Kamala Harris is Hillary 2.0

Six ways Harris 2020 mirrors Clinton 2016

Reason 1 — She has a Mixed Record

My favorite take on Harris’ run for office comes from satirical news site the Onion². In one image they shoot down the idea that her nomination will be a walk in the park.


Reason 2 — She was Too Friendly to Bankers

in 2016, nothing was quite so damaging to Hillary Clinton’s nomination as her Goldman Sachs speeches. Her decision to take hundreds of thousands of dollars from banks looked either incompetent or corrupt.

Reason 3 — She’s Easy to Attack from the Left

Despite her mixed record, Kamala Harris has done a good job of presenting herself as a true progressive. As part of her campaign platform, she is promising trillions in new taxes, protection for low-income renters, Medicare-for-all, and bail reductions⁷. She’s has praised socialist upstart Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez. She’s even taken a page from Obama’s playbook and written a memoir to help contextualize her past decisions.

Reason 4 — She Was Anointed by the Media

The word most used to describe Hillary Clinton’s run in 2016 was “inevitable”. While Kamala Harris does not yet have unanimous support from the media, it is starting to feel that way. In the paper of record, she is listed first, before Elizabeth Warren and other would-be nominees⁸. On CNN, gushing articles praise everything from her charisma to her sorority years.

Reason 5 — Her Messaging is Bad

Reason 6 — She Might Seem Too Fake

Ok look, Kamala Harris is not nearly as wooden or weird as Hillary Clinton. Or Al Gore, or Mitt Romney for that matter. At the same time, it’s not clear that she has what Obama and Bill Clinton had, the ability to appear relatable. She definitely talks a good game and can dance about as well as any politician I’ve seen (AOC excepted). Still, it doesn’t quite feel organic. It’s this incongruence as much as her conflicting policy track record that allow Jacobin to call her two-faced⁸.


1 — Betfair has her winning the nomination with 4/1 odds as of this writing https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/politics/market/1.128161111

Married engineer in San Francisco. Interested in words, networks, and human abstractions. Opinions expressed are solely my own.

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