Podcast | What Kamala Harris will bring to the White House

Author Ruchika Tulshyan talks about the vice president-elect as change agent and role model.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris celebrating

President-elect Joe Biden holds hands with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris during the Democratic National Convention, Aug. 20, 2020. In 2021 Harris sill be sworn in as the first South Asian and Black women to hold the office of vice president of the U.S. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

When Kamala Harris walks into the White House on Jan. 20, she will be carrying with her a lot of firsts. She will be the first woman vice president of the United States, not to mention the first woman of color to hold the office. She will also be the first Black person to be vice president and the first Asian American to achieve such a height of elected office.

In some ways it will be a moment reminiscent of January 2009, when Barack Obama became the country's first Black president. But there are many ways it is very different, aside from the fact that leading Harris into office will be a septuagenarian white man, Joe Biden.

One of the main differences is, of course, Harris' gender. Another is that, unlike Obama, she has arrived at her post as a part of a larger wave that swept a record number of women of color into elected office at the federal and state levels.

This week on the Crosscut Talks podcast we are speaking with journalist and author Ruchika Tulshyan about Harris' ascent. The author of The Diversity Advantage: Fixing Gender Inequality in the Workplace discusses how Harris will change the White House, what Obama's presidency can tell us about the challenges she will face and how Tulshyan imagines the new vice president might lead.