An Interview With Kamala Harris on What’s at Stake in the 2024 Election

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By Ketrin Agustine

Vice President Kamala Harris stands with her hands folded together in front of a large American flag.
Kenny Holston for The New York Times

Vice President Kamala Harris is crucial to the Biden campaign’s strategy for winning over a skeptical Democratic base.

Her central role — combined with President Joe Biden’s advanced age — means that certain questions have taken on renewed importance.

Specifically: What does Ms. Harris believe, and what kind of president would she be?

These are questions that “Run-Up” host Astead W. Herndon has heard from voters, Democratic operatives and even fans of Ms. Harris ever since he began covering her in 2019, as she was preparing to run for president.

The question of what Ms. Harris believes is one Astead returned to in August. That’s when he sat with the vice president for a wide-ranging interview in Chicago, conducted as part of the reporting for a New York Times Magazine cover story on Ms. Harris.

In the interview, the vice president recounts how she grew up and how her community instilled in her the possibly “radical notion” that she belongs anywhere she chose to go. She discusses her approach to criminal justice and why creating change from the inside is what drew her to become a prosecutor. And she reflects on being chosen as Mr. Biden’s running mate in the summer of 2020.

Looking ahead to 2024, she previews the administration’s message to voters in 2024 — it might be “soul of America, Part 2,” but they haven’t made that official. She also directly addresses concerns about lagging enthusiasm among groups — especially Black voters and young people — that the Democratic Party can’t afford to lose.

Ultimately, she says she isn’t worried about lack of engagement. When democracy is on the line, she believes Democrats will show up to vote.

The 2024 presidential election will be one for the record books. If President Biden succeeds in his re-election bid, he will be the oldest person to occupy the office. On the Republican side, Mr. Trump is dominating the crowded primary field — despite indictments in four criminal cases. To make sense of it all, and to understand how voters around the country are feeling, “The Run-Up” and its host, Astead W. Herndon, will be with you every step of the way.

New episodes on Thursdays.

“The Run-Up” is hosted by Astead W. Herndon and produced by Anna Foley, Elisa Gutierrez and Caitlin O’Keefe. The show is edited by Rachel Dry, Lisa Tobin and Frannie Carr Toth. Engineering by Sophia Lanman and original music by Dan Powell, Marion Lozano, Pat McCusker, Diane Wong and Elisheba Ittoop. Fact-checking by Caitlin Love.

Special thanks to Paula Szuchman, Sam Dolnick, Larissa Anderson, David Halbfinger, Tara Godvin, Renan Borelli, Mahima Chablani, Jeffrey Miranda and Maddy Masiello.


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