Lessons of the Kamala Harris campaign

One, know and establish your political persona before you get in.

…Harris promised a focus on racial issues with an implicit suggestion that Barack Obama, the first African-American president might have been too timid here. By this fall, there appeared to be no focus — race or otherwise.

…A candidate can alter, modify or change a position or two, but the overarching message has to be consistent and coherent.

…Two, when you get that moment in the limelight, be ready to capitalize on it and move on.

…Three, a campaign [organization/staff] matters.  A staff is — to an extent — a mirror reflection of the candidate. [Which makes the Peanut Gallery curious why the Hill singled out her sister and not her stuff in the rest of the paragraph.]

…There is no doubt the political bar is a little higher for women — and more so for minority candidates.

It’s hard to cite this as the major factor in Harris’s collapse: In the past three presidential elections, twice the Democratic nomination went to an African-American, Barack Obama, the other to a woman, Hillary Clinton.

Lessons of the Kamala Harris campaign | TheHill


…Also can we stop any talk of nominating sitting Senators to VP or cabinent positions. Enough already. They need to stay where they are.

George Skelton: Kamala Harris should have never run for president

“The hard truth: Harris was a weak presidential candidate [emphasis: Peanut Gallery],” Duran wrote. 

Harris excelled in California politics because she’s part of a home state Democratic cabal, an insiders’ machine. But that machine doesn’t work outside California. [emphasis: Peanut Gallery]

…She hadn’t yet established herself in the U.S. Senate. And she hadn’t exactly excelled in her previous job as California’s attorney general.

…After being elected to the Senate in a 2016 cakewalk [emphasis: Peanut Gallery]…

…Harris’ lack of money was just a symptom of her failed presidential bid, not the root cause of its demise.  [emphasis: Peanut Gallery] Her downward slide in polls destroyed the confidence of potential campaign contributors in her ability to win, drying up the money flow. But the plunging poll numbers resulted from her inability to connect with voters.

And she couldn’t connect with voters because of the core weakness in her candidacy: a lack of cohesive strategy and clear [personalized message].

…The campaign was confident she would win the votes of African Americans in South Carolina and from fellow Californians. [Without much basis for that other than the color of her own skin, that incomplete thinking was an insult people of ALL backgrounds. Whoever thought she could have California liberals without actually being a liberal hasn’t seen too many campaigns.]

…Anyone who watched Harris as attorney general could have predicted this outcome. She refused to take positions on any state ballot proposition. Her excuse was that the attorney general writes the official ballot titles and summaries, and she didn’t want to appear biased. But that was nonsense. She was trying to avoid making political enemies, especially among law enforcement. [Which is understandable but not very courageous or principled. And it sure as shit doesn’t leave much room for paving a clear path forward.]

…“This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly.” [This indictment doesn’t actually mean that she personally is difficult to work with but it does mean her top brass were. Like a President and their administration, the buck for that ultimately rests with her.]

George Skelton: Kamala Harris should have never run for president – Los Angeles Times


Oh, and her refusal to shake hands and do selfies was cast by her campaign as a security decision. The Peanut Gallery believes wholeheartedly that there were indeed threats to her safety, threats a candidate who was not a woman and a POC would never have had to endure. The Peanut Gallery has also seen a lot of campaigns and a lot of Secret Service people in action and firmly believes this was a cop out and excuse for lazy and/or California style campaigning. The Secret Service are damn good at their job and they weren’t going to let anything bad happen to her. Basically this is the job she was asking for and reality is the place she was running for it. It’s harsh but true but she need to woman up or get out of the way. If Barack could manage to do selfies, shake hands, and bend down to talk to children she could too.

If you are too good to speak to early state voters (and make no mistake, this is how the campaign presented her) then you do not deserve to be in the running for the job.

Harris Policy Proposals That Got Lost in that Shitshow of a Campaign

Under Harris’ proposal, homebuyers who rent or live in historically redlined communities can apply for a federal grant of up to $25,000 to assist with down payments or closing costs. Harris’ campaign estimates that this will help up to 4 million families.

Redlining is the discriminatory practice of denying financial or other services for low-income and minority communities.

Harris’ policy proposal also aims to prevent discrimination in home sales, rentals and loans by promising to strengthen and strictly enforce anti-discrimination laws.

…In May, Harris reintroduced her 2018 bill to tackle racial disparities in maternal health and rolled out her proposal to fine companies that don’t achieve pay equity

Harris’ education proposal — her first major policy as a presidential candidate — would boost teacher pay, make additional investments in public schools and support programs dedicated to teacher recruitment, training and professional development, particularly at historically black colleges and universities.

Kamala Harris unveils $100 billion black homeownership plan – CNNPolitics


Kamala Harris’s decline in the polls, explained

Kamala Harris’s decline in the polls, explained – Vox

Coalition building?! Don’t make the Peanut Gallery laugh. You can’t build a coalition relying on one firm for advice and only one demographic of voter.

We’re hearing a lot about concerns about her electability but that wasn’t a concern in Iowa or NH, both places that if she put the effort in and garnered a good finish could have really added that aura of electability to her candaciacy as he headed into places where that is more of a concern for voters, places like South Carolina.

Sigh… What a waste.

Kamala Harris Says She’s Still ‘in This Fight,’ but Out of the 2020 Race – The New York Times

Throughout her candidacy, Ms. Harris faced concerns about her political strategy and her campaign’s organizational structure. She relied on a stable of California political strategists, led by the longtime political operative Averell Smith, who did not heed warnings from grass-roots organizers to invest more heavily in early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Instead, the campaign focused on later primaries in states with more nonwhite voters, including South Carolina and California.

Her campaign miscalculated.

…Mr. Biden, campaigning in Iowa, called Ms. Harris “a first-rate intellect, first-rate candidate, real competitor.” He walked away when a reporter asked whether he would consider Ms. Harris as a running mate.

Kamala Harris Says She’s Still ‘in This Fight,’ but Out of the 2020 Race – The New York Times

Did she or her campaign take all of the next/female Obama hype she had been generating since before she ran for Senate too seriously? Because there was a certain arrogance behind some of her bad decisions on the campaign trail….

A lot of talk about where she fell on the ideological spectrum but did she &/or anyone on the campaign ever sit down and plot it out?

If she did a review of the finances this late in the game and made her decision on this where was she in the past six months? Did she even check her spending or have a skeleton budget she adhered to?  (Thinking about that private plane the Peanut Gallery saw taking off after one her events…)

What did unifying goals mean to her? This was the woman who spent most of 2019 not bothering to talk to voters in NH and Iowa because they were too white.

Can’t speak for Iowa but NH is full not only a white state state, it is a gray state, full of successful professional women in their sixties and seventies who were (by virtue of when they started their careers) barrier breakers themselves. …Women who naturally felt a kinship and empathy towards her as another barrier breaker. She blew those women off and their interest in her and they went from dying to hear from her to, “Oh, Well, I guess she doesn’t want my vote.” Not exactly the stuff of a unifier….

Did she not realize she was vulnerable to candidates too her in California? How could she possibly have put together a campaign plan without accounting for that? (Oh, that’s right. Her campaign had no plan!)

As for her breakout moment calling Biden not quite a racist… What kind of politician attacks someone for supporting a position they themselves also hold? (Hint: a total frigging idiot who doesn’t think things through. That’s who!)

Also, Democrats have a tendency to eat their own and attack those on their own side who came before them. Fair or not, attacking Biden was also attack the Obama administration. Candidates who do this might as well be pulling the rug out from under their own feet.

Oy…. what a waste!

Kamala Harris’ failed presidential campaign is bad news for Democrats (even her critics)

Kamala Harris’ failed presidential campaign is bad news for Democrats (even her critics)

For fuck’s sake… Kirsten Gillibrand cut her own legs off before she entered the race by calling for WJC to retroactively resign. She pigeon-holed herself and didn’t expand her message when it didn’t catch on.

It stinks that Kamala didn’t run a better but she didn’t. She just didn’t. Maybe we should anointing people 2,4,6 years before the election? Maybe hiding in backroom with big donors isn’t the way to introduce yourself to voters…

Julian Castro went bitchy instead of finding a less abrasive way to get all of his great wonky points across. He was downright aggressive in trying to make Biden look old and it didn’t make seem forceful, he came across like the mean kids table in a junior high cafeteria. He also never developed a ground game.

The problem isn’t Bloomberg or Steyer, the problem is the three candidates did not enter the race in any way prepared. They needed mentoring and guidance and they either didn’t have or didn’t listen.

I wonder where all of these journalists and posters were while these candidates they loved so much were in the hunt. I wonder where they were in 2016. Did they volunteer or donate for the their preferred 2020 candidate or HRC? No? Then sit down and STFU. Whiny freaking children.


I do



Progressives cite racism, sexism in Harris exit: Women of color ‘get twice the scrutiny’

Progressives cite racism, sexism in Harris exit: Women of color ‘get twice the scrutiny’ | TheHill

Yes, all of this exists.

Kamala Harris also ran a shitty, shitty campaign.  Bad hires, bad policy roll outs, piss poor strategy, and just a ridiculously ineffectual approach to just about everything.

The leadership skills show she showed were abysmal. In the face of racism and sexism, she needed to run a good campaign. She did not. If you cannot run a campaign, how do expect to run the country?

It’s sad the only African-American woman in the race has dropped out but sadder still is that her campaign didn’t have the organization or breath of experience, knowledge, and strategy that would have cast her in a better light.

Unfortunately Kamala’s dropping out is less of indictment of the our country’s lack of intersectionality and diversity and more of a statement on her own apparent lack of leadership and administration skills.