May 16, 2019

"Kamala Harris used humor to swat aside the chatter about her becoming Joe Biden’s running mate: Maybe it should be the other way around..."

"... she said Wednesday, given Biden’s experience in the No. 2 job. But inside her campaign and among allies, such talk is not a laughing matter. They're rankled by the suggestion, privately venting that it’s demeaning to a woman of color and perpetuates an unfair critique that she’s somehow not prepared for the job she’s actually seeking. 'It's infuriating,' a Harris confidant fumed several days before the idea began taking hold in the media.... Anticipating questions from news media on Wednesday, Harris and her advisers settled on the humorous one-liner, according to an aide...." (Politico).

Is Kamala Harris able to use humor to swat aside the chatter? Humor was used, but only after anticipating questions and conferring with advisers until she had something that could be settled on.

I'm not expecting spontaneity or personal style in anything in the humor department. Nothing that can be called a swat amid chatter... which is, of course, what Trump excels at.

I think Trump actually feels the humor. It arises from within. It's really part of him. Harris — brainstorming with others because a response was needed — came up with something in the form of humor but it seems only to be that humor was the best idea and a way to cover up what was really felt — insult and anger. We're not having fun with her. We're getting suppressed anger and humor as a means to an end. And frankly, it's not too humorous. What was the joke even?

ADDED: I had to go back and search the article to find the "humorous one-liner." I didn't have any "humorous one-liner" in quotes in this post. I found it in the 5th paragraph: "As vice president, he’s proven that he knows how to do the job."

150 comments:

tcrosse said...

Nobody can pretend to be witty.

Shouting Thomas said...

Harris is the daughter of a Stanford professor and a brain surgeon.

Pretending that she has some sort of oppression bitch is just plain lying.

This shit is tiresome. Harris was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.

n.n said...

Given Harris's legacy, she's in the wrong office. Biden has a problem of similar extraction but of a different character.

Shouting Thomas said...

This usurpation of the quota system and its language and rationales by upper class grandees is truly a moral abomination.

Gunner said...

This dope isn't even qualified to be Senator.

tim maguire said...

What's insulting about it? Lots of presidents were vice-presidents first. It's a perfectly respectable office for someone who wants to raise their national profile and one day become president.

Kids these days have no patience.

Fernandistein said...

it’s demeaning to a woman of color

Poor, poor woman of color.

Henry said...

I wonder if any of those advisors suggested "What would Trump say"?

tim maguire said...

tcrosse said...Nobody can pretend to be witty.

I can't find the source but it's one of my favorite quotes: you can fake sincerity, but you can't fake wit.


EDH said...

Better Harris slogan:

Kamala shouldn't have to be "the brain behind the scenes" for the creep behind the little girl.

Henry said...

They're rankled by the suggestion, privately venting that it’s demeaning to a woman of color and perpetuates an unfair critique that she’s somehow not prepared for the job she’s actually seeking.

It's not about anything but poll numbers.

Show me the numbers.

iowan2 said...

President Trump uses humor so often because he sees the PC idiocy, calls out the incongruity of the positions PC force politicians to defend. It is natural for him, and situations politicians are blind to, because, well, politicians.

pious agnostic said...

Women politicians aren't funny.

rhhardin said...

Wit, or plain fool.

rehajm said...

Even if you don’t register sufficient support to be considered an opponent. you still need to attack your opponent.

MB said...

She should make it clear that she will not accept the vice-president position, under any circumstances. Then these demeaning rumors will stop.

Michael K said...

Harris is Hillary with a suntan and without the charm.

Both had a little trouble with the bar exam.

MadisonMan said...

I saw no humor in the video of her saying it -- more like a very tired woman. If you watch her saying it in the video, her wooden body language is completely wrong for a joke delivery.

MadisonMan said...

She should make it clear that she will not accept the vice-president position, under any circumstances. Then these demeaning rumors will stop.

Yeah, well, this is the only press she's getting. Tough luck.

If it torpedoes her Presidential hopes I will not weep bitter bitter tears.

EDH said...

An improvement over Hillary being cankled by the suggestion....

Ignorance is Bliss said...

What was the joke even?

That Harris or Biden are even remotely qualified to be President.

It's funny in the same way as is a joke about raping a Holocaust survivor with a dead puppy.

MadisonMan said...

Anyway, I conclude that this is simply Politico trying to put lipstick on a pig, so to speak.

"Look! She is a funny person! Elect her!"

Dave Begley said...

She's no Winston Churchill. Or JFK.

But what did we really expect from a good looking woman bathed in identity politics who slept her way to the top?

Dave Begley said...

I'm mystified why women don't call her out along these lines: I'm not a beauty queen like you and was unable to sleep my way to the top so why should I vote for you?

stevew said...

Someone without a sense of humor is not going to do well constructing and telling jokes. The situation is made worse if the person can't laugh at themselves.

Kamala Harris is like most politicians in that she takes herself and her job too seriously.

Bay Area Guy said...

"Kamala Harris used humor to swat aside the chatter about her becoming Joe Biden’s running mate: Maybe it should be the other way around..."

I read this as "Kamala Harris used a hummer to become Joe Biden’s running mate: Maybe it should be the other way around..."

I may need new reading glasses.

Crazy Jane said...

“The key to success is sincerity. If you can fake that you've got it made” -- George Burns

Dave Begley said...

Good one, Bay!

My question to KH: In order to get on the ticket with Joe Biden would you extend to him the same sexual favors you did to Willie Brown? And if not, why not?

Dave Begley said...

What's KH's witty reply to my question?

Ice Nine said...

>>She should make it clear that she will not accept the vice-president position, under any circumstances. Then these demeaning rumors will stop.<<

No they wouldn't. No one would, or should, believe it. She, like any of those clowns, would take VP in a heartbeat of course and everyone knows it.

tim maguire said...

privately venting that it’s demeaning to a woman of color and perpetuates an unfair critique that she’s somehow not prepared for the job she’s actually seeking.

It's demeaning to women of color to say that Harris is not prepared to be president?

Of all the cynically strategic bullshit cries of racism/sexism, this is the most cynically strategically bullshitty.

Hagar said...

The vice-president's job is to look decorative and not cause problems.

Tank said...

She just seems like a nasty piece of work.

tommyesq said...

"it’s demeaning to a woman of color."

Sigh... Given the importance of being able to critique and criticize the President, no women of color should be elected until such time as this attitude no longer exists.

rcocean said...

I feel witty
Oh, so witty
I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity
Any girl who isn't me tonight

rcocean said...

Women of color who run for POTUS need to understand we're not electing Head Victim of the USA. We don't want to protect our President, or feeling sorry for the poor dear.

Tommy Duncan said...

"...perpetuates an unfair critique that she’s somehow not prepared for the job..."

I'd love to hear both the unfair critique and her carefully reasoned rebuttal.

Bruce Hayden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hawkeyedjb said...

What a dull and unaccomplished lot these candidates are. Can't even come up with a one-liner without consulting staff. Trump at least has some wit about him.

mccullough said...

This is the Trump era. If she wants to take Biden out she will have to do it herself. No anonymous stories about Biden. No surrogates criticizing Biden.

If you have to work shop this lame put down, then you are fine.

Kamala needs to go after Biden directly herself. She needs to say, What Would Trump Do and then do it.

Trump took a flamethrower to the Bush Family. He wasn’t playing it safe.

If she wants to win she needs to hammer Biden herself.

She can’t do it. She’s not presidential material

rcocean said...

I'm sad about Harris, because she was the perfect candidate for the Democrats in 2020. Black, woman, California, US Senator, Immigrant. On paper she's the Female Obama. But she needs to up her game, quick.

rhhardin said...

Why play second fiddle when you can be first viola.

Bruce Hayden said...

Sorry. Had an inadvertent double negative in my previous version of this comment.


I think that it will be interesting. I don’t think that scripting and focus group testing is going to work to combat Trump’s humor. For one thing, it lets Trump get inside their OODA loop. I don’t think that it was quite as important with Crooked Hillary, because she had the high ground, and almost all of the MSM dutifully repeated whatever her campaign decided was the meme of the day. Trump now has the high ground, with the Presidency. He is the one getting on the Presidential chopper on the WH lawn, getting off AF1, quoted first when anything happens, etc. most of the candidates are seriously lightweights - mostly Senate back benchers, mayors, and kids running without even a modicum of gravitas. The two exceptions so far are SLO Joe Biden and likely De Blasio.

I don’t know enough yet about De Blasio, but I seriously do believe that Biden could have beaten Trump in 2016. He has much better appeal to middle America than Crooked Hillary could ever dream of. I think that he could have prevented her Blue Wall from crumbling. He had the high ground then. Had AF2 to campaign on, plus Obama’s charisma and backing. Right now, I think that he could do a decent job at standing up to Trump, and sluffing off his sense of humor. Biden has a kinda cute obliviousness that I think could stand up decently well against Trump’s brand of humor. Most every other Dem candidate would be forced to respond to Trump’s quickly changing attacks. This puts them in the position of fighting Sherman on his march to the sea, or the Germans up through Dunkirk.

I do think that Biden can (and will) be beaten. The “Sleepy Joe” is attaching well to him. Nicer than the “Slow Joe” that some had been using. He probably has as much baggage as the rest of the Dem candidates combined. He is corrupt, and seemingly allowed his remaining son to get filthy rich utilizing his father’s Vice Presidency (along with Sec of State Kerry’s son). Biden has been on the public dole now for most of a half century. And is extremely creepy with females, and esp younger females, with his inappropriate behaviors. And, he now thinks and acts old. So, he can be beaten.

MB said...

"No they wouldn't. No one would, or should, believe it. She, like any of those clowns, would take VP in a heartbeat of course and everyone knows it."
By not saying it plainly, but leaving it to her anonymous aides, she is still giving herself an out. At this point, if she eventually, after some thinking, accepts the vice-president position, she cannot be even accused of flip-flopping.
She should just come out and say it already: e.g. "as a woman of color, I consider it beneath my dignity to accept any position lower than President of the United States; I can assure all my supporters that I will never play second fiddle to anyone, especially to a staid old white male like Joe Biden; I'm not just eye candy, I'm in it to win it". Or something like that. Then the rumors will stop, for a while.

mccullough said...

Kamala is more Hillary than Obama.

Tina Trent said...

It appears Harris is lifting everything but the laughter from the HBO hit Veep.

Which doesn't end well.

But is eerily prescient.

Skeptical Voter said...

Slow on her feet. I believe that Sarah Palin was and is brighter and quicker than Kamala.

There is no way that Ms. Harris can stand up under a verbal onslaught from The Trumpster. Whoever the Dim candidate is in 2020, they'll have to be quicker than Kamala.

EDH said...

“I will tell you that the voters, in my experience, are smarter than a lot of folks give them credit for,” she told CNN on Sunday, pointing to the times when she has been underestimated in previous campaigns."

Translation: I'm a better person than a lot of other people because I give credit to those people who are smart enough to vote for me, especially when so many other nasty people underestimate me.

mccullough said...

Biden is a doddering old man.

Kamala should have said: “I’m seriously considering being Biden’s Vice President because he’ll be dead in two years anyway. Save me all this time on the campaign trail now.”

Not an oldster. said...

Over educated liberals will lots of diversity experiences in the academy, but little common sense gained in real-world experiences will either under working-class humor.


One man's too non PC/off limits! is another man's working honestly through social conflints. Women have to learn to take it and give it back to be respected. No whining or silencing in this style of humor ...

Original Mike said...

"They're rankled by the suggestion, privately venting that it’s demeaning to a woman of color and perpetuates an unfair critique that she’s somehow not prepared for the job she’s actually seeking. 'It's infuriating,' a Harris confidant fumed..."

Based on her committee and interview performances, she's not prepared. And what's infuriating is having charges of racism and sexism leveled at the people who see this. When is this going to stop?

walter said...

Shouting Thomas said...Harris was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.
---
(Insert Brown, Willie reference here)

rcocean said...

but I seriously do believe that Biden could have beaten Trump in 2016.

I agree. Hillary! not only ran one of the worst campaigns ever, she was one of the worst candidates ever. If you remember, she did the minimal number of speeches, had very few interviews - and no tough ones - and thought she was going to her coronation.

Plus, every attack on Trump for being sexist or unethical could be met with Monica Lewinksy, email scandal, the 1001 unethical things the Clinton's have done over the last 23 years.

Every R EXCEPT Trump would've lost to Hillary. And almost every D EXCEPT Hillary would've won.

chickelit said...

Embrace the suck! Let Joe handle her!

Not an oldster. said...

Working class humor relies on poking fun at shared experiences causing con conflicts. Liberals in the academy know planned diversity, but have earned little common sense in real life experiences.

Women need to learn this type and style of humor. To take it and give it right back ... No whining or silencing in this game. Kamala has likely never played and doesn't know the rules yet...




chickelit said...

Why isn't Harris 50 points ahead?

robother said...

Howard Stern's therapist had the perfect response to the strategic deployment of humor: 'There’s nothing funny going on here. Quite frankly, some of this stuff sounds pretty sad.'"

chickelit said...

My gut tells me that Kamala plays well with men but not with other women.

Drago said...

I wonder what it is in Harris' background that might indicate she would be more than willing to adopt a subservient position to a much older already established elder party member?......

Marcus said...

I was blessed with the gift of wit. My saying is "You can pretend to be smart, but you cannot pretend to be witty. You either are or you're not." OTOH, a lot of my "smart" is superficial. I can talk off the top of my head about many things and people who don't question me further perceive that I know a lot of stuff. I do. But only the top layer.

THEOLDMAN

MadisonMan said...

chickelit, that was perfect.

glenn said...

“You can fake being sincere but you can’t fake being witty”. And if you do have the occasional flash of humor be careful who you use it on. Just sayin.

Clayton Hennesey said...

Neither Kamala Harris nor Mazie Hirono will ever become President. The Constitution mandates that candidates for President use consonants.

Darkisland said...

Blogger tim maguire said...

Lots of presidents were vice-presidents first.

Ummmm Let's see:

Bush - Failed to get re-elected

Nixon - Got re-elected but resigned.

Then we have a 130 year gap to Martin Van Buren 1 term.

Or, if you mean VPs who came into office on the death/resignation of president:

Ford, could not get elected in 76 (Beaten by Jimmy Carter, for goodness sake!!)

LBJ Could not only not get re-elected in 68, probably couldn't even have been nominated had he not dropped out.

Truman - Just barely elected in 48. Prospects so bad in 52 he didn't try.

Coolidge - Could have been re-elected in 28 but chose not to run.

Roosevelt - Might have been re-electable in 2008 (might not) but didn't run

Arthur - Single stub term

Johnson - Single stub term

Fillmore - Single stub term

In other words, not a single former VP, other than Nixon, could get re-elected to a 2nd term. (Not counting the stub term) Other than Coolidge, their presidencies were not seen contemporaneously as successful. Nor, in most cases, historically. Though, for reasons I don't understand, the gauze of time has been kinder to Truman than he deserves.

Any of these folks you would like to put on a list of good, or even half-assed competent, presidents?

I would say Coolidge. Many would add Roosevelt though I would just say half-assed competent. (Great writer, though)

No others. Certainly none that were viewed as competent at the time.

There should be a constitutional amendment disqualifying former VPs from running. All it does is gets people spun up about how much being the VP qualifies one for the presidency.

(Just kidding about the amendment.)

John Henry

Earnest Prole said...

Humor-impaired woman who consults the consultants to learn what she should be feeling: Sounds like a brown Hillary to me.

Darkisland said...

In Biden's defense, he has not been a bad VP. He had high entertainment value and that is not nothing.

Being VP to Kamala makes much more sense than him running for president.

Scary to have him waiting in the wings, though.

John Henry

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"Women need to learn this type and style of humor. To take it and give it right back ... No whining or silencing in this game. Kamala has likely never played and doesn't know the rules yet..."

Some know it, but they're overwhelmingly of a practical and conservative bent. If you were raised with a sense of victimhood, or need it for a crutch, you will never understand the subtleties of this game.

Darkisland said...


Blogger Dave Begley said...

She's no Winston Churchill. Or JFK.

I run hot and cold on Churchill. He was a great leader but had great weaknesses. Having read several bios of him, (Manchester, Gilbert) I am undecided whether the greatness overcomes the weaknesses.

JFK and the Kennedy clan are fascinating and I've read a number of bios. But I don't run hot and cold on JFK (or Bobby or Teddy). Just cold. He was WAAAAAAY out of his depth. So much so that it was possible that he would not have been re-nominated in 64.

Too many people are victims to the martyred St Jack fog machine.

And don't get me started on Jackie. Now there was a really nasty piece of work.

John Henry

pious agnostic said...

Remember a week or so ago when everyone was all a-twitter about Trump and Buttigieg trading jabs? Trump said "he looks like a goof" and Buttigieg said "whatever, grandpa."

That was about the right level of poking at each other. It wasn't any more than that, though activists on each side declared that their idol "destroyed" the other.

This think with KH....doesn't even amount to that.

Sebastian said...

"I think Trump actually feels the humor."

He may be a bullshitter, but he ain't no phony.

walter said...

If the "job" was leveraging power to ensconce Hunter into a lucrative gig, job well done.

Fen said...

"They're rankled by the suggestion, privately venting that it’s demeaning to a woman of color and perpetuates an unfair critique that she’s somehow not prepared for the job she’s actually seeking.

Bad move. Just perpetuates the concern that any legit criticism will be dismissed with "you racist sexist bigot". We had 8 years of that with Obama, not gonna work here anymore.


'It's infuriating,' a Harris confidant fumed

Completely agree. Two weeks ago the male front runners were on their "it's time we join together to break the glass ceiling... so I'll pick a woman to be my VP". Like a little condescending pat on the butt. The Wife was infuriated and she's not even a Dem.

narciso said...

Yes a hero doesn't have to perfect, churchill was the brave lieutenant at malakamd and Khartoum, the up start liberal the maverick navy minister, the controversial colonial minister the hated chancellor of the exchequer the outcast opposition leader.

Darkisland said...

Blogger mccullough said...

Kamala should have said: “I’m seriously considering being Biden’s Vice President because he’ll be dead in two years anyway. Save me all this time on the campaign trail now.”

Read Caro or Dallek. This was precisely LBJ's reasoning and why he forced his way into the vice-presidency. He was quite explicit in saying that 20% of all presidents died in office. He also knew how terrible JFK's health was.

And, if JFK had gotten re-elected in 64, Bobby would have probably succeeded him, as the candidate at least. The earliest LBJ could have run would have been 72. Given his family history, he expected to be dead by then and did die in '73 at age 64.

Some think that JFK was not dying fast enough and LBJ hurried him along. Caro is clear that he does not think this but one of the things that comes out of his and Dallek's bios is that LBJ was a "politician in a hurry" because he expected to die young.

I suspect that a lot of people, like me, held their noses and reluctantly supported McCain in 08 because we expected Palin to be pres by '10 or so. I think she would have been an exception to the rule about VPs. She had some very interesting ideas of what it meant to be president of the Senate and expected to be very active in that role.

John Henry

Michael K said...

Being VP to Kamala makes much more sense than him running for president.

Scary to have him waiting in the wings, though.


The reverse is even more scary.

I think Jack Kennedy was a very good retail politician but weak as a cold war president. Nixon should have won in 1960.

Johnson was a terrible president. All sorts of half baked FDR ideas.

Michael K said...

I think she would have been an exception to the rule about VPs. She had some very interesting ideas of what it meant to be president of the Senate and expected to be very active in that role.

Agreed. She was the preview of Trump. Look at the McCain staffers that destroyed her. All on MSNBC.

Nonapod said...

On the surface Kamala has a lot going for her, she checks a lot of boxes. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of depth beyond those surface features. She represents a good example of the inherent weaknesses of an overly PC culture that seeks to reward people who for unearned traits while overlooking or ignoring potential weaknesses. She's black. She's a woman. She's fairly attractive. But she didn't earn any of those politically desirable traits. And the Democrats place far too much value in such traits.

When you short circut the normal meritocratic system because of unearned traits you can end up with someone who is less than ideal. The Peter Principle cynically states that "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." But PC culture will often promote people several tiers beyond their level of competence.

William said...

Claiming that the office of Vice President is demeaning will not score high in focus groups. She needs better confidantes leaking better stories about her deep sense of humility.......None of the candidates seem willing to go for the jugular the way Trump did in his campaign. Biden and Bernie both have blatant jugulars and low collars. Those jugulars just beg to be severed. Maybe the candidates are hoping Trump will do them the service.

narciso said...

Indeed she would have been akin to teddy roosevelt as an energetic executive, although in a much more libertarian wauit used to be only the huntress could stir up the agitation you see among gerson Rubin frum and our own chuckwagon. Maybe more like Coolidge but more voluble

Fen said...

I wonder if someone used Biden's fingerprints for their soft coup attempt, same way Samantha Powers insists was done to her.

What's his slogan gonna be? The buck stops here, unless I was napping.

Of course, my solution to the attempted coup is to shoot the top 3 Democrat frontrunners, rinse and repeat till the Left says uncle. But my NSA minder said no. Bitch.

Oh... Hi Agent Garcia, how are the kids?

stlcdr said...

Why is demeaning to women of color?

narciso said...

Coolidge was more firmly in the good government winf of the GOP then the reaction to the Boston police strike may him more aware re amity schlaes bio

Kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
narciso said...

Remember there was no von hayek mises in the era he came up out of, the progressives

narciso said...

The whole things read like an updated worst case of Allen Drurys worst imaginings

Darkisland said...

Speaking of McCain and Palin, many say that the Senate President has no powers. Actually, they have a number of formal and informal powers, most of them pretty minor, and most of them unexercised by custom.

Senate Majority Leader in the prior to 1950 or so was like that too. It was the kind of position you got elected to when you stepped out for a bathroom break and were not present to decline.

LBJ volunteered for the job when nobody else wanted it. And he took all these small powers and turned them into massive power. Arguably LBJ as Senate Majority Leader was as powerful as the president. Caro wrote a whole book about it. Master of the Senate (Portal)

Someone else who did something similar was a lower level politburo member. He volunteered to become the secretary which was another booby prize position at the time. He was able to build on it.

I've never seen anything to suggest that Palin had either of these two in mind. I certainly did when people would tell me "Oh, the Senate President has no power."

The reason they have no power is because VP's, for unfathomable reasons, always seem to have presidential dreams. LBJ as VP tried to take some power in the Senate and was pulled up short by the party.

OTOH, a Sarah Palin might not give two shits about the party or the president or other senators. None have any actual power over the VP/Senate President. Other than party shunning and the like.

John Henry

Kevin said...

You know what's really infuriating?

If she wasn't a black woman Biden wouldn't even be considering her.

Ken B said...

I don’t often agree with Shouting Thomas, but he nails it here. Harris is the epitome of privileged upbringing, a grandee as ST puts it, but she arrogates the language of victimhood. She, who made her career defending wrongful convictions of the less nobly born.

AlbertAnonymous said...

“They're rankled by the suggestion, privately venting that it’s demeaning to a woman of color and perpetuates an unfair critique that she’s somehow not prepared for the job she’s actually seeking. 'It's infuriating,' a Harris confidant fumed”

I’m sorry, this is garbled for a couple of reasons.

First, as we all know, she’s a first term senator and is very low on the typical “qualifications” scale used for president. So it’s really NOT an “unfair critique that she’s somehow not prepared” to be president. It’s a very common and fair critique. If you disagree Ms. Harris, rebut the suggestion - show why you ARE qualified.

Second, the only real reason she’s running for president (other than the typical blind ambition and thirst for power of all presidential candidates) is that she thinks the intersectionality lottery will go her way. In other words, she can be president simply because she’s a female POC. So then she gets butthurt (or feigns butthurtness) and claims it’s demeaning to be suggested as VP because she’s a black female? It’s demeaning to us that you think being a female POC is a high qualification. And BTW there hasn’t been a Female POC VP yet either... still a glass ceiling.

Third, this is a question that’s asked of a lot of presidential candidates. She shouldn’t have been flummoxed. She should have been prepared (though she seems never to be). She should have said right away, with conviction not humor, “maybe Joe can be my VP, he’s got some experience in that...”

Finally, what in her background actually make her claim she’s qualified ? Again, star your boba fides... I’ll wait.

Maybe Willie Brown’s schlong is still in her mouth. That’d explain the garbled response.

buwaya said...

K. Harris is an interesting case of a person who did not inherit the mental potential of her parents.
Of reversion to the mean.
Her academic record (Howard U, Hastings) is by no means up to that of either of her parents.
If her parents had had more kids I think there would have been a range of abilities among them.
And she would have been in the low end of that range.

How much this matters to political ability it’s difficult to say.
All successful politicians are at least above-average, as is Harris.
But we are talking about a championship-level of competition here, in those qualities that matter in politics.

nob490 said...

I can count on one hand the number of funny women in public, including comedians. Two hands the number of funny men, not including comedians.

Funny women are quite rare, in my opinion.

Unknown said...

she's likable enough

Kevin said...

Saying your opponent would make a great VP is a standard tactic of these contests.

That Harris and her team didn't anticipate that and have her prepared shows how weak they are.

You can bet Klobuchar knows how to respond.

Gillibrand would be flattered.

Unknown said...


> Why isn't Harris 50 points ahead?

Got it before I did

Adding:

"the voters are speaking"

Dem "friend" remarked before Biden that

the candidates all sucked

could not picture any of them filling the stage against a showman like Trump

The wanted Joe to go less Slow

gspencer said...

Maybe she'll go the LBJ route to the top. Take the second spot on the hope that the top guy won't live out his term. A bullet to the head helped LBJ, didn't it?

SDaly said...

What does Harris bring to the table as VP? Is she going to change the result in California? Is she going to energize the "women's vote" more than Hillary!? She wouldn't even be the first minority woman candidate for VP - Geraldine Ferraro, an Italian, was a VP candidate 35 years ago.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Both had a little trouble with the bar exam.”

For me, that means that neither one is really that bright. Most of us easily pass the first time we take a state bar exam. Crooked Hillary flunked the DC bar exam - one of the easiest in the country by the time I first sat for the bar a decade and a half later (I could have been admitted there based solely on my multistate test results).

Some people don’t do well on tests like the bar exam because they don’t think quickly. They may do well doing legal research, writing briefs, or in slowly moving practice areas like real property and future estates (where you find the “Rule Against Perpetuities”). But should stay out of litigation and probably politics, where being fast on your feet is an advantage.

Fernandistein said...

Here's some funny double-talk:

“He was rightly classified as a man” in the medical records and appears masculine, [Dr. Daphna Stroumsa of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor] said. “But that classification threw us off from considering his actual medical needs.”

Because the "actual medical needs" were those of a pregnant woman.

Fen said...

the only real reason she’s running for president (other than the typical blind ambition and thirst for power of all presidential candidates) is that she thinks the intersectionality lottery will go her way.

My Disney Theory says she's doomed. The original MCU female Captain Marvel was a black woman named Monica Rambeau, who went on to lead the Avengers. Disney wants to be woke and break glass ceilings, but they know their American audience and took a pass, cast a white chick instead.

Virgil Hilts said...

Buwaya said - "K. Harris is an interesting case of a person who did not inherit the mental potential of her parents. Of reversion to the mean. Her academic record (Howard U, Hastings) is by no means up to that of either of her parents."

Agree 100%, but don't understand why more people in the arena aren't picking up on the strong likelihood that she just isn't very smart. Also I am curious whether Trump will ever, ever make the "heels up" comment. Twitter might actually crash.

stevew said...

"That Harris and her team didn't anticipate that and have her prepared shows how weak they are."

This has been the most consistent thing coming from Harris's campaign: a lack of proper preparation and preparedness.

Big Mike said...

They're rankled by the suggestion, privately venting that it’s demeaning to a woman of color and perpetuates an unfair critique that she’s somehow not prepared for the job she’s actually seeking.

Somehow not prepared?

tim maguire said...

John Henry, not sure what your point is there. What they do with the White House once they've won it is irrelevant to my point. I should think that is obvious.

Dave Begley said...

From Tom Wolfe's "The Kingdom of Speech."

“Charismatic leaders radiate more than simple confidence. They radiate authority. They don’t tell jokes or speak ironically, except to rebuke— as in “Kindly spare me your ‘originality.’” Irony, like plain humor, invariably turns upon some indulgence of human weakness. Charismatic figures show only strength. They refuse to buckle under in the face of threats, including physical threats. They are usually prophets of some new idea or cause.”

mccullough said...

Harris’ consultants get paid whether she wins or loses.

William said...

Anyone read the story about the woman of color who's being charged with murder for pushing the old white man off the bus? A murder charge seems too heavy for the offense. I'd like to see Kamala rise to this woman's defense. It would serve to counteract some of the negative stories about her time as prosecutor.

Yancey Ward said...

She should have just said, "The Jerk Store called and they are running out of you."

n.n said...
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Yancey Ward said...

Blogger mccullough wrote:

"Kamala should have said: “I’m seriously considering being Biden’s Vice President because he’ll be dead in two years anyway. Save me all this time on the campaign trail now.”

Now that should have been the reply!

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

“He was rightly classified as a man” in the medical records and appears masculine, [Dr. Daphna Stroumsa of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor] said.

A progressive conflation of sex and gender. She's a feminine female with unsourced masculine attributes. This is at least one reason for the social constructs that normalize gender attributes associated but not determined by sex.

Because the "actual medical needs" were those of a pregnant woman.

They exhibit the same cognitive dissonance when speaking of evolution, human rights, and abortion. Of diversity, discrimination, and individual dignity. Of political congruence ("="), equality, and selective exclusion. Of physics, prophecy, and catastrophic anthropogenic global cooling, warming, climate change. Of immigration, emigration, social justice, and justice. And so on and so forth.

daskol said...

I think Trump actually feels the humor.

This is what drives his haters cray cray, what ultimately enervates them. He's having fun. I see it on my wife's face whenever there's a clip of Trump saying something bombastic and mugging for the cameras: it's like they welcome him into the OODA loop. It's very amusing, but I need to be careful about showing it.

daskol said...

Buwaya, you've articulated what I've been wondering about KH for a while now: how could someone with parents like that be so damned bad at this game?

walter said...

H: "I won't be Joe's Butt Buddy."

Bob said...

Buwaya said, "K. Harris is an interesting case of a person who did not inherit the mental potential of her parents..."

Just to psychobabble a bit, maybe this is why she is so nakedly (pun intended) ambitious. To compensate for a failure to match what her parents accomplished and in her mind to make them proud. I can't say I exactly believe that, but it's worth a thought.

I think she would have run for governor, but Jerry Brown wanted his old job back. And he lived long enough to serve two terms. And no way she could deny Gavin his turn. Sooooo, nothing left to do but win Barbara Boxer's senate seat. But Harris doesn't give a damn about the Senate.

Nope, it's president or nothing for her. The Politico piece shows she's not running for second fiddle or back-bencher. She wants the Top Job. She wants to call the shots. She has to be President.

Michael K said...


For me, that means that neither one is really that bright


My daughter, the FBI agent, passed the Washington Bar and the California Bar, each on the first try. She practiced in Spokane for a year or two than moved back to CA and lived with her mother while she studied for the CA Bar. She worked as a bank teller while she prepared and was held up twice. Each time she kept her cool and gave the thief the "bait pack" of money, which blows up in their face, when they get outside the bank.

She has a funny story about the FBI academy. There was another woman in the Academy with her class. This woman spoke five languages and had been a UN translator. Kate was kind of intimidated by her intellectually until the end of the Academy, One of the final training exercises is similar to medical training where we use actors to simulate conditions.

In the Academy, the training session was an arrest of a white collar crime suspect who suddenly becomes violent as he is arrested. Kate kept her cool and did what she had been trained to do but the other woman collapsed in a puddle crying and unable to function.

Intellect is not everything.

rcocean said...

Presidents rarely choose their primary rivals as VP. Out of the last 12 Presidents, i count 2 VP's who were primary opponents.

Ike? No
JFk? Yes
LBJ? No
Nixon? No
Ford? No
Carter? No
Reagan? Yes
Bush? No
Bush II? No
Clinton? NO
Obama? No
Trump? No.

daskol said...

True enough, but it must kinda suck to be a standard or deviation or two closer to average than your parents.

rcocean said...

In addition:

Hillary didn't choose Bernie, Romney chose Ryan, McCain gave us Palin, Gore picked Liebermann, Dole chose Bush, and Mondale chose Ferraro.

rcocean said...

Did Obama have trouble with the bar exam?

Bill Peschel said...

Darkisland: There was a chapter from that book that surfaced online that showed how Johnson gained enormous power in the Senate:

Money. Specifically Texas oilmen money, which was used to finance his fellow Dems campaigns.

He also knew how to work the Senate's arcane rules to his advantage. But the money talked. Loudly.

Fen said...
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Fen said...

Money. Specifically Texas oilmen money, which was used to finance his fellow Dems campaigns. He also knew how to work the Senate's arcane rules to his advantage. But the money talked. Loudly.

Yup. My father was a big player in Texas politics, turned down Secretary of State to keep me and my brother in the Highland Park school system. And after college I worked for Lt Gov Hobby for several years in Austin. So.. the stories I could tell.. AND the most beautiful Capital ever. God I miss Texas.

But shenanigans? If you want the preview to Texas politics, watch the last 3 seasons of Justified.

Bill Peschel said...

"Buwaya, you've articulated what I've been wondering about KH for a while now: how could someone with parents like that be so damned bad at this game?"

Daskold, I think that success in politics is largely a matter of personality and strategic thinking. You have to figure out how to execute a plan to achieve your goal.

That's not something you learn in college, unless you figure this out and figure out how to act in a way that works.

There's also the leadership factor, which involves actually leading and forcing your will onto others.

This is even less a learnable skill than learning to work well with others. This means getting into people's faces when necessary, inspiring your employees to be loyal to you, and convincing everyone else that you know what you're talking about.

Just occupying a leadership position doesn't make you a leader. Obama clearly showed that. He talked a great game, but he wasn't able to lead except through his presidential pen (which, as we've seen, can be revoked by the next president).

Kirk Parker said...

narciso,

At Malakand Churchill was an embedded reporter.

Kirk Parker said...

rcocean @ 11:56,

Reagan's biggest mistake.

John henry said...

Bill, yes access to money helped a lot. He used the money to bribe senators to do what he wanted.

I found what he did with all the arcane rules much more interesting and possibly more important.

John Henry

Big Mike said...

@William (11:07), I am satisfied that the woman in question meets the definition of second degree homicide according to Nevada law: "unintentional homicide where the defendant behaved so recklessly that death was a foreseeable result." If I were on the jury she'd be off to contemplate her shortcoming in anger management in prison for the rest of her life.

buwaya said...

Churchill forced his way into several British military campaigns through the use of political influence. This was not unusual of course, ambitious or adventurous officers would scheme to get in on such expeditions in some capacity, often as supernumerary officers. This was common across many militaries.

In the Malakand campaign Churchill IIRC was such a supernumerary, not officially recognized by the army as a journalist. I'm not sure what his status was in the Sudan under Kitchener. In South Africa however he was a civilian.

daskol said...

KH has the red carpet laid out for her. She confers with staff about witty retorts and then leaks that fact, and that if her pique at the insult of being considered for VP to the press. Whatever her deficiencies in the leadership dept, she sucks at this game. She’s obviously not terribly bright, and even more obviously afflicted severely with vanity as only a vain person could imagine leaks Lole this maker her look good (such vain people don’t realize how unattractive their ambition appears because they literally can’t imagine themselves unattractive).

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

She's Hillary-ous

Kirk Parker said...

buwaya,

During the River Wars Churchill was actual British military.

Michael K said...

During the River Wars Churchill was actual British military.

His military unit was in India. He used his mother's influence to get him into Kitchener's army against Kitchener's will.

Mountain Maven said...

Her dad was an affirmative action professor who published crap and walked on his family. Her mom was a research scientist. He has her dad's genes. Her sister is like her mom

JAORE said...

"... don't understand why more people in the arena aren't picking up on the strong likelihood that she just isn't very smart."

Sure, because saying a person of color (what a horrible term) isn't smart will be taken as a legitimate concern rather than a racist attack. Much less racist than suggesting she would be a good VP, right?

======
Consultants? Like the guy that wakes up at 2 am thinking, THAT is what I should have said to him1

Kirk Parker said...

Michael K.,

True enough, but at Malakand he didn't even have that.

Sally said...

I had to read the article(s) four times to find anything resembling humor. Humor requires a certain lightness on your feet, and actually being funny. Kamala Harris is one of the clunkiest, least humorous politicians I’ve ever seen. She absolutely knows how to do “condescending.” That natural irritating nasal quality of her voice makes it seem like she’s always complaining, always whining. She reminds me of Hillary, in that regard. So if you don’t want to hear that irritating voice for eight years, defeat Kamala Harris.

Sam L. said...

Dems don't DO humor.

Darkisland said...

Blogger tim maguire said...

Here's what you said, Tim

Lots of presidents were vice-presidents first. It's a perfectly respectable office for someone who wants to raise their national profile and one day become president.

The way you phrase that, I understand you to be saying that the Vice-Presidency is a good springboard to the presidency. That is, to be elected to the presidency.

It is not. In the past 200 years we've had 2 sitting VPs and 1 former VP get elected to the presidency.

On the other hand, if you are engaging in the Johnsonian death wish, "If I get in as VP, maybe the Prez will die and I'll become president", that does work. But that is pure happenstance and not because one has raised their national profile. With Nixon the exception, no former VP has ever served more than a single term plus the stub of the predecessor's term. Several not even that.

So even when they do get in, they don't manage to stay in.

A number of sitting & former VPs have run for office in my lifetime. Wallace, Nixon(60), Humphrey, Mondale, Gore. None have been elected. Though Nixon was elected as a former VP in 68.

I just don't see the vice-presidency as useful for someone with presidential ambitions.

I also, though this is may be OT to your point, don't see the country being well served by people who are willing to be vice-presidents. Our experience with a dozen or so over the past 200 years has not been good.

John Henry

Darkisland said...

That addresses what I thought you were saying. If I am missing your point, perhaps you could explain it a bit.

John Henry

rcocean said...

"Reagan's biggest mistake."

100% agreeance.

Michael K said...

True enough, but at Malakand he didn't even have that.

I'll have to go get my copy of "The Malakand Field Force" to remember. I know guys in Afghanistan were reading it 15 years ago, That village is still there and unchanged except for AK 47s.

clint said...

"Darkisland said...

It is not. In the past 200 years we've had 2 sitting VPs and 1 former VP get elected to the presidency."

Wow. That's astounding. So many VPs became Presidents through deaths and so many became their party's (losing) nominees that I had just assumed that number was higher. (And Reagan-GHWB was one of the earlier elections I was really aware of, so it seemed "normal" by default.)

Still... 3 out of maybe 45 VPs is 6.7%. That's still much higher than "Senator" or "Governor". That is to say -- a higher percentage of VPs have been elected President than the percentage of Senators or Governors, even though a higher percentage of elected Presidents have been Senators or Governors than VPs.

Example: When President Obama was elected, there were 99 Senators who were not elected, and at least another hundred former Senators who were also not elected President. And the previous Senator elected to the Presidency was JFK, more than a generation earlier. So the chance of becoming President by using the Senate as a stepping stone is under 1%, much lower than the chance for VPs.

rcocean said...

"I just don't see the vice-presidency as useful for someone with presidential ambitions."

I agree - its a Gamble. There's no way Truman, Coolidge, Ford, or LBJ ever would've become President on their own. so worked out for them. And Bush was able to make it to President solely on his being VP to Reagan. Plus, Gore, Nixon, Mondale, JFK, FDR, and Humphrey all got nominated because their previous VP runs had raised their eligibility.

Here's how the VP's and POTUS elections look since 1924:

1924: Coolidge (VP)
1932: FDR (VP Candidate)
1948: Wallace (VP) - Truman VP
1960: Nixon (VP) JFK (1956 VP candidate)
1964: LBJ (VP)
1968: Both Candidates VPs
1976: Ford (VP)
1984: Mondale (VP)
1988: Bush (VP)
1996: Dole (VP Candidate)
2000: Gore (VP)

ken in tx said...

Kamala Harris is a Person of Color only because she chooses to be one. And she chooses to be one because it benefits her. She is no more a Person of Color than the Duchess of Sussex is. They are both white for all intents and purposes.

William said...

Hybrid vigor. I thought hybrids were supposed to inherit the most vigorous gene. Wouldn' the offspring inherit the smart gene more often than not. Or does Mother Nature classify brains along with good looks as not something important for survival.

narciso said...

and that and the saraghi incident related in the kesari film, describes the seeming forever war nature of this conflict, both happening in 1897, one in Afghanistan proper, the other in Pakistan.

Joanne Jacobs said...

If Biden gets the nomination, he will pick a woman or a person of color or, probably, a twofer as his VP. I think Harris will be his first choice. If she doesn't want the job, it will be a younger white woman (ie, not Warren), Cory Booker or Julian Castro. Then, barring a recession, he'll lose to Trump.

Going in, I thought Harris had a good shot, but she's underwhelmed.

Kirk Parker said...

clint,

That's not really a valid comparison, since most of those other 99 senators weren't running.

The true comparisons is number of VPs elected / number of VPs who ran, vs number of senators elected / number who ran.

William,

The applicability of "hybrid vigor" in humans is somewhat disputed. Contrast the human situation to something like raising rabbits, where line breeding is common.

Zach said...

Using a workshopped line isn't necessarily a problem -- JFK used professional joke writers on occasion, but he knew how to sell a line and make it sound spontaneous and witty.

The actual line is bad. It's ponderous and slow. It sounds more like the explanation of a joke than a joke itself -- "see, it's because he was already a vice president!" It's risk averse -- it sounds like it's taking a shot at Biden, but it's really a passive agressive "compliment."

It's tactically questionable, because she's polling 30 points behind Biden. Of course she's thinking about Vice President! And of course he isn't. Again, he's leading her by 30 points at the moment.

Does the situation even call for humor? It seems to me that simply saying "I'm running for President right now. I'm not considering other offices" is both perfectly honest and keeps your options open. There's such a thing as nervous humor, you know.