Kamala Harris – who is she and how did she get here?

NONE of the following is my work, but it is an excellent bio published today in the Wall Street Journal (behind the pay wall), and a good followup to my post yesterday [Presidential eligibility]. I will add, as I did in yesterday’s post, that both of Ms Harris’ parents were born in other countries, and she spent her formative years (ages 7-18) living in Canada. She graduated from high school in Montreal. Her mother was born in India, and her father in Jamaica. Her parents divorced when she was 7.

California Senator Kamala Harris dove into the race for President on Monday, as everyone who knows her expected. Though she’s been a Senator for only two years, the victories by Barack Obama and Donald Trump have shown that ambition beats national experience as a qualification to get to the White House, if not necessarily to succeed as President.

“I love my country and this is a moment in time where I feel a sense of responsibility to fight for who we are,” Ms. Harris declared on Good Morning America. So professes every Democratic aspirant #metoo. Though a longtime member of the Democratic elite, the 54-year-old seems ready to run as a progressive populist.

In her new memoir “The Truths We Hold,” Ms. Harris reminisces about her “close-knit neighborhood of working families who were focused on doing a good job, paying the bills, and being there for one another.” Her Indian grandmother, she notes, was a “skilled community organizer” who took in domestic violence victims and educated women about contraception.

But as progressives like to say, Ms. Harris grew up privileged. Her Indian-born mother was a breast cancer researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and her Jamaican father was a Stanford economist. Amid the Democratic obsession with identity politics, Ms. Harris’s biracial background will be a selling point.

She was also raised politically by the Democratic machine. After law school, Ms. Harris went to work in the Alameda County district attorney’s office. Despite failing the state bar on the first try, she was allowed to continue working until she passed.

Her book jacket summarizes her rise: “She progressed rapidly to become the elected District Attorney for San Francisco, and then the chief law enforcement officer” of California. The longer version is that she dated Willie Brown, the longtime state Assembly Speaker who was three decades her senior. Mr. Brown appointed her to government sinecures and connected her to Democratic donors, though he isn’t mentioned in her book.

Ms. Harris also received substantial support from unions she repaid as Attorney General. At the Service Employees International Union’s urging, she blocked Prime Healthcare’s bid in 2015 to rescue an insolvent Catholic hospital network. Last year the over-leveraged hospitals declared bankruptcy, jeopardizing pensions for thousands of workers.

Ms. Harris also employed prosecutorial powers for political purposes such as her assaults on for-profit Corinthian Colleges and Exxon Mobil . She sought to force the disclosure of conservative donors but was blocked by a federal court. She is running as a criminal-justice reformer, but she declined to support two state referenda opposed by public-safety unions that aimed to reduce incarceration.

Her Senate career has been unremarkable, though she garnered publicity with her inquisition of Brett Kavanaugh. She’s now running on a redistributionist’s dream platform of Medicare for All, a $6,000 guaranteed income for households earning less than $100,000, and tax credits for renters who spend more than 30% of their income on rent.

While a prolific fundraiser—she raised $1.5 million within 24 hours of declaring for President—her financial jaunts to the Hamptons and penchant for first-class travel will draw criticism from rivals. But what makes Ms. Harris formidable is that she synthesizes all the varieties of current Democratic politics.

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This entry was posted in 2020 Presidential Race, Government, Politics, The Culture, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Kamala Harris – who is she and how did she get here?

  1. Between the “dating” Willie Brown… ahem ahem… and her parents not being born here, she shouldn’t even be eligible or desirable as a candidate, but to the left… she’s perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. rheavolans says:

    Did nothing as a Senator, wrote a memoir while she was a nobody, not legally allowed to be President by nature of not being born an American… It’s like Obama all over again.

    If the Republican Party doesn’t crucify her for trying to run for president as the child of non-citizen foreigners, it will be time to take the Republican Party out and crucify them. I’m very tired of the idea that any foreigner who wants to be President should be allowed to run
    The definition of insanity is allowing people who were not born in this country to citizen parents to run for so much as dogcatcher.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. tessa50 says:

    https://web.stanford.edu/~dharris/professional_career.htm

    This says he was a citizen of US by naturalization, but doesn’t list the year.

    Liked by 1 person

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