Kamala Harris hopes to make history with 2020 United States presidential bid

Clay Curtis
January 21, 2019

California Senator Kamala Harris officially launched her campaign for president this morning.

"I love my country, and this is a moment in time that I feel a sense of responsibility to fight for the best of who we are", Harris said.

Her motto, she told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2009, is a saying her mother had - "you may be the first, but make sure you're not the last" - and her political career has been marked by firsts.

Her signs will carry her campaign theme "Kamala Harris for the people", the words that she spoke each time she rose in the courtroom as a prosecutor. Issues like immigration, education and criminal justice reform are expected to feature prominently in her agenda.

Harris sought to be part of changing the system from within from her early days as district attorney in 2004, when she created a diversionary program for first-time offenders charged with drug offenses that moved them into job training and apprenticeship programs. "Most communities do. They don't want excessive force".

Harris, who is black, launched her presidential as the nation observes what would have been the 90th birthday of the slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

I'm running for president. And early voting in Harris's home state of California will overlap with the traditional early nominating contests, which could give Harris a boost.

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The former California state attorney general has become popular with liberal activists for her tough questioning of Trump administration appointees and officials, including Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, during Senate hearings. But those who have a positive opinion of the California Democrat outnumbered those with a negative opinion by more than three to one. Kirsten Gillibrand, Massachusetts Sen.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., earlier announced that she was forming a presidential exploratory committee.

While avoiding directly engaging Trump, Harris has accused the President of stoking racist and xenophobic rhetoric, while aligning his administration with white supremacists at home, and cozying up to dictators overseas.

The backing of African Americans, who dominate the Democratic electorate in early primaries like SC, which is expected to hold its primary in late February 2020, followed by other Southern states in the first half of March, would make her formidable. In the weeks leading up to her announcement, Harris made multiple high-profile media appearances promoting a recently-released memoir.

ABC's Good Morning America got the exclusive first interview with Harris. And then he took it to the lowest common denominator. [He said] it is us versus them instead of what real leadership would be about - which is to read it and say, "Hey everybody, We're all in this together".

"Kamala Harris has - on paper - the clearest path to the Democratic nomination because of her potential appeal to various elements of the Democratic Party and new prominence of the California party", said Dan Pfeiffer, a communications strategist for Obama's 2008 campaign and White House.

Correction: January 21, 2019 12:00 am - An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Sen. "That's why I'm running for president of the United States", the senator representing California said in a video posted on Twitter.

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