As the song goes, everybody’s working for the weekend, and the vice president of the United States is apparently no exception to that rule.
Barely 48 hours removed from representing America at the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Indonesia, Vice President Kamala Harris took some time on Saturday to observe the year-long celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.
Hosting the event at the vice president’s official residence in northwest Washington, D.C., the most powerful woman in America was joined by hip-hop heavyweights including pioneers like MC Lyte and Roxanne Shante to more contemporary artists like Common and Jeezy.
Video footage from the event showed Harris delivering a fiery speech that served as an ode to rap music.
@VP Kamala Harris created her own cypher to celebrate 50 years of #HipHop at her home as an American music genre, an expression of self-determination and ambition, and global phenomenon. #HipHopAt50 #Historic pic.twitter.com/WMpbMZyseu
— Janai Nelson (@JNelsonLDF) September 9, 2023
But while Harris’s homage to hip-hop and the larger culture that inspired it paled in comparison was amazing, the internets decided to amplify an entirely different portion of the event: Vice President Harris dancing.
In fact, just calling it “dancing” doesn’t do what was happening any justice. In what could be a glimpse of how Harris rang in homecoming while a student at Howard University, the vice president was getting down and grooving while feeding off the energy of rapper Q-Tip’s infectious hit song, “Vivrant Thing.”
Ok, Kamala Harris!
— Okayplayer (@okayplayer) September 9, 2023
It was a refreshingly candid look at the human side behind one of the most stressful jobs in the entire world.
It was also effectively a thumbing of her nose to the conservative haters who have for months been trying to fearmonger over the prospects of Harris becoming president because of disingenuous concerns about President Joe Biden’s age.
If Saturday was any indication of whether the Republican noise was getting to her, it’s clear that’s the last thing on her mind.
Moments like Harris dancing on Saturday are likely why polling shows she is particularly popular with young voters. As such, Harris is scheduled to kick off a tour of colleges and universities around the country to inspire young voters to participate in the democratic process in next year’s election cycle.
“This generation is critical to the urgent issues that are at stake right now for our future,” Harris said in a statement about the “Fight for our Freedoms College Tour” which is scheduled to begin on Thursday at Hampton University, an HBCU in southeastern Virginia. “It is young leaders throughout America who know what the solutions look like and are organizing in their communities to make them a reality. My message to students is clear: We are counting on you, we need you, you are everything.”
Amid lingering concerns about Biden’s age — he’ll be 81 in November — ahead of the election, voters aged 18-29 years old — also known as Generation Z — have expressed their approval of Harris in no uncertain terms and have extreme faith in her ability to be president, according to polling from earlier this year.
When it comes to approving of Harris’ job performance, 60% of the Gen Z voters polled indicated they either somewhat approve or strongly approve of her as vice president. Aside from Black voters as a whole, those were by far the strongest approval numbers for Harris of any demographic surveyed.
When asked whether Harris qualified to be president, 52% of the Gen Z voters responded in the affirmative. That’s second only to Black voters’ 58%.
When it came to the topic of whether Gen Z voters think Harris is honest and trustworthy, 52% of the young respondents said yes. That’s in comparison to 61% of Black voters responding the same way.
Finally, on likeability, 51% of the Gen Z voters surveyed responded in the affirmative regardless of whether they are with her politics. Sixty percent of Black voters responded similarly.
Earlier this week, Harris offered a full-throated dismissal of concerns about Biden’s age. Harris said she was ready to become president if the situation presented itself but also cautioned that Biden’s presidency ending prematurely is a “hypothetical” situation that she doubts will happen.
“Joe Biden is going to be fine, so that is not going to come to fruition,” Harris told the Associated Press. “But let us also understand that every vice president — every vice president — understands that when they take the oath they must be very clear about the responsibility they may have to take over the job of being president.”
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