Media Mourn Death of Kamala Harris Campaign

December 4, 2019

The media are mourning the end of Sen. Kamala Harris's (D., Calif.) 2020 presidential hopes, as journalists and commentators wonder why she collapsed so spectacularly from her summer polling high point.

While Harris's campaign woes are well documented, CNN's Gloria Borger and MSNBC's Al Sharpton and Heidi Przybyla feted Harris as a "great" candidate, with Przybyla calling her "sparkling." Borger said she was a better candidate by the end of her campaign than when she started.

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, who previously called the senator "brilliant," "beautiful," and "a badass," said Harris appeared to check "all the boxes" and was possibly the victim of the media's double standard for female candidates.

Liberal commentator Michael Eric Dyson took it a step further, saying "sexism" hurt her and, borrowing language from political analyst Angela Rye, said that there was a "triple" standard for Harris as a woman of color.

CNN's Van Jones called her exit "bittersweet" and added that a "white guy" like South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg was graded on his potential while Harris was graded on her record.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny called the 55-year-old senator "very young" with a bright future and CNN's Kyung Lah said she "looks like the future of the Democratic party." MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell eulogized her as the "telegenic California senator."

MSNBC's Ali Velshi said she brought a "remarkable passion" to her discussion of gun control, which entailed Harris saying she would use executive orders to get her way if Congress did not pass her agenda.

Ironically, Sharpton said Harris was treated "badly" by the press.

Although she launched her campaign in January with great fanfare, Harris did not even make it to the first Iowa caucus votes. She dropped out following months of mismanagement and an inability to connect to either the party's progressives or more centrist base. Harris exited the race, in part, to avoid an embarrassing primary loss in California, which could have left her open to a Senate primary challenge in 2022.