First-term California senator and fierce Trump critic Kamala Harris has denied that she is considering a 2020 presidential run, but her aggressive performances in nationally televised congressional hearings this week have Democrats hoping she will reconsider.
“The dominant trend in Democratic Party politics is fresh, new and interesting—that’s what people are looking for—not old, steady and establishment,’’ says Wade Randlett, a Democratic fundraiser in Silicon Valley who has known Harris for years. “And Kamala is the trifecta on that.’’
Politico reported that “Within hours of her aggressive questioning of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers on Wednesday, Harris was raising money off the furor that resulted from Senator Richard Burr’s admonishment to be more ‘courteous’ in her questioning—an awkward scene which went viral, raising questions about whether her gender played a role in his reaction.”
The next morning, Harris appeared on NBC’s “Today” show prior to the James Comey testimony during which she criticized President Trump’s “inappropriate” request that Comey pledge his loyalty.
“When I think about that, I was a district attorney of San Francisco, the attorney general of California, and now a United States senator. I’ve taken the oath many times,’’ she said. “The oath was to the Constitution of the United States, not an individual.”
On Wednesday, Harris’ team seized on her budding popularity, sending out a fundraising letter titled “They told me to be courteous.”
The letter read:
“This is hardly the first time the GOP has done this—let us not forget when they silenced my friend and colleague Elizabeth Warren for trying to read a letter from Coretta Scott King about Jeff Sessions… Well here is the truth: I will not be silenced. We will not be silenced. The American people, who deserve the truth, will not be silenced. Not when the faith and integrity of our democracy is at stake.”
Donnie Fowler, a Silicon Valley CEO and longtime Democratic strategist who worked most recently on the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, said that with Harris’ emergence as a Capitol Hill star, it is “inevitable, and natural” that she “is immediately going to become a national leader—because she is the first of the next generation of California Democrats to step up. And until we elect the next governor, she is the only one out there.’’
Last week, Harris denied that she was considering a 2020 presidential run when asked about the possibility by Recode founder Kara Swisher at a California tech conference.
“I’m not giving that any consideration,’’ Harris said. “I’ve got to stay focused.”
“That’s a yes,’’ Swisher quipped.
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