The NYT’s impression of Harris as a Biden alternative

Forum » Beenos Trumpet » The NYT’s impression of Harris as a Biden alternative

Jul 09, 2024, 13:56

Both Harris’s biggest strengths and her biggest weaknesses have their roots in her background as a California prosecutor. Let’s start with her strengths.

In all, Harris spent more than a quarter-century as a local and state prosecutor, and she compiled an accomplished record — on crime reduction, consumer protection and more. Prosecutors succeed by making more persuasive arguments than their opponents in a combative setting. So it makes sense that Harris’s signature moments as a national figure have occurred in similar settings.

In the Senate, she developed a reputation as a sharp questioner of witnesses, including Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominees. During the 2020 presidential campaign, she won her debate against Vice President Mike Pence, polls showed. Four years earlier, by contrast, Pence beat Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate.

In a future debate against Trump, Harris seems like a much stronger option than Biden — and probably stronger than some other potential Democratic nominees. It’s easy to imagine her hammering Trump for his role in the overturning of Roe v. Wade and his lawless approach to the presidency.

These criticisms could then become central to a presidential campaign that she ran largely against Trump. Biden had hoped to run such a campaign, as my colleague Reid Epstein points out, but Biden’s jarringly weak debate performance has made that much harder.

The vision thing

Harris’s background also helps explain her biggest shortcomings as a national politician. She has repeatedly struggled to lay out her vision for the country and explain to voters how she would improve their lives. Politicians who’ve risen to prominence as governors or members of Congress spend years honing such messages. Prosecutors don’t.

“She’s a very poor communicator when the parameters are quite wide,” Elaina Plott Calabro, a writer at The Atlantic who spent months profiling Harris, recently said on The Ezra Klein Show.

The evidence is abundant. Harris’s 2019 book, “The Truths We Hold,” was even more laden with platitudes than most books by politicians. Once the campaign began, she sometimes seemed unable to describe own policies, especially on Medicare, and her poll numbers were so weak that she dropped out before the Iowa caucus. As vice president, she has made meandering statements mocked by both conservative media and “The Daily Show.”

Part of the problem may be that Harris has rarely had to win over the swing voters who decide presidential elections. She comes from California, where Democrats dominate. In her only Senate campaign, no Republican even qualified for the general election; Harris beat another Democrat in the final round.

She can seem more comfortable speaking the language of elite liberalism than making the arguments that help Democrats win tough races — like emphasizing pocketbook issues, questioning global trade and praising border security. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican senator, made a telling comment on CBS News this weekend. Graham predicted that Harris would have the advantage of being a “very vigorous” nominee but the disadvantage of being to Biden’s left and having favored Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.

There is one intriguing exception, however: Harris won prosecutor elections in California partly by promising to be tough on crime. She called it “smart on crime.” It was the kind of moderate message that has long helped Democrats (including Biden, Obama and Bill Clinton) win elections. If she can persuade voters that she is less of a San Francisco liberal than her critics claim, she would become a more formidable presidential candidate.

The bottom line

In a traditional primary, I would consider Harris to be an underdog against Democrats with more impressive electoral records, like Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia. But there will be no traditional primary this summer, even if Biden drops out. Harris would start any informal nomination process with large advantages. And the combination of Biden’s glaring weaknesses with Harris’s strengths suggests that she would probably be a stronger candidate this year than he is.

If she gets the chance, she will face a task that few previous presidential nominees have: trying to develop a sharp new political message in the final months before Election Day.

Jul 09, 2024, 14:47

I've never heard this woman say one remotely sensible thing - if anything her word salads are worse than Trump's and rivals Biden's nonsensical mumblings.

Jul 09, 2024, 15:06

They need to redo the Democratic primaries with the leading candidates competing against Joe Biden (Gretchen, Harris, Newson). It could just be 2-3 debates over 7-10 days. If Biden beats them, keep him - otherwise whoever wins - gets to choose their Vice president's running mate. 

Harris to me seems to have too little experience. She is probably a good lawyer, but I think she needed to prove herself in the government before getting the vice presidency. 

Jul 09, 2024, 16:10

"Harris to me seems to have too little experience. She is probably a good lawyer, but I think she needed to prove herself in the government before getting the vice presidency." 

She is the most incompetent person to ever grace the White House, and that includes Biden, so it says a lot.

Jul 09, 2024, 17:37

Harris was ewspecially appointed to deal with the Open Border policies andd set up meetings with leaders of hree countries to fofer them monmey if they keep their citizens in their countries

 and when in Guatamala there were riots against her presence and she then came up the most idiotic statfement ever - that the migrant problem are caused by global warming - so the rest of the world has global warming problems and t here is none in th e USA .   

She in fact spenrt half an hour in El Paso without visiting any entry points and thenms eems to vanish from dealing  with the migrasnt crisis issue - in fact she fcailed in evefrything  sh e did/

The there si another little story that will raise its ugly head.  She became the mistress of Governnor Borown in an effort to enhance her political career in California.    The abover indicate he toughness omn crime as prosecutor in Californnia - int eh WH shje surrendered to the ultra lberal policies of the Biden handlers and they have enough  on her to keep her as their political prisoner.

She hsas no primnciples and that will kill her campaign/   Sh e is just another shallow and lying Democrat.  


Jul 13, 2024, 05:28

Sources please ouMaaik

You need to Log in to reply.
Back to top