Kamala Harris to run for U.S. Senate

Kamala Harris to run for U.S. Senate

Kamala-Harris-handsToday California Attorney General Kamala Harris will announce her candidacy for U.S. Senate. She seeks to replace Sen. Barbara Boxer, who last week announced her retirement. Both are Democrats.

Even though the election is more than 21 months away, it’s a smart move by Harris — whose career has been market by smart moves, beginning with her being elected attorney general of San Francisco. The early announcement gives her momentum against any potential Democratic rivals, such as former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa or hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer.

Steyer is a billionaire and certainly could out-spend Harris — or just about anybody else. But as the ill-fated campaign of airline executive Al Checchi showed in 1998, an open checkbook isn’t necessarily the path to higher office. He spent $30 million in a bid for governor, but was defeated in the Democratic primary by Lt. Gov. Gray Davis, who went on to become governor.

Even though California is gigantic and statewide candidates depend on TV ads, grassroots organizing still matters. Davis had spent decades cultivating such powerful interest groups as the unions for teachers, guards and police. They formed the bulwark of his campaign.

Even for Republicans, last fall’s victories at the local level in California depended to a great extent on the “ground game” state GOP Chairman Jim Brulte instituted when he was given that post two years ago.

Borrowing from football, in political parlance a “ground game” is such things as registering voters and getting them to show up at the polls, as opposed to TV ads.

Issues

Likewise, Harris’ early start gives her almost two years to cultivate the unions more than she already has, while also giving her national exposure from which to raise funds across the country. Following Davis’ cue of almost two decades ago, she has taken liberal positions on such issues as same-sex marriage and health care reform, while cultivating a “tough on crime” record.

When running for attorney general in 2010, she highlighted her “71 percent success rate in obtaining felony convictions” as San Francisco’s DA. She also has opposed legalizing marijuana, although last year she was coy about her stance.

The next election will siphon off a lot of money from rich donors to the presidential campaigns. It makes sense now for Harris to start making appeals for funds before Hillary Clinton and other Democratic hopefuls for the White House announce their own campaigns.

For Republicans, Harris’ gubernatorial candidacy will prove a serious obstacle. When she ran in 2010, she barely beat Steve Cooley, the Republican nominee and at the time the district attorney of Los Angeles County, 46 percent to 45.5 percent. But in 2014, she handily beat Republican Ronald Gold, 57.5 percent to 42.5 percent.

It’s still early. And anything can happen. But Harris has to be considered the odds-on favorite to win Boxer’s seat.

Which brings up another situation. If she’s elected to the Senate, whom will Gov. Jerry Brown replace her with as California attorney general?

22 comments

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  1. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 13 January, 2015, 11:58

    Harris will make a fine U.S. Senator. There are several District Attorney’s around the state who’d be a good AG. Jackie Lacey is one likely candidate.

    Reply this comment
    • Ted The Main Guy Out Here
      Ted The Main Guy Out Here 13 January, 2015, 13:21

      I like everything about Kammie except for her anti DP thing— not acceptable to the Ted.

      Reply this comment
      • SkippingDog
        SkippingDog 13 January, 2015, 17:45

        What is the anti DP thing? Seriously.

        Reply this comment
        • T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted
          T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted 13 January, 2015, 21:38

          She is not very aggressive prosecuting the death penalty– as SF DA she refused to seek death on a case where a SFPD officer was murdered in the line of duty….not good.

          Reply this comment
          • SkippingDog
            SkippingDog 15 January, 2015, 11:50

            Forgot about that, but agree with you. OTOH, it would be hard to get elected DA in San Francisco on an aggressive pro-DP platform. She doesn’t seem to have brought that policy to the AG’s office, but I’m open to contrary evidence.

  2. bob
    bob 13 January, 2015, 13:11

    Kramala is the worst kind of partisan hack. (Just look how she manipulates ballot initiative language.) Couple her partisanship with her blind ambition and she will be even more manipulative than Shillary Clinton.

    Reply this comment
  3. bob
    bob 13 January, 2015, 13:18

    She also has opposed legalizing marijuana, although last year she was coy about her stance.

    Of course she’s coy. That’ because she has no principles. She will say and promise whatever she has to to get elected and once in office do whatever is politically expedient.

    She is a manipulative and power hungry, even for a politician. And as most politicians she will lie through her teeth to get elected. And the idiot voters will forget the lies when the next election roles around.

    Reply this comment
  4. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 13 January, 2015, 16:51

    Accept your ongoing fate. Curtsy to your new Senator doomers. Doomers will trot out some rich penny loafered and bumbling fool fresh from the 19th hole or signing slavery contracts with Chinese Manufacturers.

    And Desi……mom pressed your t-shirt and Pluto jammies, so you can settle in playing Warcraft in the attic spare room.

    Reply this comment
  5. Donkey
    Donkey 13 January, 2015, 18:13

    Just what California needs is Eric Holder in drag as a senator in the U.S. Congress. 🙂

    Reply this comment
    • T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted
      T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted 13 January, 2015, 21:34

      Duncey Dunce Cap–

      Is this a comment on race—??? AGAIN????? You are a one note samba— pure race all the time– do you wonder why NO one out here takes you seriously? Hateful….

      Reply this comment
      • Donkey
        Donkey 14 January, 2015, 07:01

        TCS, you really are very short in the brain department!! 🙂

        Reply this comment
        • ted
          ted 14 January, 2015, 08:46

          Very eloquent

          Reply this comment
        • Ted
          Ted 14 January, 2015, 08:53

          But Duncey— Why always the hateful race comments from you like the one above about Ms Harris? Don’t you think that there is a better more hateful place for you to post than on here?

          Reply this comment
  6. desmond
    desmond 13 January, 2015, 18:16

    What is gurgling, gagging sounds we hear in her office?

    Reply this comment
  7. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 13 January, 2015, 19:04

    Well don, UU!

    Reply this comment
  8. desmond
    desmond 14 January, 2015, 03:41

    Ok, I was imagining I was Willie Brown.

    Reply this comment
  9. Queeg
    Queeg 14 January, 2015, 09:38

    Doomed,

    You should have a sigh of relief. One less Comrade to affect your local scene.

    Not all is lost.

    She will use her scribing skills to write those Senate tax the rich bills you loathe!

    Trot out Carly for another embarassing beating.

    Reply this comment
  10. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 15 January, 2015, 14:14

    ‘She’ DOES look like a drag queen. Makes sense: justice in drag/attorney general in drag. She will make a fine US senator for the next 40 years…..

    Reply this comment

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Tags assigned to this article:
Barbara BoxerJim BrulteJohn SeilerKamala Harris

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