While almost everyone knows Kamala Harris' name, not everyone has an opinion of her, yet. So as soon as she was announced as Biden's VP pick, both sides fired up their spin machines to paint her exactly the way they want voters to see her.
Everyone knows that, in order for Harris to be effective, she has to appeal to the progressive crowd as well as swing voters. Meanwhile, Trump is desperate to cast her as a super lefty that WILL usher in Communism to the United States. As such, we've seen some wildly different takes of the country's potential Vice President.
Here are some examples of what's being written, why, and some holes in their stories.
- Harris is Moderate – NYT is calling her a “Pragmatic Moderate”, whatever that means. It’s an attempt to convince the Times’ upper middle-class readership that Harris isn't as far left as her recent campaign promises suggest. After all, these people have big 401(k)s to protect.
Meanwhile, her proposal of $2,000/month UBI is probably the furthest thing from either pragmatism or moderation considering the current debt levels.
- Harris is Progressive – USA Today called Kamala the "most progressive DA in California". This type of spin is aimed at the Bernie people, God forbid 2020 turn into a repeat of 2016 where Hillary/Kane represented everything progressives hate.
Unfortunately, the paper overlooks the fact that she imprisoned over 1500 people for marijuana and said "I don’t think drug crime is a victimless crime”. Stats like that don't quite belong on the resume of California's "most progressive" DA.
- Harris is a Socialist – Fox News/Trump have been falling over themselves to say what an America-hating commie she is. 100%, this is for anyone who might be considering voting for Biden over Trump. Better the devil you know than the commie you don’t.
Yet, cozying up to Wall Street execs before her campaign and accepting six-figure donations from banks doesn’t sound too much like a Bernie Sanders-style Communist. More like an All-American politician.
- Harris is Tough on Crime – This is probably the most true considering her time as a DA in San Francisco. It’s meant for everyone who didn't like the riots/looting and wants to see an end to corruption in government. So, basically everyone.
However, it also ignores the fact that Harris didn’t condemn the riots and also declined to prosecute Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, in 2012 for mortgage fraud despite an investigation recommending she do so.
- Harris Supports Police Reform – Of course she does. There’s no way she can’t support police reform and still hope to run on the Democratic ticket.
Meanwhile, she built her 28-year prosecutorial career on an excellent relationship with the police. Including encouraging the police to work harder than they did under her predecessor to stop drug crime, something that disproportionally affects minorities.
The fact of the matter is that Harris was picked because she’s a political chameleon. She simultaneously stands for everything and for nothing. She does what is necessary in order to win and keep climbing the ladder.
It makes for an excellent politician and she will probably be very good at pursuing whatever agenda she chooses. However, that begs the question, “Does her agenda benefit the American People or Kamala Harris?”