When Republicans aren’t claiming that Vice President Kamala Harris is an obvious disaster who will doom the Democratic ticket, they’re claiming that the Democratic Party has some sort of secret plan to install Harris as president.
The Elder Run
Longtime conservative talk show host in the Los Angeles Area, Larry Elder, has had occasional brushes with national fame, such as when he hosted a judge show called “Moral Court,” and when he ran against California Gov. Gavin Newsom (and lost) in the 2021 recall election.
Now, Elder is running a long-shot campaign for president as a Republican, where he hasn’t shown up in many polls.
He also doesn’t appear to have given up his vocation as a pundit, judging by a weekend appearance on Fox News.
The Kamala Harris Problem
Elder appeared on Fox’s Sunday Morning Futures show on Sunday, where he had a lot of things to say about Vice President Harris. Specifically, he made clear that the Democrats are “stuck with” Harris, due to her popularity with Black voters.
“If Joe Biden can’t fog up a mirror, the nominee is going to be Kamala Harris,” Elder said on the Fox show. He added that “the Black media loves Kamala Harris.”
“Her polls are at least 70% among Blacks and I suspect even higher among Black females,” Elder said. “And don’t forget, the first primary for the Democrats is South Carolina, where 60% of the voters are Black and most of those are Black females, and they love Kamala Harris and will very much resent it if she is perceived as having been kicked to the curb for a White person like Mayor Pete or Gavin Newsom…”
It’s very clear that Harris will be on the Democratic ticket as vice presidential nominee in 2024, provided that President Biden is at the head of the ticket. However, should something happen to Biden, it’s far from a sure thing that Harris would be the presidential nominee. For one thing, Harris’ previous run for the presidency in the 2020 cycle went nowhere, with Harris dropping out of the race in November of 2019, before the primaries voting started.
If Biden, tomorrow, were to drop out or become incapacitated, it would likely set off a large, competitive Democratic primary, in which numerous governors and senators would jump into the race, with Harris presumably seeking the presidency as well. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., another Democratic candidate, remains in the race.
Elder seems to have a specific interest in Newsom, the man who defeated him in that 2021 recall election.
Another former Democratic presidential candidate, former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), was also quoted by Fox with her opinions about the race. Gabbard, who clashed directly with Harris in the primary debates in 2020, has since become an independent and has campaigned frequently with Republican candidates.
“The DNC’s strategy to ensure the Democrat establishment remains in power is to re-elect Joe Biden, no matter how old or capable he is, and then get him to resign or step aside and install Kamala Harris as president,” Gabbard said, per Fox.
“She will be untested and unelected, and ready to act as the Democrat Establishment’s puppet president. She will then have the advantage and power of incumbency to run in 2028.”
The idea that the Democrats have a secret plan to “install” Harris as president after the 2024 election is pure evidence-free speculation. Gabbard is a longtime critic of the DNC; in 2016, she resigned from her post as vice chair of that committee, as she was supportive of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign and the DNC was more supportive of Hillary Clinton.
Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.