Another One Bites the Dust
By Ella T. Lifset
On Tuesday December 3rd, Kamala Harris announced the end to her bid for presidency. This came after a continuous drop in the polls since the beginning of summer and numerous reports of political infighting between top aides. However, the primary reason for the suspension of the Californian’s campaign was financially related, as it lacked the necessary revenue in order to stay afloat. Making the final choice was difficult, and according to Harris, it was “one of the hardest decisions of [her] life.”
In June, Senator Harris emerged as a top candidate after going toe-to-toe with fellow contender Joe Biden. Here, she questioned his prior support of a contentious issue, harkening back to her days as a California prosecutor. Her confrontation went viral, which not only revealed weaknesses in Biden’s campaign, but also boosted her polling numbers immensely. Yet, Harris could not retain her popularity, and after several months sunk to the near-bottom of the polls.
A large part of Harris’ downfall was inconsistency in her political positions. Perhaps the most infamous example of this was when she vocalized her support for “Medicare for All” healthcare, only to later modify her opinion and maintain ambiguity surrounding the subject. Harris seemed unable to shake this self-contradictory image of herself, which was reflected in her polling numbers as well.
Stories of clashing senior aides also took a toll on Harris’ campaign. Staffers felt as if they had to “choose sides” between campaign manager Juan Rodriguez and campaign chairwoman Maya Harris, who reportedly disagreed on many aspects of how the team was being run (CNN). Understandably, this led to staff demoralization within the campaign itself, and contributed to Harris’ withdrawal from the 2020 race.
The most pressing concern for Harris’ campaign was financial. Canceled advertisement purchases, absent top donors, and a general lack of funds became the norm as Harris and her team rapidly realized that they just didn’t have the money to keep the campaign going.
However, pulling herself out of the race may not have been entirely detrimental; in fact, many have pointed out that Harris saved herself from both financial and political losses.
Additionally, as a high-profile Democrat, Harris’ early exit from the campaign trail positions her as a desired Vice President.
As the 2020 primaries draw nearer, one thing is for certain: prominent candidates will soon begin to bite the dust, much like Kamala Harris and her campaign did.