Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is dropping her bid for the presidency, she told staff in a phone call Tuesday.
At times, she seemed poised to replicate then-Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) rapid ascent from state office to the Senate and the White House, on the strength of her appeal to a rising coalition of younger and black voters and her ability to command a debate stage.
But she struggled to convert that early enthusiasm into a sustained movement, and she came under fire for her record on criminal justice reform as California’s attorney general and for her inability to articulate a vision on issues like health care.
After hitting a high in late June, when she confronted former Vice President Joe Biden in the first presidential debate, her poll numbers sank precipitously.
As the money dried up, Harris pledged a renewed focus on Iowa’s critical first-in-the-nation caucuses, where the campaign maintained 17 offices. She laid off staff, including her entire New Hampshire operation, and dispatched several top aides to Iowa, where she spent Thanksgiving with supporters.
In recent weeks, the Baltimore-based campaign faced reports of mounting tensions between rival factions. Maya Harris, the candidate’s sister and a veteran Democratic policy expert, clashed with Juan Rodriguez, the campaign manager, over staffing, spending and policy decisions.
Harris pulled the plug two weeks before the next Democratic debate, scheduled for Dec. 19 in Los Angeles. She had already qualified for the debate stage, and a super PAC supporting her had begun purchasing airtime on Iowa television stations.
The super PAC began canceling those reservations.
To my supporters, it is with deep regret—but also with deep gratitude—that I am suspending my campaign today.
But I want to be clear with you: I will keep fighting every day for what this campaign has been about. Justice for the People. All the people.https://t.co/92Hk7DHHbR
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 3, 2019
Harris is the first Democrat to drop out without being bounced from a debate – she had qualified for December 19.
At the moment, no non-white Democrat has qualified for that debate.
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) December 3, 2019
Discussion in the comments, plus other news, tweets, and videos!
The heat is on! and another one bites the dust…