When Joe Biden announced Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) as his running mate, the American media performed the journalistic equivalent of breaking into song. Harris was resoundingly celebrated as a "historic" figure who, despite not winning any votes in the primary, had nevertheless electrified the voting public with her intoxicating charisma and middle-aged dance moves.
Not only was Harris a "historic" choice, she was also a pragmatic one. She was an old rival of Biden's who, like the former vice president, was indisputably "moderate" in terms of ideology. Describing Harris as a "moderate" is somewhat defensible, in the sense that no one really knows what her positions are because she kept changing them during the primary. Or perhaps in the sense that her policy preferences are somewhat conservative compared with those of the average professional journalist. Otherwise, it's a bit ridiculous.
Even Jon Favreau, a central figure in former President Obama's close-knit posse of white male advisers, thought the media's insistence on portraying Harris as a moderate politician was "hilarious" given the senator's liberal record.
"It was hilarious to me that she’s being called in all this coverage a ‘moderate,' like Joe Biden has found [a] fellow moderate or centrist," Favreau said, before listing off some of the leftwing policies Harris supports, such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. "She has one of the most liberal records in the U.S. Senate."
Favreau went on to congratulate the "progressive activists"—he was presumably referring to journalists, to the extent there is a difference—for successful moving "the s— out of [the Overton] window" in terms of what policies are considered mainstream as opposed to ideologically extreme. "That supporting the Green New Deal, and basically Medicare For All, is now moderate and centrist. Fantastic. I’ll take it," Favreau said while grinning like a maniac.
Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau mocks the media's narrative that Kamala Harris is a "moderate"
"She has one of the most liberal records in the U.S. Senate" pic.twitter.com/P24HFwWe44
— Zach Parkinson (@AZachParkinson) August 14, 2020