Kamala Harris Set To Enter Presidential Race On Martin Luther King Jr. Day

California Senator Kamala Harris is set to enter the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination later this month.

California Senator Kamala Harris, who has been in office since being elected in 2016, will reportedly enter the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination on Martin Luther King Jr. Day: 

Sen. Kamala Harris is finalizing plans to announce her entry into the 2020 presidential race around Martin Luther King Day, multiple outlets reported late Wednesday night citing sources close to the California Democrat.

Harris would be the fourth person so far to join the race for the Democratic nomination, though that number is expected to balloon to dozens of candidates by the time campaign season kicks into full swing.

Harris and her aides are still working out the final details of her announcement rally, including the date, which could be Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 21, CBS News reported.

Advisers to Harris do not want to link the senator too closely to San Francisco, but they still prefer the Bay Area to be the backdrop for her rally, per CBS’ reporting.

“San Francisco is viewed as a very nutty place by people outside of California, and frankly, by a lot of people inside California,” Democratic strategist Darry Sragow, who teaches political science at the University of Southern California, told CBS News.

Harris was born in Oakland and began her public career as a two-term district attorney there.

Though California is Harris’ home state, her team wants to locate its headquarters on the East Coast, near the major cable news outlets and within quicker flying distance to some of the early Midwestern and East Coast primaries and caucuses, such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

One source told Roll Call that Baltimore, with its three nearby airports and close proximity to Washington, stands atop the shortlist.

The city is a 40-minute train ride and roughly an hourlong drive from Washington, allowing Harris more flexibility to make it back to the Capitol on short notice for votes in the Senate.

A Baltimore headquarters would also allow staffers who join the campaign to commute from their homes and apartments in Washington instead of having to find new housing in another part of the country.

Harris has been on tour recently promoting her new memoir, “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey,” a milestone for many recent major party nominees for president.

At a book event Wednesday night at George Washington University in D.C., Harris batted away reporters’ questions about a pending 2020 announcement.

In the first CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll of the cycle of likely Iowa caucus-goers last month, Harris had support from 5 percent of those surveyed, placing her fifth among the field of 20.

Harris was coy about confirming these reports in an appearance on Morning Joe this morning, and was more interested in talking about the ongoing government shutdown, the reports this morning that the President may divert money from disaster relief allocated to California and other parts of the country to pay for her wall, and the two books that she has put out in recent weeks in advance of a Presidential announcement. This is, of course, understandable since its likely that she and her supporters are eying some kind of high-publicity announcement a week from Monday when she formally enters the race, but the fact that she’s been visiting Iowa, talking to potential campaign staff, and making herself more available to the national media makes it clear what her intentions are.

Prior to being elected to the Senate in 2016, Harris served since 2011 as Attorney General of California and, for eight years before that, as District Attorney of San Francisco. Since winning election to the Senate, Harris has been mentioned as a potential Presidential candidate notwithstanding what remains a rather thin resume and level of experience. Inevitably, there have been several analogies drawn between her and former President Barack Obama notwithstanding the fact that their level of experience and their prominence on the national scene were quite different at the respective times in their political careers. Additionally, the fact that Harris comes from the West Coast rather than the Midwest as President Obama did is potentially a mark against her in an election year where Democrats are clearly going to be interested in winning back the working class voters they lost to Trump in 2016.

In any case, Harris has been working to increase her national profile inside the Democratic Party by traveling to several early primary states to speak at party events and by campaigning for Democratic candidates in the just-concluded midterm elections. Additionally, she received significant national attention and praise from fellow Democrats for her questioning of Justice Brett Kavanaugh both during the first round of substantive hearings and during the reopened hearings aimed at investigating the allegations made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford At the time, though, some critics accused both her and fellow Senator Cory Booker of grandstanding for the cameras and the national hearing during the course of the hearings.

In any case, Harris is still relatively unknown even inside the Democratic Party so it’s hard to judge how she’ll come across if she does end up running, especially if she’s running against far better-known candidates such as Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. One advantage Harris does have over these other candidates, of course, is her youth, something that could be appealing to voters looking to hand power to a new generation of leaders rather than nominating and potentially electing another Baby Boomer.

 

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Hal_10000 says:

    Very appropriate date. MLK, if nothing else, dreamed of a world where prisoners were corporate/state slaves, racially-disparate laws against drugs and sex work were rigidly enforced, free expression was crushed, police scandals were covered up and prisons were stuffed to the gills with non-violent offenders.

    Oh … wait.

    ReplyReply
  2. James Pearce says:

    Will she call her PAC “The Committee to Re-Elect the President?”

    ReplyReply
    4
    22
  3. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Worst. Kept. Secret. Ever.

    She is all over every show in the last 48 hours. GMA, The View, Colbert, etc.

    Supposedly promoting her book, but her book is a preface to her run.

    ReplyReply
  4. Gustopher says:

    Stepping on MLK Jr’s toes is kind of a rude thing to do. I hope she picks another day. It’s tacky.

    At the time, though, some critics accused both her and fellow Senator Cory Booker of grandstanding for the cameras and the national hearing during the course of the hearings.

    Any claims of grandstanding should be weighed against Senator Graham’s angry speech apologizing to Kavanaugh for even pretending to take accusations seriously. That man was hysterical and unhinged. He was the second angriest man in the room, right after the guy who kept shouting “I like beer! Do you like beer?” as some kind of threat.

    ReplyReply
  5. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I watched her on Morning Joe, yesterday.
    They asked her why she wanted to be President, and she gave a brief, thoughtful, answer. It seemed heartfelt.
    But it wasn’t a goddamned bumper sticker. Why can’t Democrats do bumper stickers?
    You aren’t going to beat Individual-1 if you can’t do a bumper sticker.
    That’s the entire attention span of the Wall-Nuts…a bumper sticker.

    ReplyReply
  6. Kylopod says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    You aren’t going to beat Individual-1 if you can’t do a bumper sticker.

    You don’t think Obama could beat Trump? He never spoke like a bumper sticker.

    (I mean, sure, he used simple campaign slogans like “Yes we can” and “Change we can believe in”–but all candidates do that.)

    ReplyReply
  7. Michael Reynolds says:

    Will she call her PAC “The Committee to Re-Elect the President?”

    For people who think I was mistaken to suggest Pearce hates women. She must lose because women must lose because men must rule so that Pearce can feel good about himself. He’s a garden variety misogynist. That’s why he refuses to ever take a stand or explain his policy preferences or even his ideology, because he’s just another desperately insecure white male who can’t stand losing what he thinks of as his rights.

    ReplyReply
    12
    3
  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    You know, Pearce, if you can’t find a woman to be with, it’s you. I met my wife while I was a fugitive, having just a few weeks earlier been living under a freeway overpass. It ain’t because I look like Brad Pitt. But I have a secret weapon: I like women. More than I like men, frankly, they get smart faster, they don’t feel the need to be loudly obnoxious, and they don’t generally center their lives on some fcking football team.

    Stop blaming the world for your inadequacy. Change your head, dude, grow the fck up, stop being so insecure, and stop hating others for your weaknesses. Climb the psychological evolutionary ladder a couple of steps, you’ll be surprised how much easier it is to get along with that other half of the human race.

    ReplyReply
    7
    3
  9. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds: If you are not prepared to have women candidates criticized on the merits, you are not ready for women candidates.

    I don’t like Harris because of her prosecutorial record. I also don’t want the Dem nominee to come from the Senate or from California.

    You can continue on with your “We’ll get a POC or a woman and just call everyone who opposes them racist or sexist,” but that’s how we got Trump. That’s how we’ll get more Trump.

    I like women too, especially my mom, so with all due respect, take your half-assed Freud act back to the dollar store you got it from.

    ReplyReply
    3
    7
  10. Tyrell says:

    “San Francisco is viewed as a very nutty place” That is an understatement if there ever was.
    Senator Harris: “yes or no?” “yes or no?” “yes or no?”

    ReplyReply
    1
    9
  11. wr says:

    Going to see her speak at 92Y tonight. Curious to see if I’ll be won over…

    ReplyReply
  12. wr says:

    @James Pearce: ” I also don’t want the Dem nominee to come from the Senate or from California.”

    Well, yeah. It’s pretty clear you only want a Dem nominee to come from Trump Tower.

    ReplyReply
    10
    1
  13. James Pearce says:

    @wr:

    Going to see her speak at 92Y tonight. Curious to see if I’ll be won over…

    Sounds like you already are…

    Don’t you have to buy her book to get tix?

    Well, yeah. It’s pretty clear you only want a Dem nominee to come from Trump Tower.

    With each passing day, this is becoming truer and truer.

    ReplyReply
    1
    8
  14. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:

    I don’t like Harris because of her prosecutorial record. I also don’t want the Dem nominee to come from the Senate or from California.

    You didn’t say you objected to Kamala, you implied she was a sure loser. One is policy, the other is electability. You object to her prosecutorial record? BS.

    And no Californians and no Senators. Whaddya know? That just happens to eliminate every serious female candidate. In fact, it’s worse than that, it eliminates all but two of the top-10 mentions: Castro and Beto. (Time for you to find a rule against names ending in vowels?)

    Expand the list a bit and you can also add McCauliffe, Garcetti, Landrieu and Bloomberg. Are Hickenlooper and Bullock your guys? Jump on those bandwagons early: both white, both male, neither’s been in the senate, and they aren’t Californians.

    But interestingly, you’ve managed to eliminate from consideration 100% of the women running. No Warren, no Harris, no Klobuchar, no Gillibrand, just men. By sheer coincidence you’ve managed to create totally random and inexplicable limitations that just happen to eliminate women. Gosh, what are the odds? And of course no Hillary. And we know you hate Pelosi, so no Nancy.

    You need to get back on light rail and use your previously-announced psychic powers to decide who they like. Do let us know.

    ReplyReply
    11
    1
  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:

    With each passing day, this is becoming truer and truer.

    Well, we can’t say you didn’t warn us! My God, people, let’s get together and see if we can get Pearce to support a Democrat, because he is The Decider.

    Phony.

    ReplyReply
    6
    1
  16. I suspect some of the push back here (and that we will see elsewhere) is based on the notion that Trump can only be beaten by a white dude.

    I don’t buy that, BTW, but we are going to hear a lot of it for the next year or so.

    ReplyReply
    4
    1
  17. James Pearce says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: No, it’s based on the notion that Trump can only be beaten by someone who has experience running a state. It doesn’t have to be a white man.

    ReplyReply
    2
    7
  18. An Interested Party says:

    Trump can only be beaten by someone who has experience running a state.

    Why?

    ReplyReply
  19. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Found you a new candidate, Michael.

    ReplyReply
    1
    3
  20. James Pearce says:

    @An Interested Party: Because swing voters do not share the left’s prejudices and some of them care about “executive experience.”

    ReplyReply
    1
    5
  21. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    And no Californians and no Senators. Whaddya know? That just happens to eliminate every serious female candidate. In fact, it’s worse than that, it eliminates all but two of the top-10 mentions: Castro and Beto.

    All other things being equal, I would want a governor as well. Someone who has executive experience, and knows the powers and limitations of the job.

    Senator or Representative would be ok, in a pinch, I guess, and that’s what we are likely to end up with, but I’d rather have a governor.

    Are Hickenlooper and Bullock your guys? Jump on those bandwagons early: both white, both male, neither’s been in the senate, and they aren’t Californians.

    Never mind Bullock, here’s Hickenlooper.

    We’re loopy for Hickenlooper! Hickenloopermania will strike, mark my words.

    ReplyReply
  22. Gustopher says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I suspect that white and male is worth a few percentage points, at least. Ignoring the blatant racists and misogynists, who I assume are already locked in for Trump, people have a bias towards what they know and are comfortable with.

    I think a woman or person of color can win anyway, but they would have a mild disadvantage out of the gate.

    Also, if Trump is the reaction to a black president, I would be a little scared of the reaction to a woman President. Just… I don’t trust people.

    A charismatic, exceptional woman is going to do better than a mediocre man though.

    ReplyReply
  23. Tyrell says:

    @Gustopher: I have a name. Someone who has executive experience, highly respected, and successful: Mr. Jerry Jones. A man who can get things done.

    ReplyReply
    1
    10
  24. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    @James Pearce:

    You just said this:

    to have women candidates criticized on the merits

    Then you proceeded to provide two of three reasons that are not based on merit.

    ReplyReply
    9
    1
  25. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: SMH [sigh…]

    ReplyReply
  26. An Interested Party says:

    Because swing voters do not share the left’s prejudices and some of them care about “executive experience.”

    Oh really? Just a little over 10 years ago plenty of swing voters cast their ballots for someone who had little to no “executive experience”…and considering all the executive experience the current occupant of the White House supposedly has, well, perhaps that experience is somewhat overrated…

    Also, if Trump is the reaction to a black president, I would be a little scared of the reaction to a woman President. Just… I don’t trust people.

    How about the right candidate who will be the reaction to Trump…

    ReplyReply
  27. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    Has Tulsi Gabbard been a governor? Has she run a state? So there’s yet another woman you’ll eliminate. Right?

    ReplyReply
    3
    1
  28. Scott F. says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I’ll reserve my candidate selection until the primary campaigns start to play out and we learn more about where each of the candidates stand on issues and how well they stump. But, the “only a white dude” idea is so pernicious and ugly, it must be fought tooth and nail from the beginning.

    Also, if Senator Harris emerges from the primaries as the Democratic candidate, I will support her with every ounce of my energy and every spare moment of my time. Because, if the US should elect a someone who is a woman AND a POC as POTUS in response to Trump, it would make the Deplorables’ collective heads explode. We get a strong Dem President and at the same time, cull the population of a retrograde demographic. That would be worth fighting for.

    ReplyReply
  29. James Pearce says:

    @Eric the OTB Lurker:

    Then you proceeded to provide two of three reasons that are not based on merit.

    That may be, but three out of three reasons have nothing to do with her being a woman, so….

    @Michael Reynolds: Well, she’s not a Senator, and she’s not from California…but no, I don’t support Tulsi Gabbard either. Now if Nikki Haley were to run…

    @An Interested Party:

    Just a little over 10 years ago plenty of swing voters cast their ballots for someone who had little to no “executive experience”

    <–This is why I think the "executive experience" thing will be important the next time around.

    @Scott F.:

    Because, if the US should elect a someone who is a woman AND a POC as POTUS in response to Trump, it would make the Deplorables’ collective heads explode.

    This is not a healthy attitude to have.

    ReplyReply
    2
    2
  30. Lounsbury says:

    Well I had thought you lot were being stupidly unreasonable about Pearce, but his evolution these last months…

    In any case, look forward to seeing if she has public charisma à l’Obama or Mr Clinton. That’s your key challenge – someone with the reassuring ease to pull in an extra 5-10% of the centre vote ex-Coastal areas where you already rack-up unneeded margin, rather than appealing to your Lefty core (as frankly if the Orange cretin and the example of the last two years doesn’t motivate and highlight the real differences and positive of a rational centre-to-centre-Left over an irrational atavistic nativist right, well… you’re hopeless).

    She seems plausible, but now to see if she has the public persona to pull it off.

    ReplyReply
  31. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I’ve read through this, and it seems germane to bring up this article:

    Conservative Men Are Obsessed With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Science Tells Us Why.

    Conservatives tend to respond to fear more strongly than liberals do, according to Bobby Azarian, a neuroscientist whose expertise in anxiety has led him to examine political behaviors. His research has found that the brains of conservative people are likely to display the same attention biases as the brains of people with anxiety.
    “The one main cognitive difference is that conservatives are more sensitive to threat,” he said. “Their fears are sometimes exaggerated. I think they fear her.”
    Ocasio-Cortez’s power is a direct threat to conservatives because her very existence in Congress as a young, Latina, working-class woman threatens to upend the social order that has kept white men in the ruling class for centuries. (Eighty-eight percent of House Republicans are white men, most are over the age of 50, and the party’s voters are majority white and male.) On top of that, she is using her position and platform to directly challenge that order ― to attempt to get money out of politics, raise taxes on the super-rich and level the playing field.
    “She doesn’t just challenge the patriarchy, she’s challenging the race, class, and gender hierarchies all at once, as well as the capitalist system that requires member of Congress be wealthy before they get there,” said Caroline Heldman, a gender and politics professor at Occidental College. “That’s remarkably threatening.”

    So, in short: Change is hard. And scary.

    Especially for Conservatives. Especially with women.

    ReplyReply
  32. Tyrell says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Let me say this: I am not a Cowboys fan.
    “When Jones talks, people listen”

    ReplyReply
  33. James Pearce says:

    @Lounsbury:

    Well I had thought you lot were being stupidly unreasonable about Pearce, but his evolution these last months…

    No, you were right the first time.

    @Liberal Capitalist: Conservative men are obsessed with AOC because Democrats are obsessed with her. I mean, seriously:

    “She doesn’t just challenge the patriarchy, she’s challenging the race, class, and gender hierarchies all at once.”

    She hasn’t even had a chance to do anything yet, considering she was sworn in a little over a week ago and the government’s been shut down. Susana Martinez, a Latina with two terms as governor of a state, has more claim to “challenging the race, class, and gender hierarchies all at once,” but she’s not going to get that credit because she’s a Republican.

    ReplyReply
  34. @Scott F.:

    I’ll reserve my candidate selection until the primary campaigns start to play out and we learn more about where each of the candidates stand on issues and how well they stump. But, the “only a white dude” idea is so pernicious and ugly, it must be fought tooth and nail from the beginning.

    This is very much where I am as well.

    Specifically, I have already heard enough of the “only a white dude” thesis that I wanted it pointed out.

    ReplyReply
  35. @Tyrell: I am a Cowboys’ fan, have been since the early 1970s.

    Your suggestion is asinine (and I assumed it was a joke, but since you noted it twice, I guess it isn’t).

    ReplyReply
  36. @James Pearce:

    Now if Nikki Haley were to run…

    @James Pearce:

    Susana Martinez, a Latina with two terms as governor of a state, has more claim to “challenging the race, class, and gender hierarchies all at once,” but she’s not going to get that credit because she’s a Republican.

    You know, for someone who claims to be a Democrat (or so I thought you had so claimed in the past, perhaps I am mistaken), you sound like a Republican.

    Now, understand, I am not invested in which party you adhere to, but am reassessing the honesty of the way you represented yourself in past as a moderate Democrat. Or did I get the wrong impression at some point?

    ReplyReply
  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Lounsbury: Don’t underestimate how stupid the things that a person who sees himself as “contrarian” will say. Particularly if his reactions tend to be visceral in the first place.

    ReplyReply
  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Ocasio-Cortez’s power is a direct threat to conservatives because her very existence in Congress as a young, Latina, working-class woman threatens to upend the social order that has kept white men in the ruling class for centuries.

    Boom! The irony is that most conservatives gain NOTHING from preservation of this particular social order.
    (…)
    I’m of the mind that the nation is probably still not ready to elect a woman, but I’ve been wrong before and would certainly look forward to being wrong on this.
    (…)
    @Tyrell; Still SMH. Would you get a little picture for the upper right hand corner of your posts from Gravitar for me? I can see I need to stop reading what you say and that would make you easier to avoid.

    ReplyReply
  39. Ben Wolf says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: The Democratic Party maintains, at least superficially, that it is big tent. Pro-Republican Democrats are to be expected.

    ReplyReply
  40. @Ben Wolf: Sure, and that’s fair.

    But I have a very lengthy amount of interchange with JP and something simply does not add up.

    ReplyReply
  41. James Pearce says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    You know, for someone who claims to be a Democrat (or so I thought you had so claimed in the past, perhaps I am mistaken), you sound like a Republican.

    I’m an unaffiliated liberal independent who pretty much votes Dem.

    But as the Dems have gotten less liberal, I’ve become even more unaffiliated and even more independent. (I do genuinely like Nikki Haley. I guess I’m just not a very good sexist either.)

    ReplyReply
  42. Ben Wolf says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: If Democrats can welcome in people like Max Boot then a self-professed Democrat admiring Nikki Haley makes at least as much sense, although identifying as a liberal and liking her doesn’t really track. Haley isn’t a liberal in either 19th, 20th or 21st Century terms.

    ReplyReply
  43. James Pearce says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Haley isn’t a liberal in either 19th, 20th or 21st Century terms.

    I can’t really dispute that, but she does strike me as a fair-minded and decent human being and I suspect that while we would disagree on a lot, we’d agree on so much more.

    ReplyReply
  44. An Interested Party says:

    This is not a healthy attitude to have.

    That’s amusing coming from someone who wrote the following on another thread…

    Trump is a gangster, not a toddler. If you don’t pay the protection money, the thugs will destroy your store. So don’t think of it as “giving in.” Think of it as saving yourself a lot of pain that is going to be harder to cope with than the shame of “giving in.”

    ReplyReply

Speak Your Mind

*