"And so, I stand before you today, clear-eyed about the fight ahead and what has to be done - with faith in God, with fidelity to country, and with the fighting spirit I got from my mother".
She was also asked early on about the rise of racism and hate crimes that coincided with Donald Trump's presidential campaign and hs thrived under his presidency. Kamala Harris, standing outside of Oakland's city hall, formally kicked off her campaign for the White House by presenting herself as the leader who can best unite an America that is at an "inflection point" and facing a critical question. And while Obama had represented the 13th District for three terms in Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004 before winning a landslide victory to represent the state in U.S. Senate, the 46-year-old's presidential campaign was widely dismissed as a "novel feature" of the 2008 race, with many questioning his age and experience.
"And I think it's great that we have four maybe five women running for president because it's wonderful for America to see what American leadership looks like in all its forms", she added. But at other moments, she hints at a harder edge than the "no-drama" former president.
"Fighting for the people meant fighting on behalf of survivors of sexual assault", Harris said, in one of multiple references to the #MeToo movement in her speech, "a fight not just against predators but a fight against silence and stigma".
Harris explained that her slogan "Kamala Harris for the people" is a direct reference to her background as a prosecutor.
Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, said that as she and her sister, Maya Harris, grew up in the East Bay they were "raised by a community with a deep belief in the promise of our country, and a deep understanding of the parts of that promise that still remain unfulfilled".
WSJ poll: Nancy Pelosi's negatives jumped more than Trump's during shutdown
That's a change from past shutdowns, in which the public tended to blame Congressional opposition to the president. The poll also noted Trump has been doing less than favorably when it comes to policy issues.
Harris has fought the Trump administration hard in the past two years, taking the forefront in battles such as dismantling Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's nomination.
The Californian senator could became America's first female United States president, and her rally in front of an enraptured crowd of 20,000 showed the world she could go all the way.
"I've been consistent my whole career", she said in response to a question that asked her to address her "contradictory past".
With her sights now on the presidency, its left many wondering what kind of tactics she'll employ during her campaign. We are going to have to learn to deal with her.
Her town hall will be live from Iowa.
Harris has faced recent controversy over the revelation that she was unaware that one of her top aides, when she was Attorney General of California, settled a workplace harassment lawsuit. She said her platform will include several progressive policies like debt-free college and "Medicare for all", which would allow Americans to opt into government-run health coverage. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.