The Democrats' dilemma: even Californians don’t want Kamala Harris

Am I a bad person to enjoy the increasingly untenable position in which Democrats find themselves as we near the 2024 election? I really love watching them struggle with the specter of a second Biden campaign or, worse, the problem of lining up candidates if they convince Jill…er, Joe not to run. A new piece of evidence about the dilemma facing the Democrats is the fact that Californians do not like Kamala Harris, the country’s most powerful Democrat “woman of color.” Heh.

Whether you like all the potential candidates or not, the Republican field is dynamic and offers lots of great choices along with some dispiriting and depressing ones: Trump (who has declared), DeSantis (who almost certainly will declare), Ramaswamy (declared), Haley (declared), Tim Scott (probably will declare), Mike Pence (probable declaration), Larry Hogan (probable declaration), Glenn Youngkin (possible declaration). Indeed, we have an embarrassment of riches that, as in 2016, requires an incredibly strong candidate to emerge victorious from the fray.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have Joe Biden. Admittedly, he is the most effective president America has ever seen. In only two years, he’s reversed everything Trump accomplished, and has driven America into the deepest ditch imaginable.

If you measure success by a broken economy, a nonexistent border, racial hatred, gender madness, a nearing nuclear conflict, and America’s full retreat from being the world’s superpower, Biden is your guy, no matter how old and senile he’ll be at the start of a second term. There are people out there celebrating Jill Biden’s promise that Joe will run again.

Image: Kamala Harris. YouTube screen grab.

However, Democrats are beginning to suspect that not everyone supports Joe’s “Destroy America” agenda. They’d love to see Joe announce a graceful retirement, which would leave the field open for…Kamala Harris.

Yup. Kamala. Given how important women, especially black women and self-loathing white women, are to the Democrat party, should Kamala choose to run, the Democrats cannot abandon her. After all, she is the Vice President of the United States and the first woman of cackle…sorry, I mean color to hold that office. She is pretty much untouchable for a party built around labels involving sex, race, and sexual identity.

The problem for the party is that, aside from the fanatic base, voters really don’t like Kamala Harris. You may recall that, in 2019, she had to drop out of the Democrat primary after it became apparent that she wouldn’t even carry her home state of California. Across America, voters disliked her politics and her persona.

It turns out that they still do. Writing at SFGATE, a left-leaning online newspaper out of San Francisco, Eric Ting, the publication’s political analyst, writes that Californians still dislike Kamala Harris:

The Berkeley Institute of Government Studies/Los Angeles Times poll, conducted between Feb. 14 and Feb. 20 among 7,512 registered voters, asked respondents the question, "If Joe Biden decides not to run for a second term for President in 2024, how would you feel about Vice President Kamala Harris running for President in 2024?"

Just 16% said they'd be "very enthusiastic," while 21% said they'd be "somewhat enthusiastic"; 18% answered "not too enthusiastic," and a clear plurality of 41% said "not enthusiastic at all." Four percent of survey respondents offered no opinion.

In sum, just 37% of voters say they have enthusiasm for a Harris presidential bid, compared with a whopping 59% who expressed hesitancy. When looking at the results among only Democratic voters, 56% say they'd be enthusiastic, while 41% said they would not be. The fact that 4 in 10 California Democrats don't want to see Harris run for president is extremely worrying news for her.

One should never discount Black Swans, of course, those completely unexpected events that shape the future. Trump was a Black Swan, and so was Biden. That he won the election revealed the depth of corruption infecting voting across America. While that was almost predictable, the Black Swan part was that Biden, a pretty generic Democrat throughout his career, turned into the destroyer. (I keep thinking how, in Ghostbusters, the “destructor” ended up being the smiling Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.)

So, something may happen in the next year that completely changes the Democrat race and raises to the forefront a powerful and beloved black woman who has a former president at her side for the pillow talk of governance. Let’s hope, though, that the Black Swan I’m thinking of does not want to run. Instead, let me enjoy, at least for the moment, the thought that Democrats are trapped between the Scylla and Charybdis of Biden and Harris for 2024.

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