Vice President Kamala Harris’ presidential ambitions were briefly realized on Friday when she spent roughly 85 minutes as acting president while Joe Biden underwent a routine colonoscopy, USA Today reported.
Harris’ brief stint as commander-in-chief will earn her a memorable, if humorous, footnote in the history books as the first woman to technically be U.S. president — even if it was for less than 90 minutes.
Harris’ time in the spotlight
According to USA Today, Harris took the reins as a precautionary measure, since Biden was under anesthesia for the procedure, which was conducted as part of a routine medical exam.
Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, later said the physical turned out well for a man of Biden’s age.
As for the transfer of power, Biden had sent official letters to congressional leaders Friday morning to inform them of the temporary change, as outlined in the 25th Amendment of the Constitution.
Less than two hours later, Biden sent another pair of letters letting House and Senate leaders know he had reassumed his duties as commander-in-chief.
While Biden was out of office, Harris clinched her spot in the history books as the first woman of color to serve as president.
Psaki shares the details
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki addressed the matter during Friday’s press briefing, when she was asked to provide an update on the president’s condition following the colonoscopy.
Psaki noted that a written summary would be released later in the day before reading off a prepared statement.
“Earlier this morning, the President had a conversation with Vice President Harris as well as Chief of Staff Ron Klain at around 11:35 this morning. He was in good spirits. He resumed his duties as President at that point in time,” the press secretary explained.
“There was also two sets of letters that we released publicly around — one was at 10:10 a.m., the other was at 11:35 a.m. — about the transfer of power under the 25th Amendment and the resumption of power. So — but that’s a reflection of how he is and how he is feeling,” Psaki added.
For Harris, who definitely aspires to be the president of the United States, this was undoubtedly a memorable moment. It remains to be seen if this brief window brought about by Biden’s physical will be as close as she ever gets to fulfilling her dream of taking over the West Wing.