As the ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris faces off against incumbents President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on election day, a victory by the Democratic nominees would not only dictate the course of the United States over the next four years but would be marked down in the history books.
Harris becoming vice president would be the most historically impactful, as she would become both the first woman and first person of color to assume the role.
Additionally, there are several other aspects of the Democratic ticket that would become footnotes in American history.
Biden Would Become Only The Second Vice President To Win The Presidency After A Period Outside Public Office
From the moment Biden declared his intention to run for president, he was labeled the favorite among the Democrats aspiring for the White House and considered to be following a well-worn path of former vice presidents. However, a Biden win would be a bit of a departure.
If Biden emerges victorious following Election Day, he would become only the second vice president to assume the role after spending time outside public office. The only previous president to achieve the feat was Richard Nixon, and his path to the White House was a result of losses in his 1960 presidential campaign and his 1962 California gubernatorial campaign, according to the White House’s official website. Biden’s time in the political wilderness was self-imposed, as he chose not to pursue the 2016 Democratic nomination as he grieved the death of his son, Beau.
Biden’s path from the Senate to the presidency wouldn’t seem particularly notable, but it isn’t as common as most would expect. If he wins, he would become only the 17th senator to assume the role, according to the official website of the United States Senate. Despite the oftentimes high profile of the national role, only three presidents have proceeded directly from the Senate to the White House: Warren G. Harding, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama.
A victory by the Scranton native would also make Biden the second Pennsylvanian to hold the title and the first in more than 150 years. James Buchanan was the first, with the man born in Cove Gap serving as president between 1857 and 1861, according to the White House’s official website.
Harris Would Mark Several Historical Firsts As Vice President
Harris’ nomination as the vice president of the Democratic ticket is already a decision that has rarely been seen in past campaigns. Harris is only the third woman to be nominated for the role, with Geraldine Ferraro making Walter Mondale’s ticket in 1984 and Sarah Palin making John McCain’s ticket in 2008. Both were ultimately losing campaigns. Harris will be hoping that the third time is the charm in her efforts to become the first woman to assume the role.
A victory would also make her the first person of color to serve in the role of vice president. In fact, Harris’ nomination made her only the second person of color nominated for a major party ticket, with Obama’s victorious presidential campaign the first. She is no stranger to being a trailblazer during her political career, as her election to the Senate in 2016 made her the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history, according to her official website.