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Indian-American Kamala Harris 'female Obama' in making: Report

Indian-American Kamala Harris, California's next Attorney General, is the "female Obama" in making and likely to be a national figure shortly, a media report said on Saturday.

world Updated: Dec 25, 2010 13:10 IST

Indian-American Kamala Harris, California's next Attorney General, is the "female Obama" in making and likely to be a national figure shortly, a media report said on Saturday.

Daughter of an Indian mother and African-American father, Harris is being called the future of the Democratic Party, a rising political star in the mold of one of her big supporters — President Barack Obama, the 'Politico' said in a lead story.

"At first glance, the President and Harris have much in common: Both are mixed-race children of immigrants raised by a single mother; both are eloquent, telegenic big-city lawyers with strong liberal credentials who catapulted from relative obscurity to the national stage.

"And like the first African-American President, Harris has broken a long-standing barrier — she's California's first African-American Attorney General and the first woman to hold the office," Politico said.

She is a rare talent who will be a national figure shortly, Chris Lehane, a former Clinton aide, who is now a consultant in California, was quoted as saying.

"People call her the female Obama. It's more apt to say she is the female Obama that progressives thought they were voting for," Lehane said.

Harris replaces Democratic Jerry Brown, who won election for Governor of California.

In December 2003, she was elected as the first woman District Attorney in San Francisco's history, and as the first African-American woman and South Asian-American woman in California to hold the office.

She was overwhelmingly re-elected to a second term in November 2007.

Born and raised in the East Bay, Kamala is the daughter of Dr Shyamala Gopalan, a Tamilian breast cancer specialist who traveled to the US from Chennai to pursue her graduate studies at UC Berkeley.

Harris has spent the majority of her professional career in the trenches as a courtroom prosecutor.

In 1998, she was named managing attorney of the Career Criminal Unit of the San Francisco District Attorney's Office, where she prosecuted three strike cases and serial felony offenders. She then served as the head of the San Francisco City Attorney's Division on Families and Children.