When all else fails for Democrats, there are always the race and/or sexism cards to trot out.
Senator Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign has seen highs and lows since she officially entered the race back in January. Yet outside of the two-week time frame after the first Democratic debate where her campaign looked unstoppable, it’s been mostly lows.
So how does a Democratic candidate, who has run out of excuses for why she can’t recapture her brief flirtation with momentum, explain away her campaign woes?
Trot out the trusty, dusty race and sexism cards, that’s what.
Harris recently sat down for an interview with Axios about her campaign. She said a number of things that simply don’t add up:
Kamala Harris says running for president as a woman of color in the 2020 election is different than running as a black man or as a white woman and that the question of electability has emerged as “the elephant in the room about my campaign.”
Why it matters: In an interview with “Axios on HBO,” the California senator, stuck around 5th place in Democratic presidential primary polls, says there’s still time to regain momentum to crack the top three in the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3. She was mostly guarded in her remarks, but spoke more spontaneously on questions about race and her law-and-order background.
“Of course” it’s different to run for president as a black woman, she said. “When there is not a reference point for who can do what, there is a lack of ability or a difficulty in imagining that someone who we have never seen can do a job that has been done, you know, forty-five times by someone who is not that person.”
“I have also started to perhaps be more candid” or speak with “a candor in terms of the politics of race in the way that I’m talking during my town halls and in my rallies.”
Watch Harris boil down her campaign problems to the fact that she’s a woman of color:
It really doesn’t get much more pathetic than this, folks.
At this stage in the game, Harris and the rest of the Democratic field are trying to win over Democratic primary voters, naturally, because that’s how the process works. First, you win a lot of primaries. Second, if you have the required number of delegates then you win the nomination.
So she’s basically accusing voters in her own party of not being ready to see a woman of color in the role of president. This in spite of the fact that a black man won the Democratic nomination in 2008 and ultimately the presidency. A woman won their nomination in 2016. Plus, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is now sitting alongside Joe Biden at the top of the pack.
Doesn’t it stand to reason that if Democratic voters are willing to elevate a woman to the top tier in the last two presidential primary cycles and a black man to the nomination back in 2008 that they would be more receptive to a woman of color this time around if she had a message that appealed to them?
Let’s take a look at a few facts that demolish Harris’ argument about “electability” as it relates to being a woman of color.
Two areas where her campaign has been hit the hardest is in Democratic support from … female voters and black voters. Back in August, an analysis of poll numbers over a period of several weeks showed a dramatic drop nationally in support from those two crucial Democratic voting blocs.
Secondly, her campaign has not performed well in South Carolina, which has a large percentage of Democratic African-American voters. Are they rejecting her on the basis of the fact she’s a WOC? I don’t think so.
The “elephant in the room” for Harris is her incompetence at closing the deal. It’s absurd to be talking about racism as her biggest obstacle when Harris can’t even get into double digits in the same state that elected her to the Senate.
Now, Harris has won statewide elections in California three times — in 2010 and 2014 as attorney general, and then in 2016 to the US Senate. Harris barely won in her first election 46/45 in a six-way race, but got 56% on her re-election bid four years later and then 61.6% in her win to the US Senate — over a Hispanic Democrat, thanks to California’s all-in primary system. Are we to conclude that Californians only recently found out that Harris is a “woman of color”?
The bottom line is that Democratic voters aren’t rejecting Harris because she’s a woman. They’re not rejecting her because she’s a woman of color. They’re rejecting her because on any given day Harris switches her stances on issues of importance to Democratic voters. Her continued attacks on Joe Biden after the first debate didn’t help her, either.
Harris can play the woman of color card all she wants to, but it’s irrelevant to the actual issues that have plagued her campaign. The reality is that her message is not resonating with Democratic voters. It’s just that simple.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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