Debate success can be a fleeting thing. Just ask California’s Kamala Harris. She was the darling of the after-party spin from the first debate after her sneak attack on Joe Biden. Somehow though, she wasn’t ready for being attacked in the second debate and her glass jaw was exposed.
Kamala Harris has led a charmed existence in politics.
Her illicit relationship with the California power broker Willie Brown, when she was half his age, gave her a jump start few ever get. She parlayed that into running for Attorney General with the blessing of U.S. Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Despite the lopsided voter registration in California at the time, Harris could only barely squeak out a victory over a Republican who was far more qualified for the job.
From there, Harris ran for U.S. Senator and, with the help of President Obama and others, she won. Her run started with a deal of sorts with Gavin Newson, now Governor of California, whereby he agreed to run for Governor and she was free to make her Senate run.
The State of California then (and now) had a system where the top two vote getters in the primary face off in the fall election regardless of party. Again, Harris benefitted from the lopsided voter registration of California and ran almost unopposed in the general election against a fellow Democrat.
In short, as political careers go, Harris’s career has been one of privilege. Now she is running for president and hard questions are being asked. Not surprisingly to me, who ran against and debated Harris for US Senate, and beat her in the after-debate poll, Harris is having trouble answering those questions.
In the first Democrat debate, she famously attacked front-runner Joe Biden on an issue he obviously wasn’t ready to defend, his busing record. Biden looked weak and the relatively unknown Harris looked ascendant.
One month later, the tables were turned. Harris had risen in the polls and looked like a contender. That made her a target and the candidate, who fancies herself as ready to prosecute the case against President Trump, was somehow caught off guard trying to defend her record as the California Attorney General.
It should surprise no one that the privileged Harris ran an Attorney General’s office for the privileged and selectively enforced the law. As Candidate Tulsi Gabbard pointed out, Harris oversaw the prosecution of some 1500 marijuana users and laughed away her own use. Gabbard also correctly noted that in 2010, a judge scolded Harris for withholding information in a case.
Gabbard didn’t mention Harris withheld information in another case as well. Incredibly, Harris also tried to stop a death row inmate from getting a DNA test to prove his innocence until she was shamed by a national newspaper.
Those cases, however, involved the down-trodden—not the powerful.
When it came to prosecuting those accused of sexual misconduct, Harris went easy on the Democrat Congressman Bob Filner. Harris touted her toughness against big banks, but one has to wonder how it is that a “former Wells Fargo executive who defended the bank during its massive fake accounts scandal is hosting a fundraiser” for Harris.
Overall, despite her arrogant post-debate comment that “I’m obviously a top-tier candidate, and so I did expect that I would be on the stage and take hits tonight, because there are a lot of people who are trying to make the stage for the next debate,” Harris wasn’t ready to defend herself.
She avoided answering direct questions just as she did in the 2016 U.S. Senate debates and the first Democrat debate last month. This time, instead of answering the charges against her, she grandiosely claimed she reformed California’s justice system and said it was a model for the country. She may well be alone in that assessment.
So, how will the post-debate polls treat her this time? Overall, the Democrat race is wide open and the many polls do not show a consensus of which candidate is clearly number 2, 3 or 4. The fluid nature of the race means that many candidates, including the arrogant Harris, are in the mix.
Last night proved, however, that Harris has a flawed record as a public official. It also demonstrated that her privileged past hasn’t prepared her to defend herself let alone be president.
Thomas Del Beccaro is an acclaimed author, speaker, Fox News, Fox Business & Epoch Times opinion writer and the former Chairman of the California Republican Party. He is author of the historical perspectives “The Divided Era” and “The New Conservative Paradigm.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.