Kamala Harris has sought to publicly cast herself as progressive while privately catering to special interests, including the Israel lobby.
WASHINGTON — Confirming long-held speculation, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) has announced that she will be running for president in 2020, pitting her against other Democratic senators such as Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as well as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). Harris’ announcement has generated some buzz but surprised few, as she has been considered a likely 2020 contender for the Democratic nomination since early 2017. Harris first tweeted on Monday morning out her plans to run for president along with the Clinton-esque slogan “Let’s do this together.”
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 21, 2019
She then repeated her announcement on ABC’s Good Morning America, stating that “I am running for president of the United States. I’m very excited about it.” Harris, who decided to launch her campaign on the federal holiday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr., later added, “I love my country. And this is a moment in time that I feel a sense of responsibility to stand up and fight for the best of who we are.”
However, despite the long-promoted “inevitability” of Harris’ campaign, she has failed to garner much enthusiasm from progressive voters, owing to her history of supporting neoliberal policies as well as her pro-Zionist leanings, which she has attempted to keep from public view.
Though hardly “progressive,” Harris – much like another 2020 hopeful, Elizabeth Warren – has sought to cast herself as such in recent years in an effort to unite a fractured Democratic party by publicly catering to progressives while also privately catering to special interests, including the Israel lobby.
In this two-part series, MintPress News will examine how Harris is set to emulate much of Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 campaign — particularly the distinction between her “private” and “public” positions — while using identity politics to her advantage. This has already begun, with Harris having courted past Hillary campaign staffers and millionaire donors alike. In addition, top establishment liberals like Joy Ann Reid of MSNBC and Clinton advisor Neera Tanden are claiming that legitimate criticism of, and a lack of enthusiasm for, a Harris presidential run on the part of progressives stem from “racism” and “sexism” among left-leaning Americans — reviving the Clinton campaign’s “Bernie bros” narrative that characterizes Bernie Sanders-supporting progressive voters as “all-white” and “all-male.”
One of the clearest examples of Harris’ practice of courting special interests in private while painting a different picture in public is her position on the Israel/Palestine conflict. While Harris once, in 2012 while serving as California’s attorney general, stood up to Israeli government pressure to persecute activists working with the pro-Palestinian rights movement Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS), she made a concerted effort to court pro-Israel interests as she began to pursue her higher political ambitions, namely when she kicked off her 2016 campaign for the Senate.'
Read more: Kamala Harris Dons Progressive Mantle in Public, Strips it Off in Private as She Courts Israel Lobby