[260] Kamala Harris
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[260] Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris has dropped out of the presidential race.

And with her, went the Democrats’ best hope of defeating Trump.

In my judgment, Harris entered the race as clearly the strongest potential candidate among the Democrats. Three reasons for that.  First, she is a woman of color, and that counts for plenty in an era of identity politics. She also has minimal baggage. She has never held a truly lofty executive political office like that of governor, cabinet member, or mayor of a large city, one in which opponents can tie her to unpopular policies of the past, or a faulty track record. She was Attorney General of CA, but that is a comparatively minor office when set against the national landscape.

Perhaps most important, she is stunningly attractive. As politically incorrect as such a statement may be, physical attractiveness carries heavy political currency. See JFK, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama.

Yet she is one of the first out. What happened?  Two things, neither of which has anything to do with race, despite the Senators’ public statements to the contrary. First, she undercut the vote-getting value of her attractiveness by adopting an often hostile, confrontational demeanor, one that repelled rather than drew people toward her. In short, she tried to be tough rather than warm, often displaying a traditional male “tough-guy” persona, rather than a more likeable style like that of Tulsi Gabbard or Amy Klobuchar.

Second, she ran in the wrong direction—to the extreme left, where the largest pack of Dems resided, rather than to the center where her only real rival would have been a faltering Joe Biden.

Kamala Harris is a human political object lesson. In politics you do two things—play to your strengths and position yourself where the voters are. Oh, I can hear some of you saying, “Isn’t the latter disingenuous?  Shouldn’t a candidate express her real views?” In a word, yes, but I greatly doubt Harris’ hyper left-wing utterances were altogether genuine. Her behavior smacked more of trying to keep pace with the liberal pack in their collective, frantic sprint leftward that deep-set political sincerity.

Kamala Harris proved neither likable nor smart.  And without those two, you go home early.  DC

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