The Kamala Conundrum: Why Democrats Are Stuck With Her
She checks the identity party’s boxes as a female who identifies as black.
California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom wants desperately to run for president — and now rather than later.
After all, Newsom, for reasons I discuss in my new book, “As Goes California,” beat back a recall attempt. Polls show most Democrats want a candidate other than President Joe Biden, whose polls number remain in the tank. Over 60% of Americans consider the country on the wrong track. Biden’s cognitive decline is on full and public display, forcing staffers to limit Biden’s public appearances and restrict interaction with the media.
Why, then, doesn’t Newsom announce? He faces four obstacles: Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Kamala Harris and Gavin Newsom.
First, Biden. He enjoys the job, having sought it unsuccessfully two previous times. He wanted to run again in 2016, but former President Barack Obama discouraged it. Biden also did not want to hinder what most assumed would be the coronation of the first female president. Biden thought the time passed him by. But Donald Trump shocked the world, defeated Hillary Clinton and created an opening for Biden to saddle up again. So, if he can fog up a mirror, he runs for reelection.
Second, Dr. Jill. She enjoys the job. Michelle Obama, near the end of her stint as first lady, told Oprah Winfrey that she wanted a “normal” life. But Dr. Jill Biden hovers approvingly over her husband like an Avenger, guiding him, running interference and doing whatever it takes to get him through his day.
Third, Harris. Her poll numbers look bad, and she dropped out before the first presidential primary in 2020. But she ran for San Francisco district attorney, California attorney general and for reelection, U.S. Senate and vice president, winning each time.
She checks the identity party’s boxes as a female who identifies as black. Recall after winning the 2020 Nevada caucuses the self-described Democrat-socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders became the Democrat frontrunner. Alarmed, South Carolina’s Rep. James Clyburn, on the eve of the South Carolina primary, endorsed Biden when most had given him up for dead. Clyburn extracted a promise: Make your first Supreme Court nominee a black female.
Blacks are the most loyal part of the Democrat base. Black Democrat females outnumber black Democrat males and are even more loyal than black males, 20% of whom voted in 2020 for Trump. The first 2024 democrat primary is South Carolina, where 60% of the Democrat primary voters are black. Black voters love Harris, especially black females. They consider the ridicule over Harris’ so-called cackle sexist and racist. They feel Biden burdened her with the insulting task of finding the “root cause” of illegal immigration, when the root cause of the entry of millions of illegal immigrants under Biden is Biden. True, a recent Los Angeles Times poll found Harris’ favorability rating at 39%, two points below that of Biden. But in a recent YouGov poll, Harris, among blacks, had at 70% approval rating, the number no doubt even higher among black females.
Newsom, when it appeared that California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein might not complete her term, promised to appoint a black female replacement. He did. And now, with a black female Democrat poised to become the first female president of any color, Newsom knows a white man cannot swoop in and displace Harris. If he tries, without Harris agreeing to step aside, black Democrat females would explode — but not to the point where they would vote Republican. Many would just sit it out, guaranteeing a Republican victory.
Fourth, Newsom. What prescription does the hyper-lefty offer to Americans concerned about inflation, gas prices, wage growth unable to keep pace with inflation, crime and porous borders? Did Newsom criticize Biden’s reckless spending and his inflation inducing war on oil and gas? Please. Newsom wants California to go further and ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035. Homelessness exploded in his hometown San Francisco during his two terms as mayor. He supports soft-on-crime DAs and policies like cashless bail. Newsom’s California is a sanctuary state, and he expanded the number of illegal aliens eligible for taxpayer-funded health care. After Biden’s disastrous, world-destabilizing pullout from Afghanistan, Newsom said: “I’m incredibly proud of him.”
Bottom line: If not Biden, the next batter up is Harris. The die is cast.
COPYRIGHT 2023 LAURENCE A. ELDER