Why Kamala Dropped Out and What She Can Do Now


kamalaharrisCalifornia Sen. Kamala Harris quit the presidential race Tuesday not because, as she put it, “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.” She dropped out because Democratic primary voters had come to see her as an empty pantsuit.

As Calbuzz pointed out early and repeatedly, Harris has positions, not convictions.

She tried to present herself as a somewhat progressive – a sort of lefty moderate – but was always triangulating her stance on issues, from school busing to health care, always seeking a position that would work to her advantage.

“After watching her in San Francisco and California for more than a decade, we truly don’t know whether she operates from a core of cogent and steadfast political values — or merely from a concatenation of constant calculation as to what position most benefits her politically,” we told our readers months ago.

By dropping out now, she can remove her name from the California primary ballot and avoid an embarrassing fourth or fifth place finish in her home state. Least-favorite Daughter is not a strong credential on your political resume.

Getting out now also sets her up as a potential vice-presidential choice – although she might help a ticket demographically more than geographically – or as a possible cabinet member in a Democratic administration. A lack of authenticity might not be so debilitating for a secondary position.

If she were to endorse former Vice President Biden – whom she attacked in the first Democratic debate – she could rehabilitate herself and maybe get herself picked as his running mate, if he wins the nomination. If Biden would forgive her.

“Kamala Harris is an incredible talent with unlimited potential. Her career has been defined by taking on those who abuse power and seeking equity and justice for all people. Her intellect and insight will continue to be needed by the Democratic Party and the country,” Biden tweeted Tuesday afternoon. So who knows?

Harris kept saying she would take the case to President Donald Trump. But that presumed there would be a debate – which Trump would be under no obligation to accept. As a free agent with a megaphone, she can still help her party and the country by campaigning against Trump. That’s what she promised to do in her drop-out statement:

“I want to be clear: although I am no longer running for President, I will do everything in my power to defeat Donald Trump and fight for the future of our country and the best of who we are.”

If she is committed to that goal and continues to add her voice, she can make a valuable contribution.

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There are 2 comments for this post

  1. avatar kpminott says:

    Hi Phil,
    Yesterday, at a raucous holiday party, one of the trivia answers is that Kamala has suspended her campaign, not dropped out. In the interest of transparency, it’s my duty to tell you this question was created by the funny, smart and always delightful, Debbie. So … suspended OR dropped out/folded her tent/spending more time with family/nada campaign? Asking for a friend …

    • avatar pjhackenflack says:

      Debbie is right that Kamala has “suspended” her campaign. But this is campaign-speak for dropping off the face of the primary map. She may continue to speak out on issues and play some role (outside of the Senate chambers) in Trump’s impeachment trial, but her campaign for president is finito. Now, her campaign for vice president could possibly come alive and her funds and structure (if there are any left) could swing into action for that office.

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