Kamala Harris Ends Presidential Campaign

December 3, 2019 by Dan McCue
Democratic candidate hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) speaks at a rally at the Anderson Dance Pavillion in Chris Larsen Park in Sioux City, Iowa, on August 8, 2019. (Jerry Mennenga/Zuma Press/TNS)

WASHINGTON – Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., told staffers and supporters on Tuesday that she is ending her campaign for president.

The announcement, which spread by word of mouth and text message early Tuesday afternoon, came just hours after Harris abruptly pulled the plug on a high-profile New York fundraiser at the Paul Weiss law firm.

Initially, the word spread by the campaign was that the event was dropped due to a “personal matter.”

Later, in a note to supporters, Harris said dropping out of the race was “one of the hardest decisions of my life.”

It came, she said, after she “looked at this from every angle” and concluded “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.”

Harris, who was the first woman and first black attorney general and U.S. senator in California’s history, launched her campaign in January. Over the next three months she raised an impressive $12 million and quickly amassed significant endorsements.

And after California moved its primary to Super Tuesday, it appeared that for her the road to the White House would be most hospitable.

But as more than 20 candidates entered the Democratic primary fray, Harris’s fundraising seemed to falter — many blaming it on her being inconsistent in her messaging and unsure of her place in the crowded field.

Her brightest moment came during the first Democratic candidate debate in June, when she tore into the frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, over his comments about working with segregationist lawmakers and his past views on busing.

But the same debate appears to have been the beginning of the end.

When a moderator asked which of the candidates supported abolishing private insurance in favor of a government-run single-payer alternative, Harris was among those who raised her hand.

Twenty-four hours later, she appeared to reverse herself, claiming that she’d misheard the question and that if elected, she would preserve supplemental private insurance.

After that, she never regained the momentum of last winter, and in recent weeks her campaign has been plagued with reports of disgruntled campaign staff and a muddled strategy heading into the primaries.

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