Posted by Curt on 13 August, 2020 at 4:56 pm. 3 comments already!



As the lights at the Kamala Harris presidential campaign flickered and powered down last December, weeks before the voting started, the press corps delighted in cataloging her deficiencies as a candidate and a campaigner. Although she started in the “top tier” of candidates, and in theory could have galvanized votes from an unprecedented range of different voter bases—women, Californians, Black voters and Asian Americans all at once—the press recorded her failure to enthuse any of those power bases. She had languished in the national polls, scoring only in the single digits on her home court, California, said CNN. “Biden has attracted more support than Harris from black voters,” the Washington Post reported.

During the campaign, Harris waffled so hard on health care it’s a wonder she wasn’t added to the IHOP menu. First, she advocated “Medicare for All” and to eliminate private medical insurance. Then she backpedaled, “leaving many voters unclear on where she stood,” the Los Angeles Times wrote. And when she uncorked her complete health-care agenda, she failed to explain it coherently, the paper continued.

Her misfiring campaign organization drew poor notices from every press hand—and from former allies, too. “You can’t run the country if you can’t run your campaign,” Gil Duran, her former aide, told the New York Times. She “proved an uneven campaigner,” volunteered the Washington Post. Harris also “wrestled with how to sell her background as a former prosecutor,” the Wall Street Journal reported. She avoided the topic of her prosecutorial experience in the campaign’s early stretches, but then capitalized on it during the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Was she a criminal-justice reformer or a law-and-order cop? The signals crossed.

But now that Joe Biden has selected Harris as his running mate, there’s a—surprise!—fresh, much more positive assessment of the California senator. In many senses, the press is serving the same Harris meal—reporters still view her as a health-care waffler and a poor campaign general. They still criticize her for being unable to decide whether she’s a reformer or a cop. But there’s nothing like a political promotion, especially one that could lead to a presidency, to make the press corps adjust the seasoning and serving presentation on a candidate. Yesterday, Harris was just another overbaked politician. Today, she’s fresh as can be, and the press corps can’t stop salivating.

Remember Harris’ inability to connect with Black voters? Never mind. Now the New York Times reports “that she could reinforce Mr. Biden’s appeal to Black voters and women without stirring particularly vehement opposition on the right or left.” Harris has “excited Democrats with a personal story” of being the female offspring of two immigrants, the New York Times notes, one from India and one from Jamaica. It’s true, she’s unquestionably a unique figure in American politics, a pioneer in several ways. It just omits to mention that this all somehow failed to register with Democrats the first time around.

“In many ways, Harris, 55, is a safe pick—broadly popular in the Democratic Party and well acquainted with the rigors of a national campaign,” the Los Angeles Times now says. But based on what? Her so-called broad popularity in the Democratic Party did not extend to donors, who gave her candidacy a bye, one of the main reasons she gave for closing her presidential campaign. As for the rigors of campaigning, she usually performed well in the early minutes of an event but lacked staying power. As the Washington Post’s Paul Waldman wrote when Harris left the race, she never conveyed a convincing reason for running for the presidency outside of simply wanting the job.

Read more

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x