Kamala Harris To Decide On Presidential Run By End Of Year

The 2020 campaign is already heating up, and California Senator Kamala Harris could be one of the first serious candidates for President to throw her hat in the ring.

Kamala Harris, who has been named frequently since winning election to the Senate in 2016 as a potential Democratic candidate for President in 2020, said over the weekend that she will make a decision on whether or not to enter the race by the end of this year:

Sen. Kamala Harris said she will decide whether to run for president during the holiday season — setting the stage for an announcement from one of the Democratic field’s most highly anticipated 2020 contenders as early as the next several weeks.

“It will ultimately be a family decision,” the California lawmaker told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski during the “Know Your Value” event in San Francisco on Saturday evening.

“And over the holiday,” Harris said, “I will make that decision with my family.”

Harris ranked fifth in a November POLITICO/Morning Consult poll of Democratic voters’ preferred nominee to take on President Donald Trump’s reelection bid. Former Vice President Joe Biden was first place, followed in order by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Before being elected to the Senate in 2016, Harris had served since 2011 as Attorney General of California and, for eight years before that as District Attorney of San Francisco. Ever 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 there level of experience and their prominence on the national scene were quite different at the respective times in their political careers.

In any case, Harris has been hard at work increasing 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, Harris received 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 and other women regarding sexual abuse. 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.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. MarkedMan says:

    When the election takes place, young voter’s impressions of presidents will have formed under two presidents: the calm, competent and dignified Obama, and the shambolic wreck that is Trump. It may very well be that to them, “President” conjures up images closer to Harris then the orange Man-Boy.

  2. Ben Wolf says:

    Harris would make an excellent candidate. Her tireless efforts to preserve California’s fiscal surplus through slave labor are indicative of a smart, pragmatic progressive.

  3. MarkedMan says:

    @Ben Wolf: Tell me, Do you hold everyone in angry contempt or do you make exception for that guy in the mirror?

  4. Michael Reynolds says:

    He hasn’t been the same since Bernie lost.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Ah. So he’s a Bernie Bro? That explains the constant anger. All complaints, no solutions. Unable to get along with anyone else. It’s ok not to accomplish anything, as long you those who did in contempt as compromisers. Yep. Makes sense.

    Hey Wolf, will we ever see any Bernie tax returns earlier than 2017? Just asking for a friend…

  6. socalgirl says:

    Uhm. She’s black and young. She moves immediately to the top. Can only be replaced by a black female lesbian or trans. Obama 2.0.

  7. Michael Reynolds says:

    Is that so? Funny, because I’m a Democratic voter, activist and donor and I still seem to have all my options open.

  8. Hal_10000 says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    I kinda hope Harris runs so that people find out just what a awful fascist she truly is. Her tenure as AG was an assault on civil liberties and government accountability. The illegal attacks on Backpage, the efforts to keep California’s prisons fully stocked, the refusal to intervene when police brutality was ignored by DAs, etc., etc.

    OTOH, if she runs, there’s a chance she wins. So hopefully she’ll decline.

  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    She hasn’t done much for me, yet. We shall see. My eldest despises her for the reasons you cite.

  10. Neil J Hudelson says:


    Her tenure as AG was an assault on civil liberties and government accountability. The illegal attacks on Backpage, the efforts to keep California’s prisons fully stocked, the refusal to intervene when police brutality was ignored by DAs, etc., etc.

    100% this. Unless/until Bernie or Hillary jump in, Kamala is at the very bottom of the list of People I Would Vote For Over Mangolini.

  11. Tyrell says:

    “yes or no?”

  12. Ben Wolf says:


    ‘What is Freedom?—ye can tell
    That which slavery is, too well—
    For its very name has grown
    To an echo of your own.

    ‘’Tis to work and have such pay
    As just keeps life from day to day
    In your limbs, as in a cell
    For the tyrants’ use to dwell,

    ‘So that ye for them are made
    Loom, and plough, and sword, and spade,
    With or without your own will bent
    To their defence and nourishment.

    ‘’Tis to see your children weak
    With their mothers pine and peak,
    When the winter winds are bleak,—
    They are dying whilst I speak.

    ‘’Tis to hunger for such diet
    As the rich man in his riot
    Casts to the fat dogs that lie
    Surfeiting beneath his eye ;

    ‘’Tis to let the Ghost of Gold
    Take from Toil a thousandfold
    More than e’er its substance could
    In the tyrannies of old.

    ‘’Tis to be a slave in soul
    And to hold no strong control
    Over your own wills, but be
    All that others make of ye.

    ‘And at length when ye complain
    With a murmur weak and vain
    ’Tis to see the Tyrant’s crew
    Ride over your wives and you—
    Blood is on the grass like dew.

    ‘Then it is to feel revenge
    Fiercely thirsting to exchange
    Blood for blood—and wrong for wrong—
    Do not thus when ye are strong.

    ‘Birds find rest, in narrow nest
    When weary of their wingèd quest ;
    Beasts find fare, in woody lair
    When storm and snow are in the air.

    ‘Horses, oxen, have a home,
    When from daily toil they come ;
    Household dogs, when the wind roars,
    Find a home within warm doors.’

    ‘Asses, swine, have litter spread
    And with fitting food are fed ;
    All things have a home but one—
    Thou, Oh, Englishman, hast none !

    ‘This is Slavery—savage men,
    Or wild beasts within a den
    Would endure not as ye do—
    But such ills they never knew.

    ‘What art thou, Freedom ? O ! could slaves
    Answer from their living graves
    This demand—tyrants would flee
    Like a dream’s imagery :

  13. Tyrell says:

    @socalgirl: She seems intelligent, but has the temperament of a Chicago Bears linebacker. She might be better suited as a Navy Admiral. Or in charge of a middle school behavior room.

  14. Michael Reynolds says:

    Ben also knows all the words to the Internationale. He’s getting ready to march on the Winter Palace.

  15. Ben Wolf says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    A rushing light of clouds and splendour,
    A sense awakening and yet tender
    Was heard and felt—and at its close
    These words of joy and fear arose

    As if their own indignant Earth
    Which gave the sons of England birth
    Had felt their blood upon her brow,
    And shuddering with a mother’s throe

    Had turned every drop of blood
    By which her face had been bedewed
    To an accent unwithstood,—
    As if her heart cried out aloud :

    ‘Men of England, heirs of Glory,
    Heroes of unwritten story,
    Nurslings of one mighty Mother,
    Hopes of her, and one another ;

    ‘Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number.
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you—
    Ye are many—they are few.