Via the Free Beacon, watching this is like watching Hillary claim that she’ll win the presidency because of her charisma and trustworthiness.

She was pro-gun and a Trump-ish border hawk in the House until the moment she was appointed to the Senate, whereupon she recanted and became garden-variety porous-borders garbage. And she was a Clinton sycophant for 20 years after the Lewinsky affair, sometimes campaigning with Bill himself, until #MeToo arrived and she decided that he should have resigned in disgrace after his relationship with Monica was revealed. Gillibrand is opportunistic maneuvering personified, not just in the audacity of her reversals but in how quickly she moves to execute them once the wind changes. There’s no pretense of principle. The fact that even the hosts of CBS’s very generic morning show recognize her as famously inconstant means she’s a dead duck among the ideologically attuned progressive voters she’s trying to woo.

But I guess this is a question that can only be answered one way. It’d be bold if Gillibrand admitted the truth, that she adjusts what she professes to believe to match whatever her constituents believe, and tried to sell that as some sort of virtue. (“We expect politicians to carry out the agenda of the people who elect them, right? Well, that’s what I do.”) There’s no constituency for that, though, in a country which looks for cheap inspiration and facsimiles of leadership in its presidential candidates, not human robots whose chief talent is vote-counting. What you’re seeing here is a purely transactional politician forced by America’s political culture to pretend that she’s an ideologue. Why does she even bother running in a national primary?

It’s called “blind ambition” for a reason, I guess.

She’s at three percent in a new poll of South Carolina, by the way, a good showing relative to her usual polling across multiple polls of one percent. Biden leads with 37 percent(!), with a fascinating detail buried in there about black voters:

It appears Harris has some work to do in South Carolina, particularly within the African American community. Among African American Democratic primary voters Biden leads with 43% of the vote, Sanders captures 15% of this vote with Harris at 9% and Booker at 7%. On the issue of reparations for African Americans, 31% of respondents agree with the policy while 46% disagree. But, Professor Spencer Kimball says “this issue is not helping Harris with South Carolina Democratic primary voters; while 79% of them support reparations, they are breaking for Biden nearly 4:1.”

In 2016 South Carolina’s Democratic primary electorate was 61 percent black. They provided Hillary with a landslide win over Bernie there after poor early showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, stabilizing her campaign. They also provided Obama with a crucial early win against Hillary there in 2008, putting him on the path to the nomination. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker are hoping to make SC a similar springboard for their own national chances — but right now they’re more than 30 points behind Biden, vice president to America’s first black president and a man with light-years more name recognition for the moment than Harris and Booker have. That will change over time, of course, but if Biden’s Obama pedigree gives him a durable fan base among black voters nationally, it’s going to make Harris’s and Booker’s path more difficult and complicated than they expected. Something to keep an eye on going forward.