I love my colleague Bonchie’s phrase regarding Kamala’s “Root Causes” Tour of Guatemala: Failure Theater.
And that it is. The White House knew this would be coming, despite claiming they were “Quietly perplexed” by Harris’ not-ready-for-primetime performance.
“Kamala Harris’s first foreign trip in one sizzle reel.”
The “I’m not finished” to Univision is just the perfect cap to these increasingly defensive answers about refusing to visit the border. pic.twitter.com/wdoTSdBcgN
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) June 11, 2021
When you mash all of these bites together, it is so glaringly obvious that she is out of her depth. Snappish. Deer in the headlights. Sarcastic. All not good looks for any politician, but especially for the Vice President of the United States.
Did the Biden team not pay attention to her entire failed Presidential campaign that ended with Tulsi Gabbard handing Kamala her lunch in one of the Democrat debates?
As my colleague Nick Arama rightly posited:
Joe Biden was there (at least physically) during the campaign. He saw what horrible answers she gave then, and how she was completely cooked by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) during one debate. If you’re saying that you didn’t know that she was going to continue to have exactly the same problem, then you weren’t paying attention during the campaign and you can’t get out it by using that excuse, because it was patently obvious to all the rest of us.
Harris has been in the media spotlight for decades. Her very manufactured, but meteoric, rise from a prosecutor to Vice President has been on full display for anyone, as Arama said, who has been paying attention.
Harris started with the Alameda County California District Attorney’s office in the early ‘90s, then went on to the San Francisco District Attorney’s office in 1998, where she headed the Career Criminal Division. According to a riveting piece by Amy Wilentz in Town & Country Magazine this is an office that attracts a lot of media attention, and would have given Harris the perfect opportunity to hone her on-camera image, and learn the back and forth jousting that embodies any quality discourse.
Harris moved on to become the San Francisco District Attorney in 2003; then seven years later to Attorney General of the State. Once “Senator Ma’am” Barbara Boxer decided to retire, it was pretty much a fait accompli that Harris would take over the Senate seat; the election was a mere formality. After only one term and a half terms as a junior senator for the State of California, Harris decided to run for president, and once she suspended her campaign, was placed on the shortlist for the Vice Presidential slot in the Biden campaign.
Notice the 5-7 year stretches between career leaps? This timeframe is long enough to make it look as though you have gained experience, but not long enough where you appear entrenched. Pay attention to sudden “rising stars” (Keisha Lance-Bottoms comes to mind), and you’ll recognize a similar pattern.
But seriously, how does one somehow miss any real media fire or scrutiny in that amount of time? You would think Harris, herself, would be embarrassed that she gives such abysmal performances after being in public service and the media spotlight for almost 30 years.
You would think.
Harris was no doubt tapped for higher things even before she chose to start an affair with former San Francisco Mayor and California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown.
A November 1994 Los Angeles Times piece pointed to Brown’s appointment of his girlfriend Harris, then just a prosecutor with the Alameda County District Attorney’s office, to a second state board position. Every state has its entré into getting ones’ feet wet in politics. In California, it is the State Boards and Commissions, such as State Lands Commission, Board of Equalization, or Board of Supervisors. This is the proving ground and connects the chosen candidates to the pivotal networks needed to get to higher office (read: money).
Brown also infamously selected current (but not for long) Governor Gavin Newsom for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors when Newsom was just a “small business owner” <insert *eyeroll* emoji>. Newsom still considers Brown a mentor and signed the bill AB2257, which was an amendment that lifted the cap on independent journalist submissions written into the damaging AB5, only after being shamed by Brown. Brown writes a weekly column in the San Francisco Chronicle, but had to be suspended from it because he had reached the cap! Welcome to our world, Willie.
So, it comes as no surprise that the original Slick Willie helped pave the way for Kamala to make inroads into local politics:
“Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, continuing his rush to hand out patronage jobs while he retains his powerful post, has given high-paying appointments to his former law associate and a former Alameda County prosecutor who is Brown’s frequent companion.
“Brown, exercising his power even as his speakership seems near an end, named attorney Kamala Harris to the California Medical Assistance Commission, a job that pays $72,000 a year.
“Harris, a former deputy district attorney in Alameda County, was described by several people at the Capitol as Brown’s girlfriend. In March, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen called her “the Speaker’s new steady.” Harris declined to be interviewed Monday and Brown’s spokeswoman did not return phone calls.
“Harris accepted the appointment last week after serving six months as Brown’s appointee to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, which pays $97,088 a year.”
Harris unceremoniously divested herself of Brown when she made her first run for office in 1994, and to this day, she refuses to speak about him. This was around the time Brown was being scrutinized and brought up on corruption charges, and a climber like Harris needed to distance herself from the taint. Harris focused on her campaign for San Francisco District Attorney and went to great pains to separate herself from Brown’s influence.
The charge that she is Brown’s puppet — that she’s guilty by association with a mayor who has not been found guilty of anything — infuriates Harris. Though in third place in recent polls, she’s a political comer. She’s whip-smart, hard-working, and well-credentialed to be San Francisco’s top criminal prosecutor. She’s hauling in campaign cash like there’s no tomorrow. And topping it all off, she’s a beautiful blend of East Indian mother and African-American father who may draw votes particularly well among women and minorities. If she manages to come in ahead of Fazio in the Nov. 4 election, and if Hallinan fails to win more than 50 percent of that vote, she’ll face the district attorney in a December runoff. In a high-profile sprint against an aging incumbent, Harris — with her brains, connections, and buppie glamour — might just emerge victorious.
This San Francisco Weekly writer’s prediction came true, cementing Harris’ continued rise, and access to the national stage. Ten years later, this October 2004 Los Angeles Times article makes it clear that Harris’ trajectory was set in motion by national power brokers. Recall that this was also the year that a then-unknown Illinois State Senator gave a “transformational” and inspirational speech at the 2004 Democrat National Convention. We were about to enter the era of “Hope and Change,” and the Left’s engineering of the “radical transformation of America.” It would require politically savvy symbols and actors at the forefront of the stage.
These days, Harris (no relation to this writer) can’t help but make an entrance. She is a striking 39-year-old single woman with a radiant smile who is known for her intellect, work ethic and, as one attorney puts it, “the aura of her personality.” Her dramatic campaign to become San Francisco’s top law-enforcement official has made her a rising political star.
Somewhere between here and now, Harris pushed the work ethic aside in favor of the radiant smile and aura of personality. Harris relies upon this to disarm and navigate the media gauntlet. It is not as though Harris had a media that was intent on seasoning her: The bright, shiny, object of “Firsts” was enough to keep them fawning like lovesick chihuahuas for the next decade.
While San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has made international headlines with his high-profile, polarizing embrace of gay marriage, Harris may have the brighter future. At the Democratic National Convention, Harris served on the platform committee as an appointee of Chairman Terry McAuliffe, and she was a guest of honor at a reception hosted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco. Harris also addressed the black caucus, one of a group of women that included former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and Sen. Hillary Clinton.
With an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, Harris strikes some observers as a California version of Barack Obama, the Illinois lawmaker of racially mixed heritage who keynoted the Democratic convention and is favored to be elected to the U.S. Senate. (Harris, incidentally, co-hosted a California fundraiser for Obama before the fame of the convention.)
Her blended heritage could well prove an asset in increasingly multicultural California, says Richard DeLeon, a political science professor at San Francisco State University. There is a lot of crossover appeal, DeLeon says, in a politician whose profile combines multiracial roots, feminism and strong law-enforcement experience. Open to debate, though, is how well that combination will play on a statewide or national stage.
On this day at Delancey Street, the district attorney is stylishly dressed in a pinstriped suit, high heels and a doubled loop of pearls. Who would play her in a movie? “Maybe someone like Halle Berry,” suggests one admirer.
It’s nauseating coverage that borders upon embarrassing and points to why Harris comes off so horrifically when her guardrails are absent. If all everyone does is fawn over a candidate’s looks and heritage, and potential actors who could play that person in a movie, one ceases being able to provide any type of foil or devil’s advocate. This was a woeful deficit in Harris’ climb to national office, and the legacy media is purely at fault.
In 2009, to give more weight to her run for California Attorney General, Harris penned a book, Smart On Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safer, for which she garnered a TODAY show appearance with none other than Mr. Me-Too Matt Lauer.
Lauer did what the media does: slobbered all over Harris, and propped up her failed policies of jailing single mothers for their truant children, and her “Back on Track” juvenile anti-recidivism initiative, which only had 300 participants, and once Harris moved to even higher office, was quickly abandoned for the “coddle the criminal” approach favored by Soros-backed District Attorneys like Kim Foxx, George Gascón, and Chesa Boudin.
Notice Lauer slipped in the comparisons to President Barack Obama (see the paragraph above), and teased whether she planned to run for national office.
These spoon-fed questions and powder puff interviews somehow got Harris into national office; but when she actually has to perform under pressure, Harris chokes.
By the time Harris arrived on the national stage for her presidential campaign, the die had been cast. This Atlantic piece reflects a bit of surprise snark leveled at the too-good-to-be-true candidate:
Kamala Harris—the Democratic presidential hopeful and 54-year-old junior senator from California—is a prosecutor by training. She knows well that any misstep, anything you say or do, can and will be held against you. Her fundamental, almost constitutional, understanding of this has made her cautious, at times enragingly so.
Harris’s demographic identity has always been radical. She was San Francisco’s first female district attorney, first black district attorney, first Asian American district attorney. She was then California’s first female attorney general, first black attorney general, first Asian American attorney general. She was the second black woman, ever, to win a seat in the United States Senate. But in office, she’s avoided saying or doing much that could be held against her. As attorney general, she declined to support two ballot measures to end the death penalty. She declined to support making drug possession a misdemeanor. She declined to support legalizing pot. She declined to support a ballot measure reforming California’s brutal three-strikes law. The point is: She had power. She kept most of it in reserve. More important than fixing the broken criminal-justice system, it seemed, was protecting her status as a rising star. She had earned that reputation by the time the first major profile of her was written: San Francisco Magazine, 2007. The article also described her as “maddeningly elusive.”
So, when I say Kamala Harris has been hand-picked, propped up, and groomed, it is legitimate. The ability to make a credible stand, stay cool under pressure, and think on your feet, are lessons learned when the challenges and pressures that produce growth and change are applied. Harris’ “Root Causes Guatemalan Tour” puts on full display that she has never had to suffer under any form of challenge or pressure for a very long time.
Whatever “intellect” or “smarts” Harris may have started with in her career, she quickly abandoned them for the easier cult of personality route, being handed roles and places of power that she never earned and would never be able to fill. Sadly, with this incompetent administration, even after this week of failure theater, they’ll keep handing her new responsibilities where she will fall flat on her face, and cover it up with a cackle.
Or perhaps, as my colleague Bonchie has recently hypothesized, Kamala is being set up. Whatever the case, you get what you claw for.
The perfume is still not strong enough to cover this stench.