Saturday, June 19

The Biden-Harris Ticket – The New York Times

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3. Political panache. Harris sharply criticized Biden during a primary debate last year over his opposition to busing as a means of integrating public schools, an attack that left some advisers wary of putting her on the ticket. Picking Harris suggests a recognition that her more energetic style could prove an asset.

Still, some wariness persists. Some in the Biden campaign privately worry that moderate and center-right white voters will balk at Harris — “especially given how freely President Trump attacks his opponents on the basis of race and gender,” Alex says. “After 2016, there’s just a different degree of concern about the way racism can shape close elections.”

But if Trump loses, the decision could also shape the Democratic Party for years to come. A President Biden who chooses not to seek a second term could leave Harris the de facto party leader — and a front-runner to become the first female president.

The two are expected to appear together in Wilmington, Del., today.

More on Harris:

  • Our politics team has much more coverage of the pick, including: where Harris stands on the issues, a look back at her political history and how she came to be fluent in both activist and establishment circles.

  • “The significance of this decision and its meaning for Black women, the most loyal members of the Democratic Party, cannot be overstated,” Chryl Laird, a Bowdoin College political scientist, writes in a Times Op-Ed.

  • “Biden seriously considered others but returned to Harris as the ‘do no harm’ candidate, unlikely to thrill or outrage many,” David Axelrod, Barack Obama’s former senior adviser, writes for CNN.

On Tuesday, Russia became the first country to announce it had approved a coronavirus vaccine. But with no evidence from large-scale clinical trials or published data from earlier trials, the claim received international skepticism.

Vaccines must clear a high bar of safety standards, and they generally go through three stages of human testing before approval. In Phase 3, the vaccine is given to large groups of people and tested against a placebo to ensure that it works and to help identify harmful side effects.

The American middle class is in decline, hollowed out by decades of slow growth, stagnant incomes and two recessions in 10 years. But Jim Tankersley, an economics correspondent for The Times, is optimistic about the future of the middle class.

In a new book, Jim argues that the removal of discriminatory barriers preventing women, minority groups and immigrants from entering the work force helped lift wages, spur innovation and create shared prosperity after World War II.

The reversal of some of those gains since the 1980s — and the rise of new barriers like mass incarceration — have contributed to middle-class decline, he says. Making the economy more open to more Americans could help rebuild it.

So where to start? More accessible child care is one idea. Greater investment in nonwhite entrepreneurship could also foster innovation in the health care or energy industries.

But “the simplest and most daunting answer is that there isn’t a five-point plan to set off another middle-class boom,” Jim told us. “What we really need is a determined national commitment to ending discrimination and liberating all Americans to put their full talents to use.”

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