For Democrats, a by-product of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s contentious Trump/Russia hearings is that the party’s search for a “fresh face” has ended and California Senator Kamala Harris is the winner.
Now the question remains whether the mouth on the face is a little too “fresh” to “play in Peoria” in 2020.
Donning Republican goggles, let’s dive into the shark-infested presidential pool and swim some laps.
But first, a few facts:
Kamala Harris has served in the U.S. Senate since January 3, 2017. That means she already has more national legislative experience than the current President of the United States and not much less than his predecessor.
By just showing up, Harris is a one woman dream team of racial diversity where among Democrats, white privilege is real and maligned while white skin is so 1950. Her Wikipedia page politically maximizes her mixed ethnicity:
Harris was elected California’s Attorney General in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. She was the first woman, the first Jamaican-American, the first Asian American, the first Indian American, and the first African-American attorney general in California.
Senator Harris’ only diversity flaw is she does not speak Spanish and that was used against her during the 2016 Senate campaign.
At the tender age of 52, Harris qualifies as a “young” Democrat compared to the leading 2020 presidential contenders like Senator Bernie Sanders about to turn age 76, former Vice President Joe Biden who will be celebrating 75 years in November, and Senator Elizabeth Warren who blows out 68 candles on June 22.
Therefore, “young fresh face” must be added to Harris’ fact sheet.
Now let’s move from facts to expectations.
A Google search with the phrase, “Kamala Harris the next Obama” is how Democrats define “expectations.” Here is what popped up:
“Is Kamala Harris the next Obama?” The Washington Post posed this burning question on January 14, 2015, two years before she was even sworn in as a U.S. senator.
“The Next Obama? Meet Kamala Harris, California attorney general, aspiring senator….and future president?” asked City Journal (of the Manhattan Institute) in their winter 2016 edition.
“President Kamala Harris? She’s making the first moves,” declares a McClatchy DC bureau headline on May 9, 2017.
“Can Kamala Harris live up to the hype?” — asked The New Republic in a buzz kill headline on January 12, 2017. But finally, someone in the media gets real!
The view through my Republican goggles looks like Democrats will likely have as much success finding the next Obama as Republicans did finding the next Reagan. The past is past.
However, Obama’s meteoric rise from Illinois state senator in 2004 to President-elect in 2008 has led several ambitious U.S. senators from both parties thinking that they can be the “next Obama” before the end of their first term. Then, pile on President Trump, elected with no political experience, and more reasons why neophyte senators are having Oval Office daydreams.
Now enter Kamala Harris, stage left (of course) who arrived from California riding a reputation for viciously attacking conservatives, as exemplified by her aggressive prosecution of those who exposed the trafficking of fetal body parts in her state.
Picking up the sharp glass left by Hillary’s cracking — but not shattering the “glass ceiling” — Harris looks like the Democrat’s computer model of the perfect 2020 presidential candidate. She is a brilliant mixed-race, leftist activist and an Obama disciple (to whom in 2013 Obama embarrassingly called the “best-looking attorney general”) from the nation’s most populous state, otherwise known as a Democrat’s campaign ATM.
Moreover, in six months, Senator Harris has found a unique Washington formula that could fulfill those headline expectations and justify all the hype.
Part one of her formula brands herself as a rude, discourteous, smart-alecky know it all, creating media “YouTube” moments by giving “mean” white male Republican senators — along with high-level Trump officials — her proverbial middle-finger.
Then using her overly aggressive behavior as a platform, part two of Harris’ formula swings into action when she calls out Republican Senate leader’s criticism of her bad behavior “sexist” and uses that criticism as a fundraising message gimmick.
Go Kamala! “Sign me up,” you can just hear all those pink pussy-hatted women’s marchers saying in unison.
Yes, Kamala’s hype has morphed into her brand. Her first major national branding moment was initiated by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr asking Harris to “…provide the witnesses the courtesy…” as Harris was especially rude while questioning and interrupting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on June 7.
Senator Harris promptly turned that “sexist exchange” into a database collection vehicle promoting “Courage not Courtesy” buttons on her campaign website with the message:
Republicans in the Senate think I need to be more “courteous” when it comes to finding the truth and bringing accountability back to our government. I say we all need to be more courageous instead.
For a limited time only, please get your FREE sticker from my campaign today as a way of sending a message that we will not be silenced. We will always fight to get to the truth.
Feeling momentum, once again on June 13, Senator Harris unleashed her rude tactics while questioning Attorney General Jeff Sessions on June 13.
Of course, “Fighting to get to the truth” means we can all look forward to “feminista” Kamala Harris, fighting against mean white guy senators who dare to maintain some level of decorum and respect at Senate hearings during questioning of national leaders.
That is exactly why Kamala Harris is all the rage. She embodies the rage against the machine; the Trump machine, the Republican machine, the white machine, and the men machine. She is ready to fight whatever man or machine in her path on her way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Her big mouth brand plays well in 20-second sound bites. But I ask again, “Will it play in Peoria?”
Donald Trump’s big mouth brand propelled him to the White House, but he also stood for something — personal success, champion of the fed-up masses, and “make America great again.”
What does Kamala Harris stand for besides, “Make Kamala Great?”
Could “Courage not Courtesy” be the message that wins 270 electoral votes in 2020?
I think not, but Republicans need to be on guard. The same media hype that propelled Obama’s two presidential campaigns will be working double overtime for Senator Harris especially now when political rage is all the rage.
Myra Adams is a media producer and writer who served on the McCain Ad Council during the 2008 McCain campaign and on the 2004 Bush campaign creative team. Her writing credits include National Review, WND, Washington Examiner, and more. Contact her at [email protected] Twitter @MyraKAdams.