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    • Feeling and Acting Powerful in Catastrophic Times
      The United States is moving into a time of catastrophe. Thirty-two percent of people were unable to make either their rent or mortgage payments in July. Twenty-two percent of small businesses seem likely to go bankrupt. One-third of small independent farms are on the verge of bankruptcy. When these people lose their homes and wind […]
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The Anti-Palin?

Kamala Harris

(I mentioned this in the comments yesterday but I decided to front page it.)


Kamala Harris: Democrats’ anti-Palin

It’s easy to understand why Kamala Harris, California’s next attorney general, is being called the future of the Democratic Party, a rising political star in the mold of one of her big supporters — President Barack Obama.

At first glance, the president and Harris have much in common: Both are mixed-race children of immigrants raised by a single mother; both are eloquent, telegenic big-city lawyers with strong liberal credentials who catapulted from relative obscurity to the national stage. And like the first African-American president, Harris has broken a long-standing barrier — she’s California’s first African-American attorney general and the first woman to hold the office.


When she broke out of a six-candidate primary field in the race for attorney general, the San Francisco prosecutor won big endorsements from party heavyweights, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, as well as endorsements from labor unions like the Service Employees International Union and most of California’s top newspapers. She also was the only down-ballot Democrat for whom President Obama raised funds this year.

That level of support — coupled with glowing profiles in national magazines like Ebony and The Daily Beast, as well as appearances on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and a Matt Lauer interview on Today — lead top Democrats to predict she will soon become a household name.

“She’s a rare talent who will be a national figure shortly,” said Chris Lehane, a former Clinton aide who is now a consultant in California. “People call her the female Obama. It’s more apt to say she is the female Obama that progressives thought they were voting for.”

I like Kamala Harris. I voted for her in the primary as well as the general election. Of course since she’s a former prosecutor who believes in the rule of law that probably makes me an authoritarian follower or something.

I have no problem calling her a “rising star.” But shouldn’t we let her spend a few years at her new job before we start talking about promoting her again?

I would also point out that in a election where Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer won handily over their GOP opponents, Harris won by the skin of her teeth.

A couple wingnut blogs raise interesting points. Conservatives4Palin:

First of all, the Democrat Party is probably too foolish to recognize that it is effectively conceding that Governor Palin has national appeal by making the comparison between Harris and Palin. If the Democrat Party views Harris as the liberal version/mirror image of Palin and at the same time believes that Harris plays well nationally, then the Democrat Party is logically conceding that Palin has national appeal as well because it wouldn’t make sense otherwise to make the comparison between Palin and Harris.


I guess that means that Kamala Harris is ugly, angry, divorced, has had abortions, is anti-gun, fiscally irresponsible, uncoordinated, America hating… what else?

WTH does The Anti-Palin even mean?

Kamala Harris is supposed to be the next Barack Obama, which means that she will rise meteorically based on nothing and then sink like a stone in a morass of inability, paranoia and egotism.

We don’t need any anti-Palins or female Obamas. We need quality candidates of all races, genders and sexual orientations who have spent years gaining experience while demonstrating competence and integrity.

When we try to rush the process we not only end up with leaders who are unqualified and inexperienced (see: Obama, Barack) but we also pass over qualified and experienced candidates (see: Clinton, Hillary).

Kamala Harris is gaining experience while demonstrating competence and integrity. Let’s be patient and see how far her star will rise on its own.

46 Responses

  1. I agree.

  2. Couldn’t agree more, especially with the end of the post. Ms. Harris, however, already held office; we cannot say that of Obama. He never did anything accept short stints in the Illinois house and the US Senate. (These were not real jobs.) Still, we shouldn’t develop a bumphobia, just because we elected two bums in a row (Bush, Obama).

    • She proved herself at the local level and now we’ll see how she does at the state level.

      In a few years we can decide if she’s ready to move higher.

      • Well said, myiq! I particularly like this statement:

        “We don’t need any anti-Palins or female Obamas. We need quality candidates of all races, genders and sexual orientations who have spent years gaining experience while demonstrating competence and integrity.”

        Indeed!!! I just wish we could get more people like Ms. Harris in the pipeline for higher office after they get the experience, etc. It would be great if we had many to select from.

        Merry Christmas, to all at the Confluence!


        • Agree, but I think that there is no day light between local and national. You’re either a capable politician or your are not; you’re a forceful person or a push over; you’re a machine guy or have your own ideas and take your own path.

          Since I live on the east coast, I know nothing about Harris. (I lived in California when Brown I and II were governors.) Until she gets to national I will not hold it against her just because she has a lot in common with our non-president president.

  3. Merry Xmas Everyone 🙂

  4. Whoo-Hoo! Just saw The Virgin Spring on the big TV in the basement using the BFFs new apple TV and my Netflix account. Amazing. No longer do I have 14 year old adolescent boy movies tO choose from. The BFF is checking out Brubeck videos on YouTube.

  5. On a related note:

    Phoenix Abuzz as a Palin Buys a Home Nearby

    Bristol Palin, the 20-year-old daughter of Sarah Palin, has bought a five-bedroom house in Maricopa, a modest community south of Phoenix, setting off a flurry of speculation as to exactly what her plans — and those of her famous mother — are for the desert dwelling.

    Hmmmm. If *somebody* was planning to make a run at national office, having a home base in the lower 48 near a major airline hub city located somewhere in friendly territory sure makes sense.

    • I guess that means Harris will have to be pushed higher even at her own detriment. You know, because the fauxgressives just can’t think of another woman with more experience at the ready.

  6. From Julie Burchill at the Belfast Telegraph:

    But I do know the WikiLeaks man is a wonderful thing in that he has given us an up-close-and-personal viewing of that rare bird, the Lefty Lothario, in all his tawdry glory.

    “I like women from countries that have sustained political turmoil,” he wrote.

    Oooo, what a catch. What did the Sex Pistols say about a cheap holiday in other people’s misery?

    Sounds like Assange fancies a sex tourism trip in other people’s turmoil, the scamp. But calm down, white girl, ‘cos he’s not interested in you, you namby-pamby pampered princess — “Western culture seems to forge women that are valueless and inane.”

    What do you bet he’s one of those inane, valueless Western egomaniac men who can’t stand the L’Oreal ads because they hate hearing women say “Because we’re worth it”? Worth a bottle of shampoo? Whatever next? Before you can say “Stop it!” we’ll be wanting to make one-night stands use condoms? And then it’ll be anarchy.

    Asked for the ‘most private thing’ he was willing to admit, Mr Assange said he had “Asian teen-girl stalkers”; if that isn’t shorthand for “the hottest of hotties on the planet fancy me, so imagine how hot I must be” then I don’t know what is.

    He ended by saying that women should contact him if they were “spirited, erotic, nonconformist”. Which sounds very much like a fancy-pants way of saying, “Will be prepared to let me do whatever I want with them.”

    When Right-wing politicians and public figures act the sex pest, or the love rat, we expect it of them. Scratch a racist who talks about Bong-Bongo Land (such as Alan Clark) and you won’t be surprised to find an old school rotter who ends up bedding two sisters and their mum while the wife sits at home stewing.

    But when men have enlightened attitudes to issues of race or class, we fondly imagine that they will be similarly decent when it comes to a question of sex — though time and time again it has been proved that, just because you subscribe to the Brotherhood of Man, it’s no guarantee that you can automatically find it in your heart to be nice to the ladies, bless ’em.


    We’re always told that Right-wing men are scared of/hostile to women, but that didn’t stop the Conservatives from electing the first (only) female leader of a British political party. (Oh yeah, I forgot, Thatcher was ‘a man in drag’ — that pathetic Left-wing diss for a woman who wants more from political life than making tea and servicing whistle-blowers.) I don’t know if Assange is a rapist or not, but I do know that he wouldn’t be the first right-on comrade to have the moves of a frat boy at a keg party.

    Assange groupies, mind how you go.


    Did you really think I would let you have an Assange-free Christmas?


  7. I’m watching CMT Artists of the Year and Lady A is one of the winners.

    They should call this the “Booty Call Song”

  8. Politics is fickle. Our rising stars burn out as fast as they shoot upward.

    Obama didn’t win the primary, but went on to win the general. Martha Coakley blew up her star overnight after declaring she actually would support HCR.

    How Harris does will depend on whether or not she proves to the Republicans she’s willing to be on their team while wearing the other side’s colors.

  9. Perry on 2012: ‘A definite no, brother’


    When pressed on whether his crusade against federal government interference and big spending would translate into a 2012 run for the White House, Perry said he hoped someone would run who would stand up and “try to make Washington as inconsequential” as possible.

    “Not for me,” Perry said. “I happen to think that the governors are where the action is.”

    When pressed on whether that was a “definite maybe,” Perry shot back, “As a definite no, brother.”

    That leaves the Mittster as the sole “good hair” candidate.

    • All part of the plan. Mitt (or someone with even better hair) for the Obama win. It’s Obama’s turn. Others are readying for 2016, including Jeb. Only someone who isn’t supposed to win could accidentally win (like in ’92).

  10. Ben Smith is committing genuine astro-turfing such as Nancy Pelosi hilariously accused the Tea Party of being. This is a DNC inspired spoof on the intelligence of the American voter—trying to play on the “anti-Palin” vibe some deranged lefties are pushing.

    Face it, Sarah is a normal person who went from a PTA voluntary position to governor of Alaska through her “normalcy.” Kamala Harris is a confection foisted on the nation by a DNC agitprop operative.

  11. After 20 years of building 1-2 prisons every year they finally built a new UC in my hometown – UC Merced.

  12. Yup! “Kamala Harris is supposed to be the next Barack Obama, which means that she will rise meteorically based on nothing and then sink like a stone in a morass of inability, paranoia and egotism.”

    • Marsha,

      No woman would ever be given the free pass obama was given, no matter how much the media Ms. Harris to obama.

      No matter how well she does as Attorney General, she’s still first and foremost, a woman, and a woman of any color, background or experience will never be given the automatic jump to the front of the line pass that the men are given every election cycle.

      When she is criticized, it will be interesting to see if there will be calls of racism or sexism or neither.

  13. “Of course since she’s a former prosecutor who believes in the rule of law that probably makes me an authoritarian follower or something.”


    Here in the Bay Area, plenty of people think she’s a hippie pinko socialist commie terrist. Just read the comments in the Chronicle every time an article even mentions her.

    • Plenty of wingnuts in the Bay Area? Where.

    • Aside from the people who advocate in favor of the death penalty, I believe KH has wide spread support in Bay Area.

      Chronicle publishes both sides of the issue in the comments to editor, which is the best page in the whole SF Chron.

  14. Is this Harris person a legend in her own mind like the POTUS?

    Is there a history of using people then depositing them under the bus?

    Is this a cynical ploy by the “elites” two get the black and women’s vote?

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