The Democratic donor class is abuzz about Kamala Harris after the freshman California senator was feted this weekend at an event in the Hamptons surrounded by top fundraisers.
The Bridgehampton event, where Harris mingled with top donors and supporters of Hillary Clinton, was the ultimate signal that Harris is “thinking much bigger” than the Senate, one top bundler said.
“She’s running for president. Take it to the bank,” another fundraiser said. “She’s absolutely going to run.”
Much bigger than the Senate, eh? Well, considering the stature of the world’s greatest deliberative (but don’t ask us to actually do anything) body these days, that doesn’t sound too hard. The presidency, however, is an altogether different enchilada–as Hillary boosters discovered the hard way last November.
They see the former prosecutor-turned-California attorney general as embodying the qualities a Democratic presidential candidate would need to win the White House in 2020.
They also see the 52-year-old African-American woman as a fresh face.
A fresh face? More like they see her as Obama 2.0, but with a female upgrade. That might help a bit with the demographic they’re trying to win over, but it’s still the same old leftist slop wrapped up in a shiny new package. And as we’ve seen, that’s no guarantee that the dogs will like it.
Her fans see her as an antidote to Donald Trump and as a candidate who could feed off the so-called resistance to the Republican president.
“Kamala has come to embody what’s next for our party,” said Ben LaBolt, a Democratic strategist and former spokesman for former President Barack Obama.
“She comes to Congress with immense credentials — a law enforcement official with a smart approach to taking on bad actors and protecting consumers. And she’s already broken through as bringing a unique voice in the Senate that is both substantive and relatable — which is hard to do your freshman year.”
Yup, Harris’s tenure as California’s attorney general was indeed impressive–if by “taking on bad actors” you mean bringing bogus charges against the enemies of one of her campaign donors. That’s right–Harris didn’t see any need to recuse herself from trying to prosecute the Center for Medical Progress for exposing Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in the body parts of aborted babies, even though she had received political and financial support from that group. She also didn’t see anything wrong in working with Planned Parenthood to help craft legislation that would make it ilegal for journalists to use hidden camera investigations–the same tactic that the Center had used to bust PP in the first place. No conflict of interest there.
As to Harris’s unique voice, in the short time she’s been in the Senate she’s primarily known for using it to jabber on at Jeff Sessions during a hearing into the Trump administration’s purported ties with Russia–an exchange during which she was so rude, she had to be told to pipe down and let Sessions speak. In most of polite society, this would get Harris branded as a grandstanding boor playing for the cameras. In Democrat circles, however, it has made her a star.
And star power is what the Democrats crave–far more than substance, it would seem, if Harris is the person they see as their hope for the White House in 2020. In fact, the whole thing kind of reminds me of how Democrats had convinced themselves that Wendy Davis would be the one to bump off Greg Abbott for Texas governor back in 2014. Davis had also made a star (or spectacle, depending on your point of view) of herself for staging a filibuster of an abortion bill that the vast majority of Texans supported–but never mind. They thought that her fresh face and pro-abortion bona fides would carry the day, only to see Davis get killed in the actual election. That’s the downside for seeing only what you want to see.
Democrats might want to sober up a little before trying the same thing with Harris.