Keyword: Kamala Harris
In this week's Second Reading Podcast, Jim Henson talks to veteran political writer Mark Z. Barabak of The Los Angeles Times about the 2020 election. The conversation starts with a discussion of Mark's recent article with Jennie Jarvie and multiple TImes colleagus about the fears of voters across the spectrum about the aftermath of U.S. presidential election, and touches on the dynamics of the election as well his unique perspective on Kamala Harris's selection as the Democrats' vice-presidential ticket after writing observing her career and writing about her throughout her rise in Califonia politics.
The consensus of the day-one media response to Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s vice-presidential running mate has been “historic but safe”: Historic because she is both the first black and first Asian American woman on a major party presidential ticket, and “safe” because of Harris’ more moderate profile relative to the sustained energy among Democratic activists during the Democratic primary that ultimately pitted Biden against more progressive alternatives. Whatever the adjustments required of the progressive cadres in the Democratic primary, in terms of the general election, she makes it harder for the Trump campaign’s already commenced (and sure to continue) red-baiting smears to stick among the increasingly narrow band of undecided voters.
Biden’s selection of Harris rightly is being taken as a sign of a decisive shift in the Democratic Party that has been a long time coming. To the extent that Democrats’ much-discussed efforts to hasten Texas’s transformation into a consistently competitive state rely primarily on mobilizing Democratic voters, there is a lot of Kamala Harris’ demographic profile in the Democratic electorate in Texas.