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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Harris's Well-Timed Exit

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the early stages of the 2016 campaign, when many candidates were unknowns.  The update  -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.  We are concluding the early stages of the 2020 race.

Mark Z. Barabak at LAT:
Kamala Harris didn’t do a great many things well in her crash-and-burn campaign for president. But her swift exit from the race was executed perfectly.
By quitting when she did, Harris avoided embarrassing losses in several early contests and, most important, her home state of California, preserving her status as a leading vice presidential prospect and positioning her as a strong candidate for a place in the Cabinet, such as attorney general, in a Democratic administration.
The freshman U.S. senator also gave herself more than adequate time to politically recover ahead of a 2022 reelection campaign, should she decide to seek a second term.
...
On the more immediate horizon is the possibility of being chosen as someone’s vice presidential running mate. One of the main job descriptions, leading the attack on the opposition, is a role for which the pugnacious ex-prosecutor seems particularly well-suited.
In addition, Harris’ age, gender and ethnic background— a father from Jamaica and mother from India — would offer a distinct counterbalance if former Vice President Joe Biden or another white male became the Democratic nominee.
Although Harris and Biden notably clashed over his record on issues involving race — an attack that deeply and personally wounded him, according to people close to Biden— he did not rule out considering her as a running mate. “I’m not good at keeping hard feelings,” he told reporters shortly after his erstwhile rival quit the race.
NYT and Politico analyses of how her once-promising campaign came to naught.