By Staff Writer Timothy Howard.
Last Monday Kamala Harris announced that she will be running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. The announcement, made on “Good Morning America” was soon followed by an official video on her various social media accounts. The video, which has (as of this writing) been viewed over four million times on Twitter alone, is a brief video filled with common political platitudes. However, this is merely the preliminary warm-up for her formal announcement on Jan. 27 in Oakland, California. “Truth, justice, decency, democracy, these aren’t just words; they’re the values we cherish.”
Harris’s announcement makes her the fourth female and the first African American candidate in the 2020 Democratic field. Her ascension to the national stage is as fittingly All-American as the office which she seeks. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Jamaica and India respectively. Harris worked hard and received a law degree from University of California Hastings – School of Law. Utilizing her law degree she rose through the ranks of the California Legal system to eventually be elected Attorney General. She then used her newfound status to catapult herself in the U.S. Senate.
The quagmire for Kamala Harris’s campaign is that of positioning. The 2020 Democratic field is going to be broad, with a wide range of positions being represented. Unlike Hillary Clinton, Harris cannot purely buttress her candidacy with the historic nature of a female president, as she is not the only female candidate in the race. 2020 also promises to be a very diverse field. She cannot run on the fact that she is a minority with a unique background.
Tulsi Gabbard and Julian Castro are also second generation candidates sporting eccentric background stories.
In regard to policy, Harris rose to celebrity status due to her tough, succinct questions of President Trump’s various nominees for government positions (judgeships, Heads of Departments etc.) Beyond that, one would be hard pressed to find a distinct policy which Kamala Harris has championed.
She has played the right moves to make herself a serious contender in the 2020 field, but she doesn’t have distinct policy achievements to supplement her argument for why she should be president.
Therefore, Kamala Harris lacks a distinct advantage in the field.
This is where positioning becomes key. Harris must somehow negotiate the Progressive and Centrist factions of the Democratic party in order to secure her ascendancy to the presidency.
To do this, she is going to have to outplay the Progressives (Tulsi Gabbard, Elizabeth Warren, – potentially – Bernie Sanders) while also rallying the centrist faction to her cause, over those of more establishment candidates (Kirsten Gillibrand, Julian Castro, John Delaney etc.) How exactly will she do this? Well that’s the quagmire.
“The future of our country depends on you, and millions of others, lifting our voices to fight for our American values,” she said in the video. “Let’s do this together. Let’s claim our future for ourselves, for our children and for our country.” – Kamala Harris