Kamala Harris was on the bubble with some California Democratic donors before last night’s debate. Those donors were hoping to see her come out swinging last night and present herself as a serious alternative to Joe Biden. But according to CNBC, last night’s performance failed to impress:
Many of them were hoping for a repeat of the aggressive tactics she used in the first debate, when she took on former Vice President Joe Biden for his willingness to work with segregationists as a senator in the 1970s.
Now these sources say that these uncommitted contributors are still not convinced they can dedicate their expansive networks to her cause alone…
One source close to a political fundraising powerhouse in California, Harris’ home state and a region where she’s dominated in the fundraising game, said Friday that they had been having trouble convincing their donors to back her candidacy before the debate. The negative opinion didn’t change after the debate.
“I don’t think anything has changed and it’s been grim,” this person said. On the debate stage, this person noted that donors believe Harris is still “unclear about her message and strategy.” They liked the “Trump focus,” this person said, “but there was too much odd laughter and canned lines.”
Ouch! And there’s more including a New York donor who said of Harris’ performance, “She didn’t score any points.”
But she definitely seems to be having a good time. Earlier today Ed wrote about one of those awkward moments from the debate in which Harris seemed to be laughing too hard at her own joke. But it wasn’t the only time last night when her laughter seemed to disrupt things, including her own message. At the of a long, serious answer about foreign policy she made a reference to the Wizard of Oz that turned into another laugh-fest between her and 5’5″ George Stephanopoulos:
And after Andrew Yang proposed giving $1,000 a month to ten supporters, Harris could be heard laughing as Pete Buttigieg prepared to speak:
Kamala Harris is definitely having a good time. What she’s not doing is impressing the donors she needs to keep her struggling campaign going.