US Senator Kamala Harris launched her presidential bid to great fanfare in January 2019, but her campaign faltered over the next several months and she became one of the most high-profile Democratic candidates to drop out of the race Photo: AFP/File
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Democrat Kamala Harris ends 2020 White House bid

31 Comments
By SAUL LOEB

Democrat trailblazer Kamala Harris pulled the plug on her U.S. presidential campaign Tuesday after a promising start to her bid was eroded by underperforming in a crowded field and a failure to raise sufficient funds.

The exit of the progressive senator leaves 15 candidates in the battle to see who challenges President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.

"I've taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life," the 55-year-old Californian told supporters in an email.

"My campaign for president simply doesn't have the financial resources we need to continue."

Her departure, following weeks of campaign turmoil, shines a light on the disruptive potential of a self-funding candidate like billionaire Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York.

Having stagnated in fifth place in polling, with under four percent support, Harris was bumped to sixth spot after Bloomberg's recent entry.

"I'm not a billionaire. I can't fund my own campaign," Harris said. "As the campaign has gone on, it's become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete."

It was a parting swat at Bloomberg and billionaire activist Tom Steyer, both of whom have spent millions of dollars in broadcast and online advertising.

It was also a telling revelation about the piles of cash that candidates need to mount a viable campaign in today's heated political environment.

"Kamala is right -- our system is deeply broken when billionaires can buy their way in," tweeted liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of several presidential hopefuls to quickly thank Harris for her campaign.

Harris has been a political ground-breaker, only the second black woman elected to the Senate.

She rocketed into White House contention with a stirring campaign launch in January, on Martin Luther King Jr's birthday, before 20,000 onlookers. But her prospects slid in recent months as she struggled to define her positions on domestic issues including health care.

She antagonized voters by suggesting in January, and again in a debate, that she sought to eliminate private health insurance to make way for universal health coverage.

Harris is one of the biggest names to date to leave the race, along with former congressman Beto O'Rourke of Texas and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Harris has been a fierce Trump critic, directly assailing the embattled president and repeatedly calling for his impeachment.

She also jousted with Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden in the party's first presidential debate, in June, when she attacked him on his positions on race and school busing.

It provided a breakout for the candidate, who saw her support rise to -- and peak at -- 15 percent in polling.

But that viral moment proved to be a strategic miscalculation; she suffered a months-long slide while Biden's support largely held steady.

Harris recently invoked the need to rebuild the "Obama coalition" -- African Americans, Hispanics, women, independents and millennials who together swept Barack Obama to victory in 2008 -- in order to defeat Trump.

But Biden, who for eight years served as Obama's vice president, has managed to maintain pole position among black voters.

Harris is a former prosecutor and one-time attorney general for California whose steely demeanor can give way to a million-watt smile.

Her historic candidacy was noteworthy in the era of Trump: as a black American daughter of immigrants, Harris appeared to be the American dream incarnate, mounting a challenge to a president whom many Democrats denounce as the nation's divider in chief.

Biden said he has "mixed emotions" about Harris dropping out. "She is a first-rate intellect, a first-rate candidate, and a real competitor."

Harris was the third candidate to quit the race in recent days, along with low-polling Democrats Montana Governor Steve Bullock and former congressman Joe Sestak.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

31 Comments

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I'll admit, I backed Harris at first. I thought that her background as a former prosecutor, etc would allow her to appeal to a wider selection of voters come the general election. But her inability to focus on creating her own message, in finding a way to stand on her own, doomed her.

Too bad as well. Who knows, maybe she'll try and angle for a VP slot. Doubtful, but possible.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

One less competitor to Tulsi Gabbard. She’s the best of the bunch, even while the establishment is trying to hide her from the people.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Well, I don’t have anything personal against the woman, I definitely don’t agree with her politically, but she seems like a decent person, however, she ran a terrible campaign, she didn’t try hard enough to galvanize the black vote and her record as a prosecutor prosecuting Blacks was something that greatly hindered her and the woman complained America is not ready for a Black woman as President? We had a Black President for 8 years, she’s in many other ways a pioneer and she makes that kind of outlandish comment? Dumb!

But I will say this, she is smart to leave the field now, she could always run again in 4 years, things could play out differently for her, but in the meantime, she should try to really win over more Blacks.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

1. Return to the Senate 

2. Get some work done

3. Beat McConnell’s junk into mush

Her big moment, criticizing Biden for busing, was a political disaster. Almost no one wants federally imposed busing. And a former prosecutor claiming to be left wing was never going to get any traction. She should have run as Biden's clone with less baggage and been ready to take the mantle if/when Biden stumbles.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

1. Return to the Senate 

2. Get some work done

I agree.

3. Beat McConnell’s junk into mush

That won’t happen, but in 4 years....who knows...

.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Good. Gun owners' rights are a little safer.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The Senate needs her...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This is what happens when Tulsi Gabbard hands you your ass not once but twice

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A shame that it all comes down to money & the influence of the terrorist organization NRA.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

A shame that it all comes down to having nothing on her platform but "orange-man bad, becuz muh feels"

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

A shame that it all comes down to having nothing on her platform but "orange-man bad, becuz muh feels"

I was never a fan of hers, but this claim you are making doesn't jive with reality. I'd actually hazard a guess that you've never actually heard her speak, based on your comment.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A shame that it all comes down to having nothing on her platform but "orange-man bad, becuz muh feels"

A shame that some posters aren't actually following the various campaigns.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Biden's wife said in August that her husband might not be the best candidate, but told voters “maybe you have to swallow a little bit” and vote for him anyway.

That's sure to encourage voters!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Biden's wife said in August that her husband might not be the best candidate, but told voters “maybe you have to swallow a little bit” and vote for him anyway.

This is absolutely incorrect. Please stop pushing blatant falsehoods.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yet she can’t get 2% in her own party. Which she blamed on sexism and racism and anti immigrant sentiment. In her own party.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Not absolutely incorrect at all. Jill Biden:

Your candidate might be better on, I don't know, health care, than Joe is, but you've got to look at who's going to win this election," she said. "And maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, 'OK, I personally like so and so better,' but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump."

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Not absolutely incorrect at all.

Yeah? Let's run a little comparison.

The quote:

Biden's wife said in August that her husband might not be the best candidate, but told voters “maybe you have to swallow a little bit” and vote for him anyway.

Breakdown.

Number 1:

He said: She said her husband "might not be the best candidate."

She said: Our candidate might be better on, I don't know, health care

She made no claims as to his standing in relation to other candidates. She picked an arbitrary topic as an arbitrary example on how some people may see their candidate as being stronger than Biden on an issue. She did not claim Biden was not the best candidate.

Verdict: Falsehood.

Number 2:

told voters “maybe you have to swallow a little bit” and vote for him anyway.

Yeah. Exactly. You people who have swallowed a LOT of Trump must get this concept. I'm not sure what you're complaining about here.

Verdict: So?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Word games. Your guy said it is ABSOLUTELY incorrect. It’s not. Acted like nothing even remotely similar was said.

it was.

If others are better on a arbitrary topic, any then you aren’t “the best” because that’s not the only topic someone else is better at.

and I don’t have to “swallow” to pick the best candidate either. Anyway, Dems screaming no people of left. It’s your primary, someone vote for one.

verdict: your guy not telling the truth. That’s the “so” of this.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

no people of color left on the debate stage. Whose fault is that? Kamala was the most identity politics of them all, not surprised she is out already.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'll admit, I backed Harris at first. I thought that her background as a former prosecutor, etc would allow her to appeal to a wider selection of voters

Her putting African Americans ( something she claims to be though she is half Jamaican and half Indian ) in jail for smoking weed then laughing about it and lying about listening to Tupac didn't endear her to a wide selection of voters.  

She was the worst candidate and is a nasty, condescending person. I hope a decent Democrat challenges her in the 2020 primary and beats her. Not likely though, she will probably be unchallenged in the primary and be voted back in by California nutters.

The Senate needs her...

No it doesn't. At all.

 1. Return to the Senate 

2. Get some work done

Trump just secured an extra $130 from NATO while the Democrats do nothing for the American people.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yeah at least she doesn’t have to worry about leaving the campaign trail to come back and vote for Trump impeachment anymore. No excuse to not be doing her job now.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Your guy said it is ABSOLUTELY incorrect. It’s not.

My BFF correctly pointed out that it was absolutely incorrect. And I clearly laid out how above.

This is why we can’t have nice conversations.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

no people of color left on the debate stage. Whose fault is that?

So your thoughts are that we should have kept her in the race because of her race? Um... ok. Gotcha.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Trump just secured an extra $130 from NATO while the Democrats do nothing for the American people.

That's a great misstatement. First it's $130 billion which four additional NATO countries spent on their defense to reach the agreement of 2% of GDP. That makes 9 countries who have reached the spending. Many more to go especially Spain which is less than 1%.

None of the money benefits America directly.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That’s what your side is complaining about like it’s the fault of white male conservatives instead of the fact your own voters decided to pick white people instead.

So your thoughts are that we should have kept her in the race because of her race? Um... ok. Gotcha.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

That’s what your side is complaining about like it’s the fault of white male conservatives instead of the fact your own voters decided to pick white people instead.

Silly, the voters haven't chosen anyone yet!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Mainstream liberal opinion on why Harris failed included:

“ultimately could not reconcile the nearly two decades she spent in law enforcement with a rapidly changing political landscape on criminal justice issues that’s driven by the progressive base’s desire for systemic change.” 

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/12/kamala-harris-made-history-then-her-history-caught-up-with-her/

And this:

"She should have used her moment in the spotlight to get some attention for well-thought-out policy ideas that positioned her where she naturally belongs: clearly progressive, but not trying to out-left Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren....That never really happened, and she eventually seemed like a one-hit wonder continually casting about for a second hit."

A Progressive take on her failure to connect, comes from the Young Turks: Talk the progressive talk, but walk the establishment walk.

I consider myself a liberal Democrat. I think Harris failed in part because she didn't pick a lane, either as a progressive or as as an establishment Dem. Those are the two main chunks of our party.

But that is not why she didn't connect.

I think she failed to connect because she doesn't have charisma.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It’s pathetic that a half black Democrat woman who blames all living white people for the legacy of slavery cannot get any traction in the Democrat party. Her hatreds and identity politics are completely in tune with her party. Dems are truly fractured and unable to pick a standard bearer out of any of the clown cars full of Socialists seeking the party’s nomination. A brokered convention with the party donors picking their candidate can’t be ruled out.

Tulsi Gabbard, a Somoan American, destroyed Harris politically in the Dem party debate. Which is funny because half her party thinks she is a Russian plant sent to get Trump re-elected.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It appears that many Democrats do not support the "Democrat trailblazer Kamala Harris". Oh well, another one bites the dust. Only 20+ Democrat Party candidates to go. It is interesting that so many Democrats are now supporting Mike "I'm a billionaire" Bloomberg. My, how the times they are changing.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Strangerland - So your thoughts are that we should have kept her in the race because of her race? Um... ok. Gotcha.

It's Democrats who are choosing who should remain in the primary race for the Democrat candidate. If Democrats object to the racial/gender/socialist makeup of their party's candidates, Democrats have only themselves to blame.

Will Kamala's supporters jump on the billionaire's for Bloomberg campaign train?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Harris has been a fierce Trump critic, directly assailing the embattled president and repeatedly calling for his impeachment.

This just in - Nancy Pelosi has called for articles of impeachment as the Democrats melt down.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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