relations.

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