AFP : As she speaks to cheering crowds, drops in to neighbourhood coffee shops or pays "surprise" visits to college students, 56-year-old Kamala Harris has brought a jolt of youthful energy to the low-key presidential campaign of her 77-year-old running mate, Democrat Joe Biden. "I'm very happy to be back in Atlanta, Georgia," she says as she steps jauntily down the stairs of a private plane onto the tarmac of the city's international airport in the autumnal warmth of the US South. "I'm Kamala Harris and I'm running to become the next vice president of the United States." Left unsaid is that she is the first Black woman and the first of South Asian descent to be on a major party's presidential ticket. Normally reticent about speaking to the press, the California Democrat is visibly eager to make her boss's case in the final days of the campaign to unseat Donald Trump. In her tailored pants suits, high stilettos and black masks-or in her jeans and Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers on more casual occasions-she embodies the party's youth and diversity, reinforced by the credentials of a US senator and former California attorney general. As such, she stands as a sort of counterpoint to the white-haired candidate atop the ticket. In Georgia she keeps up a furious pace-trying to make up for the months during which the coronavirus pandemic nearly paralyzed the Democratic teams' efforts to bring their message before a wide public. But the two Democrats are still far from the pre-pandemic days when candidates would skip across the country in a single day-as Republican Donald Trump is continuing to do, often paying little heed to Covid-19 safety precautions.
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