Over the weekend, I said that you shouldn’t necessarily count out Kamala Harris in the 2020 presidential election. She ended up dropping out of the race today, so I guess now we do have to officially count her out. Here’s the thing, though. The reason she dropped out is a serious one – and an important one.
Kamala Harris had terrible poll numbers that had already seen a brief spike several months ago and had already come down, meaning she was unlikely to regain the lost momentum. And yes, the media and a former staffer spent the weekend strongly hinting that it was over for her. But she was a serious candidate who was seriously trying to win – which is why you shouldn’t count someone like her out until she thinks it’s over.
That’s rather obviously what happened today. Kamala Harris looked at her polling, her fundraising, her internals, whatever it may be, and she reluctantly concluded that she’s not going to win the 2020 Democratic nomination. So she did the adult thing by dropping out, rather than remaining in the race and gobbling up donations and airtime at the expense of the eventual nominee. She did the adult, selfless, responsible thing. Just as Kirsten Gillibrand and Beto O’Rourke did when they dropped out once they concluded it was over for them. Just as other serious people like Cory Booker and Julián Castro will do if and when they conclude it’s over for them.
This stands in sharp contrast to the 2020 Democratic candidates who are running vanity campaigns or spoiler campaigns, who know they aren’t going to win and don’t care – and are going to remain in the race for as long as they can, without caring about what kind of damage they might do. Some of these candidates, whom we won’t bother naming, are acting like children. Serious people like Kamala Harris deserve credit for doing the adult thing – which is why she still has a bright future in politics.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report