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Kamala Harris Is Historically Unpopular, But Is She Also ‘Perfectly Suited’ to Campaign for Her Party?

Let’s just be honest. Kamala Harris was a diversity hire of sorts.

Chosen in 2020 by Joe Biden principally because of her gender and the amount of melanin in her skin. More than three years into the vice presidency, Harris has accomplished virtually nothing — and is primarily known for her ridiculous word salads.

But Democrat strategist Brad Bannon begs to differ. As he sees it, Harris can be both unpopular and an effective campaigner for the Democrat Party.

While Harris has struggled mightily to connect with the public — her approval rating is just 36 percent, four points lower than Biden’s — Bannon claims she’s “perfectly suited to the traditional vice president’s role, which is to activate the base.”

It’s a vivid illustration of polarization in American politics. The vice president is very unpopular in Trump circles or with Trump voters, but she is very popular among core Democratic voters. So she’s perfectly suited to the traditional vice president’s role, which is to activate the base.

Is she? Very popular among core Democrat voters and perfectly suited to activate the Democrat base, I mean. We’ll get there in a minute.

Bannon continued gushing:

Her appeal is not just to African American voters, it’s to women in the Atlanta suburbs who are very concerned about the abortion issue. If you look at the polls, suburban women, especially young suburban women, are very concerned about the possibility of a national abortion ban.

Um, Mr. Bannon? As I reported on January 20, a strong majority of Americans support pro-life laws that place limits on abortion. Let’s take a look-see, shall we?

A new national poll conducted by Marist University now finds, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, that two-thirds of Americans support pro-life laws that place limits on abortions.
[The] survey of 1,371 adults was conducted January 8th through January 9th, 2024 by the Marist Poll sponsored in partnership with the Knights of Columbus. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the United States were contacted through a multi-mode design: by phone using live interviewers, by text, or online. 
Survey questions were available in English or Spanish. Phone and online samples were selected to ensure that each region was represented in proportion to its adult population. The samples were then combined and balanced to reflect the 2022 American Community Survey 5-year estimates for age, gender, income, race, and region. 
It should be noted that although you may not see results listed fora certain group, it does not mean interviews were not completed with those individuals. It simply means the sample size is too small to report. The error margin was adjusted for sample weights andincreases for cross-tabulations.
The poll also finds that nearly six in 10 Americans support limiting abortions during the first three months of pregnancy.

And Harris’s claim — and that of other Democrat fearmongers — that Republicans will somehow bring about a national abortion ban is nothing but scare-tactic politics, at which the Democrat Party has excelled for more than six decades.

Nevertheless, Andra Gillespie, a political science professor at Emory University in Atlanta, agrees with Bannon and says Harris will play a major role in carrying the Democrat message to black America. 

The vice presidential nominee becomes the chief surrogate of the president and a representative of the administration. [In Georgia] Harris is being deployed to a place where black turnout will be essential. They’re deploying her in the hopes that she can drive up African American turnout, and then they’re also deploying her in places where she can hopefully earn some media that will help to advance the overall Democratic message.

Not to nitpick, Ms. Gillespie, but the message that the Democrat Party continues to deliver to black Americans is a message of placation and patronization.

As I reported on January 11, House Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (S.C.) told CNN’s Jake Tapper he’s “very concerned” about black voters showing up for Biden in November. Coming from Clyburn, that’s a substantial admission. 

Well, I’m not worried — I’m very concerned — I have sat down with President Biden … and I’ve told him what my concerns are. I have no problem with the Biden administration and what it has done. My problem is we have not been able to break through that MAGA wall in order to get to people exactly what this president has done.

In other words, Clyburn simply parroted the Biden White House line, which goes something like this: “We’ve done an awesome job! If you people can’t see that, that’s on you!” Nonsense.

I can’t end this article without including a recent word salad from Madam Vice President. Speaking in Atlanta on January 9, she said:

There is so much right now that is challenging us as a country. But when I look at the leaders at this table, I know that we are prepared to meet these challenges and to do so in a way that we will work together — continue to work together to build coalitions and to remind people of what is at stake and, most of all, to remind them that on the issue of voting, their vote does matter.

Where were the specifics? Where were the facts? There were none. There never are.

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