Kamala Harris Could Enter Presidential Race On Or Around Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) plans to announce her candidacy for president on or around Martin Luther King Jr. Day — Monday, Jan. 21 — possibly at a campaign rally in Oakland, sources close to the freshman senator told California radio station KCBS.
Until now, Harris has said she’s not ready to run, but “several sources knowledgeable about her plans say she is ready, and has in fact decided to run, with the enthusiastic blessing of her husband and two stepchildren,” KCBS reported.
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Harris has a tentative plan to enter the race for the Democratic presidential nomination in Oakland, where she was born and started her legal career.
However, The Hill was unable to confirm that Harris will be running, or that she will announce it in Oakland. A Harris spokesperson said, “no announcement is imminent and Harris will not be in Oakland during the holiday weekend.”
Currently on a media tour to promote her new book, “The Truths We Hold”, Harris is passing the likeability test. Some of her appearances included a George Washington University auditorium full of of students, ABC’s “Good Morning America,” “The View,” and CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“A week after Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts faced a critique that uncorked a touchy debate about ‘likeability’ – and whether that wholly subjective evaluation should be made about female candidates – Harris is proving herself to be a comfortable conversationalist, bubbly and engaging, and prone to openly cackling at her own wisecracks.
In other words, she’s likable,” David Catanese wrote in a U.S. News report.
The Harris book tour is adding speculation that she plans to enter the race, but Michelle Obama also had a book tour, and the former FLOTUS’s popularity has fuelled speculation she too would run for president .
The perception is that Harris being groomed by the same big-money donors that clustered around Hillary Clinton. Harris is mistrusted by the left mostly because of her roots as a prosecutor, The Week reported.
Harris announced in April that she will no longer accept donations from corporate PACs. She said the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which allowed corporations to make unlimited political contributions, resulted in an “outsized influence” on politics.
Harris needs to be questioned on whether she supports the continued apartheid in Palestine — “something that is inconsistent with African American values,” Jamarlin Martin wrote in a Moguldom editorial.
In choosing Oakland, Harris’ advisors seem to want to create some distance with San Francisco.
“San Francisco is viewed as a very nutty place by people outside of California, and frankly, by a lot of people inside California,” said Darry Sragow, a Democratic strategist and political science teacher at USC, according to KCBS.
Harris was born in Oakland and raised in Berkeley before her parents divorced and she moved with her mother and sister to Montreal, Canada. Berkley has also been dismissed by her strategists as not projecting the image they’re looking for, KCBS reported. That leaves Oakland, where Harris returned after law school to become a deputy district attorney for Alameda County.
“The city (Oakland), one of the nation’s most diverse, is seen as on the rise,” Doug Sovern wrote for KCBS. “Launching her national campaign there would let Harris emphasize her roots and identify with the hardscrabble city’s gritty energy, creativity and even the Golden State Warriors, who’ve won three NBA championships since 2015.”
Harris is going to be a force to be reckoned with, said Minyon Moore, a former aide to Hillary Clinton. Harris “has a great command of the issues, mixed with a lot of wit,” Moore said.
Although Harris will have a strong campaign presence in California, her team wants its national campaign headquarters to be on the East Coast, wrote Phil Matier of the San Francisco Chronicle. “One reason is that the national cable news outlets, which have become increasingly critical to presidential campaign exposure, all operate on Eastern Time,” Matier wrote.
But Harris needs to get her show on the road in the first quarter or risk getting lost in the expected herd of Democratic candidates.
“Running for president is all about the perception of momentum,” University of San Francisco political science Professor James Taylor said. “Right now, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden are the only candidates with double-digit support in national polls.