Not for a month, and maybe not for the rest of this Congress. Plus: Kamala Harris thinks politics is beneath her.
This post captures why that Harris profile drove me nuts. Astead Herndon is a good, professional reporter, definitely not a hack, but he is also very clearly *not* out to get Kamala Harris. She should have seen his piece as an opportunity to reintroduce herself to the public. (She may *think* he's out to get her because he accurately covered the embarrassing collapse of her presidential campaign.)
*I* think she should go in the Yglesias/Barro direction, but if she wanted to double down on some kind of upper class lefty identity politics positions she could have done that as well. Instead she was annoyed that a sympathetic reporter was asking her questions.
Hillary Clinton had limits as a politician and hated the press. But she at least knew how to use this kind of interview to inspire the sort of people already disposed to be inspired by Hillary Clinton. If you can't do that...
"A mistake we see over and over in Democratic politics is the conflation of the interests and preferences of demographic groups with the interests and preferences of Democratic Party insiders from those demographic groups..."
This is the most succinct distillation of the problem.
Josh makes a great point about Harris’ background as a trial lawyer. She has thoroughly wiped that perspective from her personality (or perhaps she never had it and was bad in front of juries). Harris seems much more the product of an academic committee room than a courtroom.
Harris is a replacement-level or sub-replacement-level politician and her performance in the 2020 Democratic primary proved that out. Whatever political instincts she had when she was elected as DA have clearly been replaced by the preferences of Democratic Party insiders. Maybe if she had to tell "a clearer story about who she is, what she is for, and what she believes in" it would just reveal she's in it for power.
I think your overall assessment of Harris and what she should be trying to do, and your point that minority activists often conflate the interest of the communities they should be trying to represent with that of their own coterie, are spot on.
I would only add that I sense that Kamala Harris and Hillary Clinton have one thing in common. As firsts in so ways, they are highly self-conscious, used to striving to be perfect in order to succeed, overly afraid of making mistakes, and trained to bite their tongues. This makes it hard for them to relax and establish rapport in the moment, as politicians need to do. As the only woman or Indian-Jamaican-American in the room, they don't trust that people will respond to their authentic selves. This unease undermines confidence in their leadership.
Thus I think being a lawyer isn't the only reason Harris avoids answering questions. She's too afraid of saying the wrong thing and getting slammed, or being rejected for who she is. Obviously a more gifted politician would overcome this
I think your analysis is right, but I also think you may be giving Republican congresspeople too much credit. I think there is a decent chance the crazies wait them out until the government shuts down.
At that point, without a speaker, I don't know how anyone brings a bill to vote to reopen.
But there's a chance that not all of the Republican caucus is completely terrified of getting crosswise with their base, but I wouldn't bet on it.
I don’t see Harris as a future president. I think replacing her on the ticket would lose more votes than would be gained. Lots of presidents did not first serve as VP first.