California Senator Kamala Harris announced that she was running for President on Monday morning, joined a rapidly-expanding Democratic field of candidates that includes Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
Harris’s announcement on Good Morning America wasn’t unexpected; the former California Attorney General has been positioning herself for a presidential campaign almost since the minute Trump was elected. Unlike Warren and Gillibrand, the other two major candidates to enter the race so far, Harris’s announcement doesn’t waffle around with the term “exploratory committee,” which is mildly refreshing as I would be hard pressed to tell you what exactly an “exploratory committee” is but I do know what a “presidential campaign” is.
Harris, one of two black Senators expected to contest for the Democratic nomination (the other being Cory Booker, of course), announced her candidacy on Martin Luther King Jr. day. Here’s her accompanying video, which is considerably shorter than Warren’s four-and-a-half minute manifesto and doesn’t advance any policy positions whatsoever, instead relying on a handful of buzzwords like “truth” and “decency.”
Assumedly Harris plans to lay out a much more comprehensive campaign during her first event in Oakland on January 27, which will be interesting to see. Harris’s policy positions have leaned progressive in recent years, with her open support of Medicare for All leading the way, yet she still remains invested in the more centrist wing of the Democratic party. During her time as Attorney General in California, she gained a reputation as a “tough on crime” prosecutor who nevertheless didn’t go after Steven Mnuchin’s old company. It’s complicated, but in her two years as a California senator she’s at least been decisive enough to jump onto bills early (Bernie’s longshot M4A bill among them) and take strong stances on some social issues. Then again, she thinks ICE should exist.
I don’t expect Harris to immediately jump out and address ICE during her first campaign event, but immigration is going to be a large focus of the 2020 run, so we’ll be paying close attention to how here position develops over the course of what will certainly be an exhausting primary cycle. At least she didn’t do the “exploratory” bullshit.
For what it’s worth (not a lot), 538 says her weird-ass pentagon graph thingy looks pretty good.