So who is Kamala Harris, the woman who has risen to the top of the polls after the first Democratic presidential debate, and how did she get so popular?
The simple answer is that she is attractive and managed to knock the, up to that point, front-runner Biden off his game by insinuating that he is a racist for his previous stand against busing. The media loved it and played the clip over, and over, and over.
Before the debate, few really knew who the junior senator from California was, except the small percentage of voters who follow politics. After the debate, few still don’t know much about her – much less where she stands on the important issues, other than that well-worn news clip.
Will her newfound popularity stick? Hard to tell. The majority of voters want to back a winner, so rising to the top of the polls this early doesn’t hurt.
But who is she, really? Who is this woman who appears as white as Biden or her wealthy Jewish husband, who pulls out the race card at every opportunity – this poor little black girl who was bussed across town in Berkeley so she would have an opportunity in this life?
The simple truth is she was a child of privilege who had designs on power at an early age and has and will use anybody and any means to achieve it. Her mother is a breast-cancer scientist, and her father was a Stanford University economics professor. Clearly, she could have attended any number of schools or lived almost anywhere in racially diverse California.
Kamala’s mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, the child of an Indian diplomat, was getting her doctorate at Cal Berkeley when she met Donald Harris, a Jamaican who came here for the same reason. They met as activists in the civil rights movement, and that rubbed off on their children, especially Kamela, who uses race at every opportunity to dump on anyone who would oppose her.
She also uses people to achieve power and then discards them like toilet paper when they are no longer needed. Shortly after earning her law degree on her second attempt to pass the bar, she latched on to Willie Brown, the speaker of the California Assembly who, at the time, was more than twice her age. She was on his arm as “the girlfriend” as he ran for mayor of San Francisco.
It certainly wasn’t his good looks that attracted her to Brown. It was his power, which he admitted he used to help boost her career. First, he appointed this legal neophyte to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and then to the Medical Assistance Commission, which raised her profile and gave her a salary north of $400,000 over five years (around $650,000 in today’s dollars). He also gave her a BMW.
Then, as mayor, he backed her in her first political race for San Francisco district attorney giving her powerful allies and donors. Nevertheless, before the race was over, she distanced herself from Brown who was dogged with charges of corruption.
Harris threw Brown under the bus, telling the SF Weekly, “If there is corruption, it will be prosecuted. … I don’t owe him a thing.” Later she went on to call him an “albatross hanging around my neck.” She vowed, “His career is over; I will be alive and kicking for the next 40 years. … He’s gone. … Hello people, move on!”
Later, as attorney general for the state of California, she went after big banks for mortgage fraud, but in 2013 failed to prosecute OneWest Bank’s then-CEO Steve Mnuchin. In 2016, she was rewarded by him with a $2,000 campaign contribution when she ran for the U.S. Senate. Then, she turned around and voted against his confirmation as secretary of the treasury, as an affront to Trump.
Harris is hoping to duplicate the success of Barack Obama, who came out of obscurity as a freshman senator to win the Democratic nomination. Like Obama, she has no real accomplishments in the Senate except that she has opposed almost everything Trump supports.
Her record as attorney general in California is a dichotomy. She has been on every side of most Democratic issues in this deep blue state.
Only now has she boldly planted her flag on the green new deal, tax hikes on the wealthy and single-payer/Medicare for all, including unauthorized immigrants.
This is subject to change as her personality goes from compassionate and caring to that of an insensitive bully. Clearly, she is the consummate chameleon.