Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Kamala Harris Drops Out of Presidential Race

California Senator Kamala Harris just dropped out of the Presidential race. I never thought she had a chance to win the nomination. But more than that I never understood why she was running in the first place. Her campaign was poorly organized. It lacked a coherent message.  

Harris couldn't explain to voters what she brought to the table other than not being Trump. Harris rarely had any ideas that got traction with anyone. 

Harris' nasal voice and irritating habit of laughing at her own jokes before she had even finished telling them likely didn't help her win friends and influence people outside of California, or perhaps even inside of California. And Harris couldn't make inroads with the Democratic base. 

Senator Kamala Harris of California dropped out of the Democratic presidential race on Tuesday after months of low poll numbers, a deflating comedown for a campaign that began with significant promise. The decision came after upheaval among staff and disarray among Ms. Harris’s own allies. She told supporters in an email on Tuesday that she lacked the money needed to fully finance a competitive campaign. “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue,” Ms. Harris wrote. 

The announcement is perhaps the most sudden development to date in a Democratic presidential campaign where Ms. Harris began in the top tier. She opened her campaign on Martin Luther King’s Birthday with comparisons to historic black politicians like Barack Obama and Shirley Chisholm. 

But Ms. Harris, the barrier-breaking prosecutor and second black woman to serve in the United States Senate, was almost immediately overcome with questions about where she fit on the party’s ideological spectrum. 
She reversed her position on single-payer health care, removing herself from the Medicare for All bill sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. She struggled with how to frame her record as a prosecutor, oscillating between defending it against progressive criticism and embracing it in a play for more moderate votes.

It was on an earlier debate stage when Ms. Harris generated one of the most electric moments of the race so far, when she challenged Mr. Biden over his record on race and busing in June. 

“I do not believe you are a racist,” she began. Mr. Biden was so taken aback he cut off his own answer short. “Anyway, my time is up. I’m sorry,” he said. 

Money poured into her campaign and she spiked in the polls, rocketing to second place in several and generally peaking at 20 percent support. But her poll numbers declined steadily since then, beginning when she undercut her star turn when she struggled to articulate her own position on mandated busing.

I really do think that for good or bad, President Obama's successful election and re-election convinced too many people that if Obama could be elected, anyone could. Harris came across to me as utterly inauthentic, willing to tell anyone anything she thought they wanted to hear. While that's hardly uncommon among politicians Harris took it to a new low. 

I couldn't never get a handle on what Harris' core thoughts and beliefs were. Some of the usual suspects will surely screech and scream that sexism kneecapped Harris. Maybe. Or maybe Harris just incompetently ran a crappy campaign. That is certainly what one of her top aides, Kelly Mehlenbacher, thought, as she not so lovingly detailed in an acerbic resignation letter. Anyway, so long Kamala, we hardly knew you.
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