The only thing that could make the schadenfreude here sweeter would be if Tulsi Gabbard suddenly announced that she’s opening offices in New Hampshire.
Preferably in the same buildings that Harris’s campaign is vacating, adds a Twitter pal.
Honestly, if you’re in such dire straits that you’re giving up on certain early states, just pull the plug. Endorse Warren or Biden and start angling to be surrogate-in-chief. Anything to spare yourself the indignity of eventually adopting the Giuliani 2008 “Just Win Florida” strategy in desperation.
At her Portsmouth office, a large chalkboard could be seen through the window that reading, “105 days until Feb. 11.” That would have been Oct. 29, the day before Harris’ campaign announced it would lay off dozens of people and redeploy others to Iowa as she hemorrhaged cash. The office was checked four times throughout the day, and each time the doors were locked and lights were out.
A hundred miles away in Keene, the office in a storefront on Main Street was dark, chairs were folded up, and a bag of Cheetos and Halloween candy sat on one of a number of empty tables at the front of the office…
In Nashua, one of the state’s biggest cities, the only evidence left that Harris had an office there was one line — “Kamala Harris” — on a listing of offices on the fifth floor. A small glass window into Suite 501 showed it to be empty. There was a “Space Available” sign outside the building, though it appeared there were other empty offices in the building.
The lone remaining Harris 2020 office in the state, in Manchester, also appeared vacant earlier this morning, notes Politico, but a light was on later in the day and a guy emerged to assure reporters that all was well with the campaign.
Dude, I think he might have been lying.
The most enjoyable take on Harris’s New Hampshire retreat comes from local outlet WMUR, which is clearly interpreting this as a snub — especially her decision not to fly in next week and file in person to have her name placed on the ballot, a tradition among presidential candidates:
[Spokesman Nate] Evans added: “Sen. Harris will not visit New Hampshire on Nov. 6 and 7, but her name will still be placed on the primary ballot.”
With the exception of sitting presidents, who have often had surrogates file for them, it’s virtually unheard of for a major candidates to file in the New Hampshire primary with making a personal appearance to do so…
“She’s thumbing her nose at the New Hampshire primary, and there is no upside to this approach,” [said New England College politics professor Wayne Lesperance.]
Lesperance also pointed out that Harris could also be burning her bridges in New Hampshire for any future run for president, if she is unsuccessful in the current campaign.
Hoo boy. If you’re wondering what prompted this dramatic withdrawal, you must have missed the news last week that Team Harris was facing a cash crunch. As her polls tanked over the summer, her fundraising began drying up. She took in just $11.8 million, nearly $3 million less than she spent. In order to stay afloat, she had to start making hard decisions about reallocating resources. In practice that meant reassigning staffers from Nevada, California, and, yes, New Hampshire to Iowa, where she’s now all-in. All that’s left in NH is a skeleton staff.
As a matter of triage, it makes strategic sense. New Hampshire is harder for her to win than Iowa because of the de facto home-field advantage that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren enjoy there. Ideally she would have gone all-in on South Carolina, where black voters make up a majority of the Democratic primary, but Joe Biden’s lead among them has been large and resilient. And South Carolina votes third on the calendar. If Harris got crushed in Iowa and New Hampshire and limped into SC with zero momentum, it’s all but impossible to imagine her rallying voters there to hand her a victory. Particularly since the higher-polling Biden is apt to be in the same position.
So, by process of elimination, she had to bet everything on Iowa. It’s a long long longshot — the electorate is overwhelmingly white and there are not three but four top-tier contenders she’ll need to somehow leapfrog to win the state. (Buttigieg is right in the thick of the race there, remember.) Based on today’s RCP averages, she actually starts in a deeper hole in Iowa (where she’s at 3.0 percent) than she does in New Hampshire (where she’s at 4.0). But she has no choice. Either she quits the race or she hopes for a miracle in IA, where a win really could give her the momentum she needs to win South Carolina as well.
Ah well. Such is life for candidates who are running for president simply because they want to be president. There are a lot of them out there. Most — maybe not Buttigieg — will also be out of the race soon. I leave you with this.
Waving goodbye to Harris 2020 like pic.twitter.com/f59qxuNiIU
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) November 1, 2019