By MEG KINNARD, Related Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In her political return to a state the place she campaigned closely forward of the 2020 election, Vice President Kamala Harris informed a gathering of South Carolina Democrats how appreciative the White Home is for the important thing help that in the end led to the Biden administration.
“We see how South Carolina brings essential illustration to the presidential nominating course of,” Harris stated. “And we see how South Carolina Democrats set President Joe Biden and me on a path to the White Home. … Thanks, South Carolina.”
Her look, Harris’ first to a state-level celebration occasion since taking workplace, at instances was harking back to the stump speeches that comprised her 2020 marketing campaign within the state.
Harris campaigned closely in South Carolina throughout her personal 2020 White Home bid however left the race earlier than the state’s first-in-the-South main, unable to realize important polling help or break by way of in a subject that at one time included two dozen Democratic hopefuls. Throughout that marketing campaign, Harris labored to develop networks amongst Black voters typically not elevated within the state’s political marketing campaign, such because the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, of which she is a member.
On Friday, Harris recalled tales from that marketing campaign, together with making her manner by way of the Charleston airport with baggage filled with collard greens to take dwelling to prepare dinner for her household’s Thanksgiving, Southern produce she stated she knew can be higher than what she might discover elsewhere.
“As I walked on the aircraft, there have been just a few individuals who gave me ‘the look,’ and ‘the nod,’” she stated, to laughter.
The speech got here a day forward of Democrats’ conference in Columbia.
It additionally passed off as Republicans doubtlessly in search of their celebration’s 2024 nomination — together with former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — are already crisscrossing the state.
Some native South Carolina Republicans have additionally been testing the 2024 waters. Nikki Haley, who served the state for six years as governor earlier than becoming a member of the Trump administration as U.N. ambassador, lives within the Charleston space and has been visiting different early-voting states, as has U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.
Earlier this yr, Biden dedicated to tapping Harris as his working mate for the 2024 reelection marketing campaign.
South Carolina holds its main elections on Tuesday, when 5 candidates are competing for his or her celebration’s nomination to problem incumbent Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, whose GOP challengers have failed to draw important fundraising help.
Simply two hours earlier than the dinner, Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls, together with former U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham and state Sen. Mia McLeod, met for his or her solely main debate.
South Carolina, the place Black voters play an outsized position within the Democratic citizens, ended up being the state the place Biden was in a position to revive his flagging presidential marketing campaign, following a collection of losses in different early-voting states.
That victory got here after a key endorsement for Biden from U.S. Home Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, South Carolina’s sole Democrat in Congress and whose backing was seen by some Black voters as a long-awaited sign that Biden can be the candidate finest suited to signify them.
On Friday, Clyburn took the stage as Harris concluded her remarks to thank the gang “for what you may have performed over time to maintain the Democratic Occasion on this nation viable.”
“Tonight,” he added, referencing Harris, “she has made us helpful.”
Meg Kinnard might be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.
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