Kamala Harris, The Front-Runner, This is What Tough

Looks Like and I think She is Itching For a Fight…

Kamala Harris is emerging as the front-runner to be Joe Biden’s running mate for one reason above all others: She is the only female African-American possibility who has the political experience typical of vice presidents.

Biden has promised to choose a woman. The current reckoning with racism — as well as the importance of black turnout — has led many Democrats to say he should choose a black running mate. And Harris is a high-profile senator who has also been California’s attorney general.

All of the other potential black female candidates are lighter on national political experience than any modern vice president. Stacey Abrams’s highest job was in the Georgia state legislature. Susan Rice has never held elected office. Others have served as mayors or in the House.

Among them, only Harris would avoid debate about whether she was ready to take over as president, a relevant question given that Biden is 77 years old. Harris also has a classic vice-presidential skill — a talent for making a sharp case against the other party — and she seems to have a personal rapport with Biden.

But like every other candidate, she has downsides, too. As The Times’s Nate Cohn put it, Harris is “at once a fairly obvious choice and a somewhat complicated one.” She rose to prominence as a prosecutor when mass incarceration and police behavior were more widely accepted. The Washington Post reported this week that Biden aides believe that Harris “increasingly makes sense” — but added that many progressive activists say she “could dampen the excitement that is crucial to the Democrats in November.”



ATCH 05-07-2020