Willie Brown, former San Francisco mayor and ex-boyfriend of Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), said Wednesday he was concerned about Harris being "second banana" to Joe Biden.
"I was fearful that a talented person like Kamala Harris who has the potential to be president of this nation, if she ever got sidetracked by being the second banana to a president, she may not be able to demonstrate those skills," Brown said on Fox Business. "That is what I was concerned about."
He pointed out that George H. W. Bush in 1988 was the only vice president in 70 years who "moved from the job of vice president to president directly" by winning a presidential election. Shortly before Harris became Biden's running mate, Brown wrote a column warning her not to take the job, although he had predicted last year that the Democratic ticket would be Biden and Harris.
"Being picked for the vice presidency is obviously a huge honor, and if Biden wins, Harris would make history by being the first woman to hold the job," Brown wrote Saturday. "But the glory would be short-lived, and historically, the vice presidency has often ended up being a dead end."
He advised Harris, the former attorney general of California, to seek the job of attorney general in a future Biden administration, arguing that position has "legitimate power." But Brown said Wednesday he was "pleased" with Harris's decision to accept Biden's offer.
Brown appointed Harris to a lucrative position on a California appeals board while they dated in the 1990s. The pair broke up when Brown became the mayor of San Francisco.
Biden selected Harris as his running mate Tuesday after months of speculation. Biden said during a March primary debate he would pick a woman as his running mate, and he soon came under pressure to choose a woman of color.