Senator Kamala Harris is a fierce and compassionate public servant who has been making headlines in light of recent political events. Sen. Harris has been cut off twice by her male colleagues during this week’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.
Sen. Harris spent 25 years in law enforcement. Harris has proved herself to be sharp, direct and persistent in her career. Those are all great qualities for a senator and former lawyer, but because Harris is a woman those qualities have been subject to scrutiny throughout her time in politics.
During the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Harris has been asking quick, poignant questions only to be cut off twice by Sen. McCain to ask her to let the witness speak. Typically in these types of hearings, the committee members only have so much time to ask their questions, so they are very direct. By cutting Sen. Harris off, they are giving her less time to speak.
It should also be noted that no one else on the committee was cut off or interrupted by their colleagues, but it happened to Sen. Harris twice in less than a week. The interruptions occurred once at Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein’s hearing and then Tuesday at Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ hearing.
After the Sessions hearing, during a CNN segment Jason Miller, former Trump campaign adviser said that Sessions “knocked away some of the hysteria from Kamala Harris and some of the Democrats who wanted to make this a big partisan show.” From there, CNN political analyst Kirsten Powers questioned Powers on why he thought only Sen. Harris’ behavior was hysterical. Twitter had a field day with this using #NeverthelessShePersisted, which was started when Sen. Warren was silenced during a Senate meeting.
Sen. Harris isn’t new to overcoming obstacles. Here are five little-known facts about Kamala Harris.
1. Sen. Harris was San Francisco’s first female and African-American District Attorney.
Sen. Harris beat out two-term incumbent Terence Hallinan in 2003 for San Francisco’s District Attorney position. During her time in office she started a Hate Crime Unit to focus on LGBT kids in school. She also started a rehabilitation program for first-time drug dealers to get their high school diplomas. She served two terms and ran unopposed for her second term.
2. Sen. Harris was the first woman and African-American to serve as California’s Attorney General.
Another glass ceiling was broken when Sen. Harris was elected California’s 32nd Attorney General in 2010. When she was elected she technically became the first woman, African-American, Indian-American and Asian-American to ever serve in the position. That’s a lot of firsts.
3. Sen. Harris is actually biracial. Her dad is Jamaican-American and her mom is Indian-American.
Jumping off of number two, Sen. Harris is biracial. She’s Jamaican and Indian. Her mom, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan Harris, was a breast cancer researcher and her father, Donald Harris, was a Stanford University economics professor. When Sen. Harris was younger her parents and younger sister Maya moved to Berkeley, California so her parents could attend graduate school. While living there, her parents introduced her to the civil rights protests that were happening on campus.
4. Kamala’s name has a special meaning.
Kamala in Hindi stands for “lotus flower.” Sen. Harris grew up very close with her maternal grandmother and would visit her often in Besant Nagar. Her grandmother was an Indian Diplomat, so a dedication to public service runs in this family’s blood.
5. Sen. Harris almost didn’t become a lawyer.
The first time Sen. Harris took the California bar exam in 1989, she actually failed it. The future senator had to wait an entire year before retaking the exam, which she eventually passed. The setback isn’t evident in Sen. Harris’ long career.
Keep an eye on her career because big things are rumored to be coming. When Obama was in office, Harris was a top contender for a Supreme Court spot, but now there are talks of her running in the 2020 election. We just might be calling her President Harris in a few years.