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As her campaign struggles, Kamala Harris wonders: 'Is America ready' for woman of color president?

October 29, 2019 RawAmericanTruth Politics 0
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Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris, senator from California, told Axios that the question of a woman of color's electability is the elephant in the room for her campaign.

Over the last few months, Harris' campaign has stagnated in the polls, unable to translate some high-profile moments and high name recognition into increased support from primary voters. Part of the problem, Harris speculated, is that it can be difficult for voters to envision a black woman being president when they've never seen it before.

"I have started to, perhaps, be more candid talking about what I describe and what I believe to be the elephant in the room about my campaign — electability," Harris said. "You know, essentially, is America ready for a woman and a woman of color to be president of the United States?"

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Axios' Margaret Telev countered that America was ready for Barack Obama, the first black man, to be president.

"And this conversation happened for him," Harris retorted. "There is a lack of ability or a difficulty in imagining someone who we have never seen can do a job that has been done 45 times by someone who is not that person."

Harris went on to tell a story about campaigning for Obama in Iowa during the 2008 primary. She visited a primarily black senior citizen home and spoke to a woman about voting for Obama. The woman, Harris said, replied, "They're not going to let him win" — her experience in life didn't allow her to believe that a black man could become president.


That kind of mindset is what Harris believes she and her campaign have to overcome.

Her campaign has other challenges besides perceived electability issues as a black woman, however. After appearing to be a top contender in the early summer, polling easily in double-digits in June and July, Harris has dropped off to now hover around 3 to 6 percent.

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It's a questionable premise that Democratic voters, who seem to place a high value on gender and racial diversity as positive characteristics in political candidates, are wary of Harris because of her race and gender.

Harris has struggled to establish a clear and consistent position on health care, perhaps the biggest issue in the Democratic primary, and overall has not made an affirmative case as to why she would be a better nominee than front-runners like former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), or even South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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