Will the real populist please stand up? In an odd and occasionally eye-popping 57-second campaign launch video, Kamala Harris announced her intention to seek the Democratic presidential nomination “for the people.” After only two years in the Senate, Harris might be the early frontrunner for the ticket:
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 21, 2019
If Elizabeth Warren’s launch video was underproduced, Harris’ has the opposite problem. Words pop out of garish backgrounds, the images cut swiftly between Harris and stock photos of Happy People, all while Harris mouths platitudes that literally anyone from either party could utter, right down to the “we have to fight for it” mantra. If Harris offers anything new, we’ll have to wait to hear it, apparently.
Speaking of waiting, Harris reportedly aimed to launch her campaign at a rally over the Martin Luther King Jr holiday weekend in Oakland if not MLK Day itself, which is today. That would have allowed Harris to wrap herself in some powerful symbolism. Instead, the event will take place (according to the video above) next weekend, when nothing much is happening otherwise. Couldn’t Harris’ organization pull together a one-off rally in time? If not, that doesn’t bode well for the success of her campaign.
However, one has to consider her a front-runner for important structural reasons. Harris so far appears to be the only significant entrant from California, a state with vast resources for a favorite-daughter candidate. The state also moved up its primary into the first month, and anyone who wins this state will be very far along to the nomination. Unless Gavin Newsom undercuts her — and there are rumors of his interest — Harris will be the sole beneficiary of the Golden State’s largesse. That is, if she manages to avoid imploding on the campaign trail, or if people avoid getting epileptic fits watching her campaign videos. Yeesh.
ABC’s Good Morning America got the exclusive first interview with Harris. She didn’t have much of substance to add to her video in this exchange, even if it runs a lot longer than the 57-second Twitter video.