First, let’s discuss the positives regarding Kamala Harris. She is the third woman, and first one of color, to be selected to run on a national ticket. (Can you name the others? See answers below.) That is a milestone of which all Americans should be proud. If the Biden-Harris ticket were to win, in my opinion, that, combined with having elected an African American president twice, should put to bed once and for all the false narrative that Americans are racist and misogynistic. It probably won’t as Dems find it useful to trot out those accusations when it suits them, but it should.
Kamala Devi Harris was born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland, CA. Her background is quite interesting. Many people don’t realize that technically, she is not African American. Her mother, is a scientist who had emigrated from India; her father is a university professor of economics who had emigrated from Jamaica. She is not a “rags to riches” story as some have portrayed. She had what I would consider to be a middle class upbringing in the Berkeley, CA area. She is a graduate of Howard University and the UC Hastings College of the Law. Before being elected to the US Senate in 2016 she served as district attorney in Alameda County and the City of San Francisco as well as Attorney General of the State of California.
Historically, the VP nominee has had little impact on the presidential election, itself. Generally, voters focus on the candidate for president, and rightly so. Most VP nominees have been plucked from obscurity to “balance” the ticket in some way, either ideologically or geographically. After the election, most of them are soon forgotten. Only four vice presidents have subsequently won election for president in their own right, How many can you name? See below.
That said, I believe that given concerns among many voters about Joe Biden’s health, stamina and cognitive abilities, 2020 may be an exception. To me, the current situation is reminiscent of the 1944 election. Although most voters were not aware of it FDR was in ill health and unlikely to complete the term, Therefore, it was likely that Harry Truman would ascend to the presidency at some point. I view the current situation as being similar. Although voters should focus primarily on Trump and Biden, Harris’ qualifications merit close scrutiny as well.
I see three major issues. (1) What kind of VP would she make; (2) will she help, hurt or have an negligible effect on Biden’s candidacy; and (3) what are her qualifications to be president if, as many suspect, Biden does not complete his term?
My comments with respect to Harris’ are as follows:
- I view her as the “teflon candidate.” Criticize her at your risk. Don’t be surprised if any criticism of her or her policies is characterized by the Dems and/or the liberal media as either “racist” or “misogynistic.”
- I am not sure what, if any, power base she brings to the ticket. California is a solidly blue state already, and I can’t identify what other states she might deliver for the ticket.
- When she was CA AG she was accused of protecting her campaign contributors to the detriment of the citizens of CA. For instance, she has long been accused of acting in the best interests of the Silicon Valley tech moguls, like twitter, Facebook, among others. This could become a significant issue as these companies have virtual monopolies relative to the dissemination of information, to the detriment of our right to free speech. Moreover, she declined to investigate Planned Parenthood, another of her significant backers, regarding the alleged sale of body parts of aborted fetuses.
- Her policies are strongly liberal, if not radically left. She has fully embraced the policies espoused by the Sanders-AOC wing of the Party. For example, she supports the Green New Deal, reparations, Black Lives Matter, defunding the police, free healthcare for everyone, including undocumented persons, slashing military spending, socialized medicine, and open borders. She is against fracking, private healthcare insurance and charter schools.
- I can’t think of any significant bill she sponsored during her tenure in the Senate.
- She has characterized ICE as a “domestic terrorist” organization; yet, she has not condemned or even spoken out against the rioters, looters and criminals who have been destroying our cities.
- Many voters see her as inauthentic. She seems to change her positions whenever it is expedient to do so. Even the NY Times has pointed this out. As an example, during one debate she famously skewered Biden for his claiming that Robert Byrd, a known KKK member and sympathizer and virulent segregationist, was a “mentor” and for his kind words with respect to other notorious “segregation senators,” such as Strom Thurmond and James Eastland. Furthermore, she sharply criticized him for giving a eulogy at Byrd’s funeral. In addition she criticized his stance on busing and crime. Now, when it suits her, she’s willing to put aside the foregoing and be his running mate. My favorite of her “flip-flops,” however, is with respect to allowing teenagers to vote. Recently, she has spoken out in favor of giving teenagers as young as 16 the right to vote, but not long ago in an interview on that issue she denigrated 16 year-olds as “stupid.”
- She’s been twisting the facts about the pandemic, blaming President Trump, for the 160,000 plus pandemic-related deaths of American citizens. Anyone who has been paying attention knows there is plenty of blame to go around including state governors, medical professionals and especially China.
- She has characterized President Trump as “soft” on terrorism, which is simply an outright lie and laughable.
- In the primaries she did not demonstrate strong popularity even among Dem voters. She consistently polled in the single digits and had to drop out even before the first primary.
- Even among blacks her poll numbers were not that great, possibly due to her record as California AG.
I don’t think Harris is qualified to be president from the standpoint of either experience or ideology. She has no experience running anything, a state, a business, or anything else. Moreover, as I demonstrated above she is considerably to the “left” of the mainstream. She and her supporters will try to hide this and portray her as a “moderate.” After she was selected the NY Times characterized her as a “pragmatic moderate.” Huh? I don’t even know what that is, but clearly she is not any kind of moderate, nor is Biden by the way. Forget labels. Just look at the policies they support.
Answers to quiz questions:
- Geraldine Ferraro (1984) & Sarah Palin (2008)
- John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren, and George H. W. Bush