ICYMI: Boston Globe Column: Why are Republicans so obsessed with Kamala Harris?
August 7, 2023
Key Point: “After two years of harsh scrutiny about her role — something that has rarely dogged other vice presidents — Harris’s tenacity, passion for bedrock Democratic issues, and ability to connect with an audience is a reminder why Biden chose her as his running mate in 2020.”
Boston Globe: Column: Why are Republicans so obsessed with Kamala Harris?
By Renée Graham
- Republicans gleefully share every poll that claims Vice President Kamala Harris has the worst ratings of any person to hold the position she currently occupies. They can’t stop talking about her.
- Why are Republicans so obsessed with Harris?
- One would think that DeSantis and Haley, who, like their fellow Republican presidential candidates, are getting steamrolled by Donald Trump, would be spending more time attacking the former president. Instead, they’re fixated on Harris, whom the Biden administration is deploying as their rapid response person to fight Republican attacks on American history, abortion rights, and democracy.
- After two years of harsh scrutiny about her role — something that has rarely dogged other vice presidents — Harris’s tenacity, passion for bedrock Democratic issues, and ability to connect with an audience is a reminder why Biden chose her as his running mate in 2020.
- If the knock on Harris was that she was spending too much time in the Washington, D.C., bubble, she has flipped the script and is racking up miles on the road. That included a stop in Boston for a conversation with Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell at the NAACP’s recent national convention.
- When Tennessee’s Republican-led state legislature expelled two Black lawmakers, both Democrats, for protesting their state’s refusal to discuss gun reform after a mass shooting at a Nashville school in March, Harris traveled there to voice her support.
- “People were inspired by what they heard. They were motivated by what they heard. It brought some sense of revival,” Justin Jones, one of the expelled — and later reinstated — state representatives, told CNN. “It gave us some more flames to what was already burning here.”
- That same strategy worked last fall when Harris made the conservative-led Supreme Court’s dismantling of nearly 50 years of settled law on abortion a centerpiece of the 2022 midterm elections.
- While others claimed that voters were more focused on the economy, the erosion of abortion access had a major impact at the ballot box. Democrats lost the House by less than predicted and held onto the Senate and even picked up a seat.
- If Harris were ineffective, she wouldn’t be drawing as much — in some cases even more — ire from Republican presidential candidates as Biden does.
- Now her own party is embracing Harris’s role and her effectiveness in promoting the Biden agenda through her focus on racial justice, reproductive rights, gun reform, and democracy. Meanwhile, Haley and DeSantis are so desperate, they’re trying to provoke fights with her to help revive their fading presidential prospects.
- Responding to DeSantis’s debate invitation, Harris tweeted, “There is no roundtable, no lecture, no invitation we will accept to debate the undeniable fact: There were no redeeming qualities to slavery.” She added, “Extremists attempt to divide our nation with unnecessary debates. But I have news for them: We will not be distracted — and we will not be deterred.”
- On the road and in Washington D.C., a renewed Harris is doing what she can to make sure that won’t happen as the administration and the nation careens toward the perilous waters of 2024.