After a quiet start to national politics, Vice President Kamala Harris is beginning to ramp up her public appearances as the electoral cycle enters its final year.
In reality, she has no other choice. Her low approval ratings have not been seen by a VP since the 1990s, and her superior is facing an electoral rematch which, just like four years before, he could well possibly lose.
Kamala Harris Comeback?
Following an address at Joint Base Charleston, in which she emphasized “very seriously our commitment to Israel and to the people of Israel,” Vice President Harris made her way to the College of Charleston, a small liberal arts and science university in the heart of the city. Her plan was simple, as it has been for months: capitalize on the fears of young voters over the prospect of a second Donald Trump presidency.
Students tend to lean Democrat, but are often among the lowest voter demographics to cast their ballot. With President Joe Biden tied with Trump in the polls, and both risk losing votes to now-independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr.,the DNC needs all the support it can get.
“There is an intentional, full-on attack against the freedoms and liberties that have been the basis for what I believe makes us strong and respected as a democracy,” Harris said of GOP officials restricting voting access across the nation. “When you all start voting in your numbers, so many of these things are going to take a complete turn for the better.”
History Tells All
Arguably, the Vice President is an invaluable asset to the Democrats. Albeit advantaged by standing in the Democrat stronghold of California, Harris does know how to win an election. In 2003, she beat veteran incumbent Terence Hallinan in the San Francisco District Attorney runoff election, despite the latter beating Harris in the primary. In her later bids for Attorney General and Senator, she topped the ballot. She’s never lost an election.
Perhaps Biden’s “transition candidate” pledge is partly to blame. The President has kept himself in the spotlight for most of his tenure, thus limiting the attention for Harris to stories about her gaffes from critical media outlets. If voters don’t know who you really are, but do know you’re associated with a President they dislike, then you’re bound to see a hit in your approval.
2024 is a harder test for Harris than 2020; 2028 will be even harder. However, she’s stepped away from the tedious vice presidential duties to full-fledged campaigning, and people are paying to see her. In a democracy, there’s always the lingering element of attracting votes, even on day one of a tenure in office.
While Trump appears in court, and Biden tries to solve a conflict in the Middle East, Harris is on the campaign trail with voters who she needs onside. Whether it’s a relaunch, or just a continuation of a long-term plan for a Harris presidency, is debatable. However, she’s taken the first step in the right direction – she just has to hope that the pathway is shorter than the journey.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
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