Election 2020 Open Thread: Kamala Harris Will Not Be Ignored

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What she’s got to overcome:

Harris surged from about 7% to 15% in averages of Democratic polls immediately after the first debate in late June, putting her in second or third place in the crowded field. But it was a sugar high — she’s back to the 7% she had when summer began…

“Our focus is on winning the primary, not an off-year August news cycle, which is why we’ve spent the summer building the grassroots organizing foundation that will propel Kamala to victory in this race,” Harris spokesman Ian Sams said in an email. “These races are marathons, not sprints, and Kamala is a long-distance runner.”

In late July, Harris backed off her previous support for replacing private insurance with a national government plan and released a proposal that preserves the option for private plans, positioning herself ideologically between Sanders and Biden on one of the most contentious issues in the race.

But rather than placating both wings, the move drew fire from all sides — the Sanders campaign accused her of going soft, Biden charged her with “double talk,” and voters were left wondering what she stands for…

Patrick Kollar of Roy, Washington, who recently attended a Warren rally in Seattle, said he’s unsure how to define Harris ideologically.

“That’s a problem,” he said. “I follow politics pretty closely and I don’t know what she’s about.”

Harris has set herself apart on culturally salient issues like immigration and gun control with far-reaching legislative proposals and executive actions to tackle two high priorities for Democratic voters. At the same time, she has downplayed ideological labels and branded herself as the “3 a.m. agenda” candidate who’s focused on problems that keep Americans up at night.

“I lost my son to gun violence,” said Lynette McElhaney of Oakland, adding that she was drawn to Harris’s aggressive positions on gun control. “And critically important, she sent her staff to stand with me when my son was killed in Los Angeles.”…

Harris’s past as a prosecutor — seven years as San Francisco district attorney and six years as California attorney general — is a mixed bag. Some Democrats say it’s the reason she was so effective when questioning William Barr and Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominees for attorney general and the Supreme Court. Others say she fought too hard to achieve and sustain convictions in dubious circumstances…

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42 replies
  1. 1
    West of the Rockies says:

    I love Harris and Warren, their dedication and vision. Christ, I hope Biden and Sanders drop off. I’d love to see a demographic breakdown of who supports the two old fools.

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    since this is an open thread:

    Excited Princess Charlotte clutches her mother’s hand as William and Kate bring her for her first day of school at £19,000-a-year Thomas’s Battersea with her proud older brother George

    Princess Charlotte arrived at Thomas’s Battersea in South London with mother, father and big brother
    Charlotte celebrated her fourth birthday on May 2 and joins the school where George started in 2017
    William and Kate’s fees for Charlotte are 2% lower than George’s because she is a second child at school
    Charlotte will be known as Charlotte Cambridge to staff and schoolmates and she is in a class of 21

    By REBECCA ENGLISH, ROYAL CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL and MARK DUELL and LARA KEAY FOR MAILONLINE

    PUBLISHED: 03:25 EDT, 5 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:54 EDT, 5 September 2019

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    👏👏👏

    Berners in the Sunrise movement want every damn thing for free but don’t want to talk about systemic racism because they reduce all problems to classism. If you think these people are gonna share their clean power grid with people who look like me, you’re not paying attention.

    — Derrick Richardson (@nerdclapback) September 5, 2019
    https://twitter.com/nerdclapback/status/1169472971011833857

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    About Biden and his supporters:

    Joy Reid had on Tara Dowdell (sp?) this weekend, and she told of going to a function where they were trying to recruit Black female candidates. She was at a gathering of Black women from over 14 Southern states, and she told of their support for Biden. She was like, this was the time before he even announced, and people were dumping opposition research stories about Biden.

    In her words:
    ” They were not moved. Not one bit.”

    She said, I’m paraphrasing
    ” They KNOW Joe Biden, and even though, yes, a nice part of it is Obama nostalgia, a large part of it not only do they believe they know Joe Biden – they believe that Joe Biden CARES ABOUT THEM…..and, THIS is his secret with the Union people TOO – they say it over and over when talking about Biden.”

    I am a political junkie. Most people, regardless of race, aren’t. And, it goes the same for the Black community that I live in and navigate. These folks all have a positive thought about Biden.
    The unsaid thing that so many who are dancing around Biden in MSM punditry, is the belief from Black folk that White folks showed their azzes in 2016, and until they prove differently, fundamentally cannot be trusted….but, folks don’t want to have that conversation.

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    So white Republican from Illinois gets a sweetheart deal. But Black Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandi, go to prison for the SAME thing. Hmmm. “Charges officially dropped against ex-U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock in unusual deal with feds”
    https://t.co/hvJ8na247C

    — rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) September 4, 2019

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    Me too. I like Warren, but I don’t like that it’s either going to be her or one of two people I don’t prefer. I hope that now that we’re into the fall, there will be a shake up in the polls and Harris and maybe some of the other contenders will gain some traction.

  7. 7
    Ohio Mom says:

    Harris remains my first choice for Attorney General, and Warren for the president who will appoint her.

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah:

    Charlotte Cambridge

    In the U.S., they would call her CC.

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    Oh Kevin…
    Prayers for you…the pictures of that car didn’t look good :(

    Kevin Hart Reportedly Suffered Multiple Spinal Fractures in Car Accident

    Jay Connor
    Today 10:13am

    The details surrounding Kevin Hart’s car accident this weekend have slowly begun to trickle out, and now we’re learning the extent of his injuries.

    TMZ reports that the Night School star suffered multiple spinal fractures that will require extensive rehabilitation:

    Sources with direct knowledge tell us Kevin’s Sunday night surgery involved fusing the fractures … 2 of them in the thoracic section of his spine, and 1 in the lumbar. Although the procedure was a success, Kevin is still going through hell. We’re told he has to be heavily medicated because the pain is just that intense.

    Symptoms for these types of fractures range from tingling to paralysis, and according to TMZ, often result in difficulties walking—which hopefully won’t affect his physical style of comedy. Hart is expected to make a full recovery, but the road ahead could be challenging.

    “Kevin’s gonna have to rebuild his life somewhat. It may be a little different for Kevin from here on out,” Terry Crews told Us Weekly. “One thing I do know is that very few people would survive an accident that horrific. The fact that he survived […] I was just like, ‘Oh, my God.’ Amazing.”

  10. 10
    Jeffro says:

    Please FSM, either her or Warren at the top of the ticket. Pleeeeease

  11. 11
    The Moar You Know says:

    ” They KNOW Joe Biden, and even though, yes, a nice part of it is Obama nostalgia, a large part of it not only do they believe they know Joe Biden – they believe that Joe Biden CARES ABOUT THEM…..and, THIS is his secret with the Union people TOO – they say it over and over when talking about Biden.”

    I am a political junkie. Most people, regardless of race, aren’t. And, it goes the same for the Black community that I live in and navigate. These folks all have a positive thought about Biden.
    The unsaid thing that so many who are dancing around Biden in MSM punditry, is the belief from Black folk that White folks showed their azzes in 2016, and until they prove differently, fundamentally cannot be trusted….but, folks don’t want to have that conversation.

    @rikyrah: This is why he has not moved in the polls, no matter how much bullshit – and it is bullshit – that’s been thrown at him. He is sincere. People who get fed bullshit most of the time know the difference. I may not agree with him on 100%, or even 50%, of everything, but at least I know what he’s going to do.

    As to the “conversation” you refer to, that conversation is never going to be had. I’m already running into Trump-voting motherfuckers – people who said so, frequently online, the receipts are there – who now deny ever having done so. IF that fucker loses in 2020, you’re gonna see so many people forget who Trump is that it’ll scare you, you’ll think all us white folks got some kind of new brain disease.

  12. 12
    zhena gogolia says:

    Thank you for this — I plan to read it carefully later when I don’t have to work. She is my top choice, and I wish she were higher in the polls. I have qualms about all the other candidates, although of course I’ll vote for them (except Tulsi or Williamson, and I’ll have to think hard about Wilmer).

  13. 13
    zhena gogolia says:

    And of course Kamala got big-footed by John Cole.

  14. 14
    justawriter says:

    One thing I would like to know about Harris. I have acquaintances in the progressive Native American community and there have been accusations circulating that she aggressively opposed native land claims in California as Attorney General and later in Colorado as a Senator. I don’t know if this is Russian bots circulating this or a real problem. Given the growing importance of the native vote in western swing states it does worry me, especially if it bleeds into down ticket races. Anyone know how accurate these claims are?

  15. 15
    Betty Cracker says:

    I’m glad Campbell came around on Harris (Politico story) but am sorry the sexist jerk is so politically influential in the first place.

  16. 16
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Nah! First AA woman on the Supreme Court. Make Clarence Thomas have a coronary.

  17. 17
    chris says:

    @justawriter:

    later in Colorado as a Senator

    I must have missed that part of her CV?

  18. 18
    rikyrah says:

    Mexico not paying for wall, Trump takes money from U.S. military

    Rachel Maddow reports on $3.6 billion dollars being cut out of Pentagon money budgeted for U.S. military bases and facilities and redirected to Donald Trump’s border wall, which, contrary to Trump’s campaign promise, Mexico is not paying for.

  19. 19
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Citizen Alan: Harris is young enough, she has time to be both.

    I like imagining her going after all the corrupt actors in this current administration — she won’t be all “let’s move on,” she’ll be “crimes WILL be prosecuted.”

  20. 20
    Belafon says:

    @rikyrah: I do wonder how closely this parallels the support African Americans gave to Clinton in 2007/8 until Obama won in Iowa.

  21. 21
    Ohio Mom says:

    @chris: Just turn the sentence around: As senator from California, Harris opposed Native land claims in Colorado.

    At least, I think that is what justawriter meant. I have no way of knowing how true or important this claim is, I have no context for it and am not goggling it.

    My general policy is, candidates’ specific votes or stands only matter in the overall gestalt of their politics in general. I’m not cherry-picking through their histories. YMMV.

  22. 22
    chris says:

    @Ohio Mom: Ah, that makes sense, thanks.

    PS: I agree. Furthermore, it sound s to me as if Harris did her job enforcing the law as DA/AG. Without fear or favour as the saying goes which is more than a lot of them can say.

  23. 23
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Harris:

    This is a fight against powerful interests. Leaders need to lead. So my message to Republicans on this issue is this: Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

    Funny, that’s the exact same thing I’ve been saying to the people who answer the phone at Steny Hoyer’s office, only with “Democratic leadership” in place of “Republicans.”

  24. 24
    laura says:

    @rikyrah: Kevin Hart survived the accident and went for help over 1/2 with multiple back fractures. Wish him a full recovery.

  25. 25
    Kent says:

    I’m honestly having a hard time deciding between Harris and Warren. I tend to think Harris is the candidate more likely to take a shiv to Trump and gut him on TV. She seems the tougher campaigner. But Warren has developed a unique and formidable campaign style that seems to really be catching fire.

    As for policy? None of it really matters without a Dem majority in the Senate and probably a 65 vote majority to be honest for the more progressive ideas like Medicare for All. I do like that Warren has picked up Inslee’s torch on climate change.

  26. 26
    laura says:

    Harris has quietly built a monster ground game for the primaries, not the debates.
    SHE READY!

  27. 27
    low-tech cyclist says:

    The thing that concerns me about Harris as a candidate is her failure to take advantage of the opportunity she had to grow her support after the June debate. You only get so many chances like that, and to botch a big one like that and have your support go back to 7% after it had gone from 7% to 15%?

    She can say it’s a marathon, not a sprint, all she wants to, but Warren has taken advantage of her opportunities, has kept moving up, even though she’s clearly running a marathon as well.

    Harris is my second choice of the major candidates – I’d much rather have her as the nominee than either Biden or Wilmer – but Warren clearly has a well-thought-out plan for her nomination campaign and has been making it work, and that suggests that she’d go into the general election with a good plan for that too.

    I wish I could say the same thing about Harris, because she has these occasional killer moments, but you’ve got to have more than a few killer moments to win this thing.

  28. 28
    sherparick says:

    Meanwhile, the candidate, Marianne Williamson, who has received two glowing profiles in the FNYT, remains mired at 1% for some reason.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EDoEiYRXsAEwQ2x.png

  29. 29
    Brachiator says:

    @rikyrah:

    ‘They KNOW Joe Biden, and even though, yes, a nice part of it is Obama nostalgia, a large part of it not only do they believe they know Joe Biden – they believe that Joe Biden CARES ABOUT THEM…..and, THIS is his secret with the Union people TOO – they say it over and over when talking about Biden.”

    Yep. Whatever else people may think about Biden, his empathy for people cannot be denied. And his connections to Obama give voters a sense that he represents continuity. This gives him a powerful advantage over his rivals, and also makes him formidable in any contest against Trump.

    It is also odd that anyone would ask who supports Biden, especially since he has consistently been leading in the polls. Seems pretty clear that he has pretty broad support among all Democrats, and especially among black voters. How can supposed political junkies not understand that?

    I still prefer Harris and respect all the other contenders, except Wilmer. I think that Harris in particular could slice and dice Trump. But for now they have to work harder to build their own support.

  30. 30
    scott (the other one) says:

    I’ve been such a Warren fanboy since her first or second appearance on The Daily Show and think she’d make an outstanding President of the United States. I even think she might be slightly better than Harris. And I think she’s at least slightly more likely to win, although I think either can and probably will. But Massachusetts has a Republican governor, which means if Warren were in the Oval, her sit would flip red for at least her first few extremely important months. And as Scott Brown (and Trump) proved, there are no guarantees. So giving up her Senate seat seems a serious problem to me.

    That’s why I’m Team Harris. She’s great, she’d do a great job, and we need every damn Senate seat we can get.

  31. 31
    Ruckus says:

    Harris is my first choice, among many decent choices. And this is because she is a politician. A professional politician. We are hiring someone to fill a political position, the highest political position in the country. I like Warren for all her ideas and plans. I’d like that she would stay in the senate and work to make them laws and an actual new direction for the country. With great leadership and great ideas and laws, we would be in great shape. Part of our ideals are that we work together to create a better place. To do that we need to look at the strengths of the people we hire to be our representatives and chose the best person for the many jobs that it takes to run a responsible country.

  32. 32
    Ohio Mom says:

    @sherparick: Williamson is the flip side of what I mean when I say I’m not cherry-picking specifics.

    Just like I’m not going to get stuck on a Harris vote I might not agree with, I absolutely agree with Williamson when she says Democrats aren’t going to win with policies, they will win if they can show voters how evil the other side is, and lead them to vote for good instead.

    Now does that make me a Williamson fan, of course not. She’s an embarrassment up there on the debate panel. Though fortunately it looks like her fifteen minutes as a candidate are just about over.

  33. 33
    J R in WV says:

    @sherparick:

    Meanwhile, the candidate, Marianne Williamson, who has received two glowing profiles in the FNYT, remains mired at 1% for some reason.

    And that is how we know that Marianne W. is not only a purveyor of crazed semi-religious woo, but also an actual fascist, because that’s who the FTFNYTs historically supports for nearly the past 100 years. Both Mr. Hitler and Mr. Stalin got rave reporting from the NYT beginning in 1922.

  34. 34
    chris says:

    So Marianne Williamson DMed my mom to complain about me and I have receipts. pic.twitter.com/V2iGO2Ny7H— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) 5 September 2019

  35. 35
    terry chay says:

    @low-tech cyclist: At this point it is too early for the polls to be anything but name recognition and this means that the press has a huge impact on such early polling (until the performance in primaries starts to take over).

    Warren shares the most overlap in voter ID with Sanders. I think the establishment doesn’t want Sanders so it makes sense to draw attention to Warren in order to siphon off votes.

    Harris shares the most overlap in voter ID with Biden. Biden is an establishment favorite so it does not make sense to draw attention to the Harris campaign at the moment as it might siphon off Harris support.

    Note, I do not mean this as a conspiracy as it doesn’t need to be. I mean that reporters, editors, and such secretly root for/against someone and this biases their reporting. Social media is a tiny fraction of the voter pool and is probably unreachable by most pollsters anyway (the demographics are somewhat orthogonal). All this will become moot next year when real results will start to show who has a real game and who has just been juicing things up with Youtube ads (Gabbard and Steyer).

  36. 36
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Ruckus: Arguably, being a natural politician with the instincts and skills that implies would be a more important quality for a senate leader than a president. Having vision and big ideas is more of an executive branch thing, the current occupant notwithstanding…

  37. 37
    Brachiator says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I absolutely agree with Williamson when she says Democrats aren’t going to win with policies, they will win if they can show voters how evil the other side is, and lead them to vote for good instead.

    Trump is bad in so many ways, but I find it interesting that some people consistently focus on the fact that he is a bad man. And obviously, Trump appalls many.

    But there are Americans who are willing to accept Trump’s evil in exchange for getting what they want, and as long as Trump’s evil hurts other people, but spares them. This may help Trump in the presidential election.

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ohio Mom: Why Harris as AG as opposed to any and every other Democrat with experience as a US Attorney, State AG, etc.? If she doesn’t get the Pres nom, why shouldn’t she stay in her current job?

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Citizen Alan: Would she be the best female AA candidate for the Court?

    I don’t really mean to pick at everyone, but we don’t have to put everyone who runs for president into the Cabinet or on the Court. If Harris doesn’t get the nomination (and right now she is my preferred candidate) what is wrong with going back to being a senator?

  40. 40
    Brachiator says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    If Harris doesn’t get the nomination (and right now she is my preferred candidate) what is wrong with going back to being a senator?

    Nothing wrong with it at all. But if she has talent and vision that might be good as AG or on the Court, why not use them? And California would pick another Democrat to replace Harris.

    Of course, if Harris is not the nominee, but a Democrat wins, serving as senator or AG would still let Harris have a run at the presidency in the future.

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Brachiator: If she is the best for the job (and with her resume she should at least be on the shortlist) then I am fine with it. I really doubt that she is the best/only candidate for AG and the Court. We have a shitload of talented people even if we are only looking at AA women; a lot of them have been on the sidelines for a couple of years now. Let’s get as many as we can back in the game.

  42. 42
    Parmenides says:

    For some reason I’ve never killed my voter registration in South Carolina, not that I plan to vote in South Carolina as I vote in my non represented slice of America, but I’ve already been contacted by the Warren campaign trying to do voter ID in South Carolina. So she already has organizers on the ground and that stuff takes time to build. As someone who consistently voted in dem primaries and in generals I’d expect that my name would come up in every campaign as someone to do an ID on, but I haven’t gotten a peep from anyone else. It also reminds me that I need to send a letter to the county I’m registered in to deactivate my registration.

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