Gabbard Harris
© Reuters/Shannon Stapleton
Former presidential candidates Tulsi Gabbard and Kamala Harris
California Senator Kamala Harris crashed and burned early in the Democrat primary process, never recovering from the debate drubbing she took from Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. She became Joe Biden's running mate anyway.

"Tulsi" was trending on social networks shortly after the announcement that Harris would be Biden's choice for vice president should Democrats win in November. That's not surprising, since their famous clash from July 2019 was one of the most memorable moments of Harris's short-lived presidential bid, widely credited with sinking her candidacy.

That day Gabbard calmly took Harris to task over her prosecutorial past, pointing out that she was responsible for getting thousands of African-Americans locked up on draconian drug sentences, even as Democrats clamored for criminal justice reform and racial justice.


Harris tried to brush that off, insisting she was a top-tier candidate while Gabbard was a nobody polling in single digits. Yet her ratings never recovered, and she called her campaign off by early December - long before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary - citing lack of funds.

With polls showing Democrats favored to win the White House - though they also showed that in 2016, and things turned out differently - the identity of Biden's running mate was a hot topic. Biden himself is 77 and even Democrat operatives have been content to keep him hidden "in the basement" and speak as little as possible. He is on the record as saying he would not seek a second term, if elected - and is considered unlikely to serve out the first.

Given all that, it was widely understood that Biden's running mate would be Democrats' actual candidate for the top job. Though Biden had already said it would be a woman, advocates of racial identity politics absolutely insisted that it be a person "of color" as well.

As part Jamaican and part Indian, Harris checks off those boxes - although her claim to be African-American failed to sway black voters during the Democrat primaries.


The viral video of the August 2019 takedown of "Kamala the cop" appeared to be the perfect balm for progressives frustrated by her elevation, coming at a time when Democrats have widely embraced the calls to "defund the police."

That radical idea arose from the weeks of protests and violent riots following the May death of George Floyd, an African-American man, in Minneapolis. Soon Democrat-led cities across the US were declaring that police were irreparably and systemically racist, and needed to be replaced by social workers or something yet to be "reimagined."

With Harris's entire political career as a prosecutor, it was clear on Tuesday that the mainstream media machine would have to work overtime to make her fit into that narrative. Denouncing any criticism of Harris as "racist" or "sexist" will be just the start.