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Scott Detrow

On Wednesday, Kamala Harris will become the first woman, and the first woman of color, to serve as vice president of the United States.

Twelve years ago, hundreds of thousands of people filled the National Mall to watch Barack Obama make history as the nation's first Black president.

But when Harris takes the oath, the mall will very likely be nearly empty.

"We've reached a point where foreign policy is domestic policy, and domestic policy is foreign policy," incoming national security adviser Jake Sullivan told NPR over Zoom on Tuesday. "And the work that we do abroad fundamentally has to connect to making the lives of working people better, safer, fairer."

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The fate of the Biden administration's ambitious climate goals — plans that, if fully implemented, would overhaul the United States' energy economy in the span of just 15 years — will largely rest in the hands of two longtime government officials who have obsessed on the topic for decades.

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