It was exactly on the January 20 of the year 2021 that Kamala Devi Harris was sworn in as the 49th vice president of the United States.
However, as the nation's first female, Black and South Asian American vice president, she took over amidst both a lot of hope and raised brows around her. At the time, the nation was almost ravaged economically and infrastructural by the ongoing pandemic and there was a strong clamour for racial justice and equality. One year in the Oval Office, Harris in an interview to CBS News, Harris looks back at the eventful one year and gets candid about her biggest failure and regret.
In one of the clips of yet to be televised interview, host Margaret Brennan asked Harris, "What do you think as you come to the end of this first year, what do you think your biggest failure has been at this point?"
The Vice President replied:"To not get out of Washington DC more. I mean, and I actually mean that sincerely for a number of reasons. You know, I, we, the President and I came in, you know, Covid had really started. It was, the pandemic had started. And when we came in, we really couldn't travel. A large part of the relationship that he and I have built has been being in this, you know together in the same office for hours on end, doing Zooms or whatever because we couldn't get out of D.C."
She further adds, "And on issues that are about fighting for anything from voting rights to child care to one of the issues that I care deeply about maternal health. Being with the people who are directly impacted by this work, listening to them so that they, not some pundit tells us what their priorities are, I think is critically important."
She also said that her biggest concern was not being in touch with what people actually needed. "People have a right to know and believe that their government actually sees and hears them. And my biggest concern is I don't ever want to be in a bubble when it comes to being aware of and in touch with what people need at any given moment in time."
My biggest accomplishment is ...
When questioned, "You said that you feel the responsibility because you are the first and you carry that with you. What does that mean for what you actually see as your biggest accomplishment?" Harris said being able to inspire children gave her greatest joy.
"When I go to an event, whatever it is, and some dad or some mom brings their kids, daughters, sons and says that's your vice president and challenges their kids to think about who does what, as a way I think of empowering their kids to know that they can do anything they want and not be confined by who has traditionally done what. I think that is, that's one of the thing that gives me joy."
Further talking about her work, Harris that it was very wide ranging:
"In terms of the work, I mean, it's so wide ranging it's everything from again what we talked about in terms of maternal health. And I love electric vehicles. I'm a geek when it comes down to it, and what we have the capacity to do. Again twenty-five million children, at least pre-Covid a day in America, go to school on these diesel trucks, right, on these buses and inhaling those fumes which have a direct impact on their ability to learn and what we can do there.
"What we can do in terms of the work we are doing to clean up lead pipes. The Space Council I'm very excited about that work because it's not only about STEM, but it's about national security, it's about international norms. So there's a variety of work and it's really diverse in terms of the range."