Friday, January 11, 2019

Ready For Kamala?


Kamala Harris... Climbing by Nancy Ohanian

Tarini Parti had a cute report at BuzzFeed yesterday: Here’s Trump Allies’ Plan To Meddle In The 2020 Democratic Primary. Through 2 neo-fascist organizations, Carl Higbie's, Katie Walsh's and the Mercers' America First Policies and America Rising, Trump wants to smother strong candidates in the crib and pick a weak 2020 opponent for himself. Parti wrote that "The early move is part of Trump and his allies’ plan to dominate the Democratic presidential primary and push to have the nominating contest play out on their terms."

Wednesday night, Kamala Harris' hometown radio station, KCBS reported that she's likely to officially enter the presidential race "on or around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, probably at a campaign rally in Oakland."
The debate within her camp is how, and where, to launch her campaign. The tentative plan is for Harris to enter the race for the Democratic presidential nomination with a campaign rally, most likely in Oakland, where she was born and began her legal career.

Harris risks appearing indecisive, or worse, disingenuous, if she demurs about her plans much longer, warns veteran Democratic strategist Darry Sragow, the publisher of the nonpartisan California Target Book, who teaches political science at USC.

"If she really has decided to run," said Sragow, "my advice would be, announce. Don't drag this out."

Harris' team wants maximum exposure for her campaign kickoff, and has been scouting for a telegenic location that could give her a "Springfield moment" akin to Barack Obama's campaign launch in 2007 at the Old State Capitol in Illinois.

Harris' advisors want to avoid identifying her too closely with San Francisco, where she first made her political mark as a two-term district attorney.

"San Francisco is viewed as a very nutty place by people outside of California, and frankly, by a lot of people inside California," Sragow said.

Berkeley, where Harris was raised before her parents divorced and she moved with her mother and sister to Montreal, Canada, has also been dismissed by her strategists as not projecting the image they're looking for. That leaves Oakland, where Harris was born, and where she returned after law school to become a deputy district attorney for Alameda County.

"I'm not sure what Oakland's image is around the country these days," said Sragow, but the city, one of the nation's most diverse, is seen as on the rise. Launching her national campaign there would let Harris emphasize her roots and identify with the hardscrabble city's gritty energy, creativity and even the Golden State Warriors, who've won three NBA championships since 2015.

  The sources caution that Harris' planned rollout is still being finalized. The location and timing could change. But the current plan is for Harris to throw her hat into the ring sometime over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, perhaps even on MLK Day itself, which is Monday, January 21.

Sragow notes that as a statewide official whose husband is a prominent Los Angeles attorney, Harris could announce her candidacy anywhere in the state, from L.A. to Sacramento to Silicon Valley.

But the sources tell KCBS Radio the Bay Area is the preferred backdrop. The next stop would probably be Iowa, where Harris would go on an introductory campaign swing to begin in earnest her quest for the White House.

Wow, does that ever sound like someone who should be kept as far from the nomination as possible! I can imagine that this is one that Team Trumpanzee is just dying to get their hands on-- unless they decide she'd be the weakest of the feasible Democrats for Trump to take on. There's virtually nothing to recommend her as a president at this point in her career. She might make a good senator, but we don't know yet.

How about PTA President instead?

So how bad? Well, I don't want to add her to the Worst Democraps series because-- as much as I hope he doesn't-- Bernie may pick her as an eventual VP. But... she's pretty bad. Yves Smith captured the essence of who she is yesterday at Naked Capitalism. "The Big Whopper season is already upon us," she reminded her readers, "in the form of presidential aspirants telling egregious lies about their track records. The Wall Street Journal tonight covers a section from Kamala Harris’ new book, in which she touts what a great deal she got for California homeowners in the so-called Federal-49 state National Mortgage Settlement in 2012. The officials who played meaningful roles the mortgage settlement negotiation should be run out of public life, rather than failing upwards, as Harris has. Hopefully, the millions who lost their homes to foreclosure will vigorously oppose her Presidential bid. But being a successful politician apparently means having no sense of shame... [I]t is fair to say that Harris got a better deal for California than the other state attorneys generals got. But that is what the Japanese would call a height competition among peanut."
The recap from the Journal:
Ms. Harris writes that under the initial settlement offer, California would have received between $2 billion and $4 billion, calling it “crumbs on the table” that would have failed to properly compensate homeowners…

Ms. Harris describes a testy phone call in early 2012 with Mr. Dimon as they discussed the deal. “We were like dogs in a fight,” she writes.

“‘You’re trying to steal from my shareholders!’ he yelled, almost as soon as he heard my voice,” Ms. Harris writes of Mr. Dimon. “I gave it right back. ‘Your shareholders? Your shareholders? My shareholders are the homeowners of California! You come and see them. Talk to them about who got robbed.’”…

Two weeks later, Ms. Harris writes, the five banks relented and eventually agreed to a settlement that year of $26 billion, which ultimately provided about $50 billion in gross relief to homeowners. California’s share of the deal reached $20 billion in aid to the homeowners, a significant increase over the original settlement offer. The agreement involved 49 states and the District of Columbia and five major banks: Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo & Co. and Ally Financial Inc
This is nonsense. Harris did get a good bit more for California but the claim that she was responsible for a ginormous increase and that the total value of the settlement was on the order of $50 billion is unadulterated tripe. The larded settlement gross number was up to $19 billion with New York and California still dickering. Even though California, by virtue of having more foreclosures than any other state, did have more leverage than other states, Schneiderman filed a MERS suit that got folded into the settlement that also resulted in more concessions.

Curiously, Harris does not mention that Governor Jerry Brown raided most of the settlement money and diverted it to fill state budget gaps, with the legislatures’s approval. Last year, a state appeals court ordered California to use the funds for their intended purpose: to help victims of foreclosures. This is now so many years after the fact that any monies will come after the former homeowners are past theh point of their most acute distress.

But the piece de resistance comes from a Jacobin story on Harris’ record:
At the time [when Harris decided to push for a better deal], Harris was under pressure from union leaders, other politicians, and housing rights activists. As one member of the progressive coalition of groups put it, “It wasn’t like she was some hard-charging AG that wanted to take on the banks”-- rather, “it took a lot of work to get her where we needed her to be.” Harris withdrew the day after these groups sent her a letter, signed on by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, a potential future rival, calling the deal “deeply flawed” and “outrageous.”
Even a Wall Street Journal reader was offended by the article:
Daniel Skoglund

MAGA idiots spamming this thread with BS talking points.

I’m a “librul”, and I detest Harris for legitimate reasons:

-Didn’t prosecute Steve Mnuchin when she was CA AG.

-Is meeting with Wall Street donors while she claims to be AGAINST Wall Street?

-Endorsed Hillary and met with her donor network.

She’s another corporate Democrat. I’m interested in grassroots people.
If this is the best story Harris has to tell, it doesn’t bode well to her holding up under meaningful oppo.
And... please God, we can do better than this. She needs to try being a senator for a decade or at least few years and prove she's not as terrible as many suspect. Right now, there aren't many reasons to believe she's any good-- and persuasive reasons to believe she isn't. One thing the Democratic Party does not need as a presidential candidate right now is the ultimate identity politics climber. Even on The View, most of the applause came from her identifying herself with what she really herself isn't, but desperately wants to be part of. Watch:

Labels: , , , ,


At 5:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have friends who were wiped out by Harriss' silliness. Since she didn't want to do that job to the best of her abilities, why would we give her an even bigger one?

"Trump wants to smother strong candidates in the crib and pick a weak 2020 opponent for himself."

This worked so well for Hillary, didn't it? The problem is that the democrap bench is so weak that it just might succeed.

At 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The DNC could probably be talked into harris. she's been for sale. just ask stevie mnuchin.

trump would win 40 states if she was the nom.

At 9:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Bernie chooses a neoliberal establishment-types pol as a VP candidate, many progressives might not vote and support even Bernie.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger edmondo said...

The Democrats are determined to re-elect Trump. Kamala Harris is proof of that

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Procopius said...

Everybody seems to have forgotten how she protected the gang of corrupt DAs in Oragne County who were suborning purjury from jailhouse informers to get convictions. I think their leader is out of office now, but many of those who were complicit are still there and the courts never sanction them.


Post a Comment

<< Home