Kamala Harris had a moment, after the first debate when she plunged a dagger into Joe Biden’s invincibility. People who had never considered her sat up and took notice. They saw clearly that the woman who had taken apart William Barr, Brett Kavanaugh, and others while serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee, might just be the one to take out Donald Trump on the debate stage. She had a moment, and then they came for her.
When I say “they came for her.” I mean everybody. All the then twenty-something other Democrat candidates for President. Republicans who were fearful she would do to Trump what she’d done to so many others. Democrat establishment figures whose political futures were brighter under a Biden Presidency. Russian trolls and bots. They dragged her for a relationship she had with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown in the mid-nineties. Criticized her for having a white husband. They all came for Harris and not without having an effect. She was a strong third or fourth depending on the poll after the first debate. Now she lags in fifth place in most polls with an average of 5% of likely voters. Despite the long odds against her, she said:
“It won’t be easy, but I intend to win!”
There are three plausible routes for Harris to end up being President. The least likely in my opinion is where she suddenly catches fire and wins some of the early primary and caucus states. One could make a case that Biden has been weakened by the Ukranian rumors involving him and his son Hunter. Elizabeth Warren has surpassed Biden in some polls but took the brunt of most of the other candidate’s fire at the last debate. Bernie Sanders called her out for being, “a capitalist,” oh, the horror. Mayor Pete has surged past Harris but has never received the brutal attacks that Biden, Harris, and now Warren have endured. His campaign might not survive the scrutiny heaped on the others but only time will tell. If Kamala does okay in Iowa and New Hampshire, she has a chance to do well in South Carolina and later her home state California with its huge block of delegates. I don’t consider it likely, but that’s one way.
The second way involves the looming Impeachment Trial of President Trump in the Senate. Once the House formally votes to Impeach the President. The Senate will take over the process although members of the House will act as Managers (essentially prosecutors) during the trial. Individual Senators will not have the opportunity to question witnesses like in regular Senate hearings. But Kamala Harris will be highly sought after by the media after each day’s proceedings. She can review the testimony and provide analysis with the gravitas of someone the public recognizes as someone who knows what she’s doing. She’ll project strength and confidence while helping shape the narrative. Depending on the timing of the Senate Trial vs. the Democrat Primaries, Impeachment may come in time to help her rise in the political standings.
The third way in which Harris could become President is rather indelicate. She could become Vice-President, and take over in the event the President becomes incapacitated or is otherwise unable to perform his or her duties. To be more clear, the three leading candidates for the Democrats are all in their 70s. Bernie (78) just had a heart attack that nobody wants to talk about. Biden (76) has had more than one aneurysm in his past and recently had an eye hemorrhage. At 70, Warren is the spring chicken of the bunch and has shown tremendous vigor and stamina but 70 is still 70. With the top three Democrat candidates being septuagenarians, the saying the Vice-President is “one heartbeat from the Presidency” takes on special meaning.
You’d think Biden would rule Harris out based on what must seem a surprise attack on him but politics make strange bedfellows. Should Biden’s relationship with black voters start to slip, adding Harris to the ticket might shore up his standing, also with women voters? Warren and Sanders seem to get along with their Senate colleague Harris and she could help with their weak spots as well. Many a person has chosen the Vice-Presidential route as a way to the option. Hopefully to succeed the President after two terms but ready to serve if required. It’s the only explanation for Mike Pence’s loyalty to the anti-christ under whom he serves.
Kamala Harris probably had different plan than any of her three remaining options. Her success will depend on her ability to adjust to the current political climate and might require a bit of luck combined with her skill and strengths. We will see.