Kamala Harris...we hardly knew ye
California Senator Kamala Harris has dropped out of the race. So, of course, we got to hear all the autopsy reports from mainstream media on why it happened. There is hand wringing on how revisionist the Democratic candidates are starting to look. I will acknowledge it is harder for female candidates to get their message out without being undercut by a largely white, male mainstream media. It may not be deliberate, but bias still exists. For example, if a woman is to vocal or knowledgable on a topic she is called strident or professorial. If she is tough on an issue she is labeled as uncaring. People want female candidates to act like...females. However, in Ms. Harris case, there may have been some of that, but we although should acknowledge that there were other reasons for her exit.
Reap the whirlwind
I did not watch all of the Democratic debates to date, but I have observed enough of them to form some opinions. To be honest, these debates are painful spectacles, but if you want source material in order to form an opinion on a candidate, they are good for that. Or the interviews with them afterwards. You can then turn off the television and not listen to the talking heads opinions on a candidates performance. With respect to Ms. Harris, the so called experts say her campaign was dysfunctional for. Now I have never participated in a political campaign, but imagine they are all pretty dysfunctional. That is the nature of the business. Anytime you get a dynamic and transactional organization full of determined and opinionated folks, there will be friction, even when successful. So I disregard that aspect of her failed candidacy. One issue that I think Ms Harris had was her record as Attorney General in California. She was tough on crime, supported the death penalty, and now public opinion has shifted on those items. When confronted she gave poor answers. It is a start for a candidate to state that their position has changed on a topic. We are all human. What people really want to hear, though, is that a candidate was wrong on an issue, or was torn between personal beliefs and constituent desires etc. Do politicians say what they have to in order to get elected? Absolutely. However, it is a fine line to tread when called on it, and most are unable to do it successfully. People see through it. I for one would love to see a candidate own their mistakes.
Say it ain't so...Joe
So are we headed, inevitably, to Joe Biden as Democratic candidate for President? I hope it does not come to that quite frankly. He is Hubert Humphrey. Humphrey was known as the "Happy Warrior"...aka chickenhawk. Humphrey always struck me as a 19th century man that happened to live in the 20th century. So as we are fast approaching the third decade of the 21st century are we seriously considering Biden, a 20th century man? His persona is solidly rooted in the last century. His "apologies", if you could call them that, typically consist of "I'm sorry if my actions were perceived that way", or words to that effect. He was wrong on Anita Hill. He was wrong on the disastrous crime bill in the 1990's. He voted for the Iraq war. Wrong again. He got the usual Vietnam War draft deferments and then opposed letting Vietnamese refugees get asylum in the U.S. He and Obama deported more immigrants than any administration. Again, there may be good explanations for his reasons at the time on these items, but 20th century Biden is incapable of articulating it. I guess most people don't care...so is this what we are willing to settle for?
The usual suspects
I suppose my premise is that be careful when analyzing the Democratic candidates. Don't depend on mainstream media opinion, polls etc. Review their records and listen to what they have to say. Tune out the noise.