Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

FOR THE WEEK OF AUG. 17, 2020

Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris makes history as first Black woman running for vice president

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Read about Sen. Harris and tell what you admire or think may be a drawback.
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Can you find a local voter or politician talking about the choice? What does she or he say?
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Now share a prediction or opinion from a commentary column or editorial.

Joe Biden made history three months before Election Day by picking Kamala Harris as his vice presidential candidate. The Democratic senator from California is the first Black and first Asian-American woman on a major party's presidential ticket, and only the fourth woman of any background to do so. "It is a historic night in this country regardless of your politics," Anderson Cooper said on CNN when the news broke last week. Another broadcaster, Joy Reid of MSNBC, commented: "For a lot of Black women in America today, this is the ultimate affirmation."

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni describes why Biden's choice makes political sense: "She brings to that ticket some of the balance that presidential candidates typically want their running mates to bring. Biden is 77. She's 55. Biden is East Coast. She's West Coast. Biden is a white guy. . . . She's not.” A civil rights leader, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, welcomes the selection as a sign Biden values Black support. "It will energize Black voters," he says, "because they can now see themselves in the ticket. … The question was how will they be reflected in his administration. And what V.P. Biden is saying is we’ll have a voice at the highest levels."

Harris, whose first name is pronounced comma-la, was California’s attorney general before winning a U.S. Senate seat in 2016. The running mates this week address the Democratic National Convention, being held via video appearances Monday through Thursday for health safety. Harris' nomination acceptance speech is Wednesday night and Biden's is the next evening. History shows why Kamala Harris is likely to be a national figure for years: Of the 28 people nominated to be vice president on a major party ticket since World War II, 21 later ran for president -- including Biden.

Current vice President says: "Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have been overtaken by the radical left, so given their promises of higher taxes, open borders, socialized medicine and abortion on demand. It's no surprise that he chose Sen. Harris to be his running mate." – Mike Pence

Democratic voter says: "It tells Black girls that they can be president … It's important for us to look at that and see other young women of color realize that they can go after their dreams and really make change in our world." – China Cochran of Detroit

Columnist says: "Whatever Harris’ critics say about her, whatever attacks Trump and the Republicans hurl her way, the depth of her background makes her instantly plausible to occupy the Oval Office [if needed]." – E.J. Dionne, The Washington Post

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2020
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