Joe Biden and his handlers are hoping that Kamala Harris can fill two roles. They hope she will be the social justice warrior who fires up the Democratic base, but at the same time come across as moderate and non-threatening to more centrist voters. After all, there’s better than a small chance that, if elected, Biden won’t serve out his first term.
The social justice firebrand part shouldn’t be difficult for Harris, but how can she simultaneously present a moderate image?
The mainstream media intends to do its part to help. As Steve noted, the New York Times has already labeled Harris a “pragmatic moderate.”
How moderate is Harris? So moderate that she blasted Biden for opposing school busing decades ago. Busing children in the name of racial balancing is an idea so far to the left that Biden, who repudiated many of his past positions to appease the left, stuck to his guns in opposing busing.
How moderate is Harris? The American Conservative Union gave her 0 percent rating for her votes as Senator. Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer managed to reach 5 percent. Hell, even Elizabeth Warren came in at 3 percent.
How moderate is Harris? The Republican Attorneys General Association declared that during her time as California’s attorney general, she was “the nation’s most liberal attorney general.”
I don’t see how Harris can appeal to centrist voters. The problem won’t just be her record and the positions she takes on current issues. To fire up the base, she will have to be fiery. She will have to demagogue — something she’s rather good at.
With apologies to “We Have Your Back,” she will come across as shrill and threatening. And Biden may come across as immoderate for unleashing her.