MSNBC’s Shawna Thomas said Wednesday on “Morning Joe” that the idea of Kamala Harris being chosen as the vice-presidential candidate is clearly historic, “but also it shows that there is a bigger power base [among African-Americans] than maybe people perceived, and that’s pretty amazing, too.”
SHAWNA THOMAS, MSNBC: Taking a step back, there is something amazing about this, that her selection is a result of black women and black people exerting the power they have in this country now. I looked back at the “Washington Post” opinion piece from seven black women who basically were like, Joe Biden has to choose a black woman. And that was, I think, written back in May. But in some ways — and maybe I shouldn’t say this, but in some ways, Joe Biden got boxed in. He got boxed in by history. He got boxed in by historical choice. He got boxed in by black people saying, “Hey, by the way, we’re here, we’ve got some power, and we have a couple of demands.” And the fact that there are many people in this country at certain levels of politics who feel comfortable saying that, including Jim Clyburn, who basically was like, yeah, he probably needs to choose a black woman, is an example of how far we have come in this country but also an example of how much there are black people who are like, we need to go further, and you need someone in the room who understands some of these struggles to be able to go further. And so, I think the idea of Kamala Harris being chosen as the vice-presidential candidate is clearly historic. And if I look at it from a personal standpoint, it’s nice to be able to witness history, but also it shows that there is a bigger power base here than maybe people perceived, and that’s pretty amazing, too. I think speaking to your point about President Trump and Trump’s campaign and how they’re trying to define her, that’s a part of politics. And we know — I think we’ve talked multiple times on this show about how they’ve had a hard time defining Biden. And some of that is because of COVID-19 and people aren’t really campaigning and all that other stuff. But this gives them an opportunity, much like it gives Joe Biden an opportunity to have this weekend of probably good press, it gives them an opportunity to figure out a new way to get at his campaign. So we’re going to have to see how that plays out. But remember, as with everything, President Trump, when I looked at that ad last night that the campaign put out, he is trying to define them for his base. He is trying to make sure his base shows up and votes and votes at at least the same levels of 2016. So, if he can scare them into thinking that Kamala Harris is a tool of the radical left and that Joe Biden isn’t actually going to be president, maybe he can rile people up enough to show up in droves for him, because that argument for people who had already decided to vote for Joe Biden, whether he picked Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, you know, Val Demings, whoever, that’s not going to work. It isn’t about defining Kamala harris for democrats and people who are going to vote for Joe Biden. It’s about his base. So we’ll have to see how that works out for them. But it’s kind of nice to think of a black woman will be, or could be, at the table making some huge decisions that need to be made in this country. If they were to win.