With the selection of Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, former Vice President Joe Biden has given us a chance to vote for two capable adults who can send the childish bully who has threatened America for the past four years.
Her record as a local and state prosecutor should scare the hell out of a con man like Donald Trump right when his con is turning into solid rejection by voters and at least part of the leadership of Congress.
Trump turned to his normal style of insults of Harris, which is even raising the eyebrows of even an increasing number of Republicans in the House and Senate who are fed up with his inflating string of lies, broken promises and fantasy-driven exaggerations.
Behind closed doors, GOP leaders — including Mitch McConnell — are telling Republicans to draw up plans to isolate themselves from Trump and focus on trying to hold on to a Senate majority, which is becoming less and less likely.
With less than 100 days remaining before the Nov. 3 general election, “Democrats are favored to take back the Senate,” says Jessica Taylor of the Cook Political Report. “The political climate appears dire for Republicans across the board. ”
“Something remarkable would have to happen for Republicans to still have control of the Senate after November,” remarked one GOP pollster. “It’s grim. There’s just so many places where Democrats either have the upper hand or are competitive in states that six months ago we wouldn’t have considered at risk.”
By looking at the numbers, the battleground becomes clear — Arizona is falling down the list for the GOP to defend, and Colorado is threatening to. If the election were today, Arizona, Colorado and North Carolina stand as the most vulnerable, closely followed by Maine. That leaves what Republicans see as the tipping point states of Montana, Iowa and Georgia. But they have other states they have to watch and worry about, including Kansas, Texas, and even Alaska and South Carolina.
The bottom line is that even Republicans believe Michigan is gone for Trump, and even if James might be able to over perform the president, especially in the Detroit suburbs, polls don’t show it’s enough, so it remains in Lean Democratic.
Adding a proven commodity like Harris to the Democratic ticket give the Biden campaign coattails that could bring more seats into the fold in both the House and Senate.
“We are feeling very good,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader deeply involved in mapping Senate campaign strategy, tells The New York Times. “Republicans tried to intervene in the primaries, but we looked for the candidates who were most competitive. The bottom line is we have candidates who represent their states very well and are talking about the issues the public really cares about.”
Republicans are worried. Kevin McLaughlin, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, in a memo written on a flight back to Washington, aid: “From 30,000 feet, things look pretty bleak.” The selection of Harris as Biden’s running mate turns bleak into toxic despair for the GOP.
McConnell admits publicly that the Senate races are “a knife fight in an alley. We have a lot of exposure, a whole lot of close races, a massive amount of spending on both sides.”
Joe Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris, the daughter of a Jamaican father and a South Asian mother, both immigrants, is both historic and inspiring.
Biden had an embarrassment of riches among his options. Any of the women among the top contenders, including other Black and Asian women, could have been an impressive choice.
But, Harris comes with the benefit of being tough as nails, a true fighter, and one who has already been tested in this cycle on the trail.
But, it’s important to assess not only the impact of her policy positions and credentials, but also the cultural resonance of her selection. She is the first Black woman in such a position on a major party ticket, one who embraces her mixed race heritage.
Throughout his campaign for the presidency, Biden has defined himself as the opposite of President Trump in experience and earnestness and as the antidote to Trump in how he sees America and what he values about it. He has used his choice of a running mate to hammer home that last bit.
Harris is a distinguished public servant with a résumé — U.S. senator from California, state attorney general — unquestionably suited to this exhilarating and daunting opportunity, which she has earned. She is also an agent of contrast, emphasizing the difference between the Republican ticket and the Democratic one, between Trump’s politics of division and Biden’s politics of inclusion.
Bruni says he is looking forward to the vice presidential debate, one he feels will destroy current VP Mike Pence and hobble Trump:
There’s Mike Pence, white of hair as well as cheek, his demeanor more starched than his dress shirt, his smile so tight it’s the twin of a grimace. He represents more than the Trump administration, God help him. He represents an America that’s half memory, half myth.
And there’s Kamala Harris — younger, blacker and more buoyant. She’s only the fourth woman on the presidential ticket of one of the country’s two major political parties and she’s the first woman of color. She represents an America that’s evolving, fitfully, toward equal opportunity and equal justice.
Under her gaze, Pence has to defend a racist, sexist president. As he watches helplessly, Harris gets to talk about how that racism and sexism feel to a Black woman like her. This isn’t any ordinary clash of perspectives and philosophies. It’s an extraordinary collision of life experiences.
Harris is about to make politics in America fun again and that can’t come a minute too soon. Grab a tub of popcorn and a large soda. This is going to be one hell of a show.