Kamala Harris’ uncle back in India watched her vice-presidential debate with pride on Thursday, feeling “a little sad” for Mike Pence, who said he came up against a better-qualified opponent.
“Expectations were so many of Kamala—’s going to wash the floor,’ and so on, but Pence was just a Congressman who knows how to debate, but Pence has an albatross around his neck—and that’s Trump,” Balachandran Gopalan, 79, told AFP in New Delhi after the US election debate in Salt Lake City.
“I feel a little sad for Pence. You can’t ask for the judiciary — she was on the Judicial Commission, she was the Attorney General, she’s an authority on Black Lives, she’s on a pandemic, she’s on shaky ground,” the professor stated.
The debate saw Harris call the response of US President Donald Trump’s Covid-19 to a monumental loss, in a sharp but largely friendly debate over Trump’s messy dispute with Joe Biden last week.
Harris, 55, was California’s first black attorney general, the first woman to hold office, and the first South Asian senator ever.
She was born in California in 1964 to a Jamaican father, economics professor John Harris, and breast cancer specialist Shyamala Gopalan — Late sister of Balachandran Gopalan.
“My daughter in Washington watched (the debate), my sister in Toronto watched, and my younger sister in Chennai watched,” said the uncle on Thursday.
“Her mother must have been very pleased with Kamala.”
“Although Shyamala may have been much more impatient than Kamala at times,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Shyamala was a debater or an audience—she would have asked, ‘What garbage are you talking about, vice-president?’
“But Kamala was kinder.”