Harris could have been the first Black woman to field a nomination from a major party in the United States. Now, that seems like a far away dream.
Democratic contender Kamala Harris just withdrew herself from the 2020 United States Presidential elections, much to the disappointment of left-leaning voters across the country. The California Senator announced her candidacy earlier this year in January, but it appears that the past few months have worn her down. Unfortunately, Harris ran out of money just as she dropped in the polls. Of all the updates to have come about the upcoming elections, her abrupt withdrawal is perhaps one of the most surprising. Her announcement is especially saddening as it paints a dismal picture of the sad state of race relations in America; Harris sought to become one of the first Black women to win a presidential nomination from a major party. Now, the available candidates are majority-White, The New York Times reports.
With Kamala Harris dropping out, this is a quick preview of the next Democratic debate: pic.twitter.com/MI3tSsmgCB— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) December 4, 2019
The Democrat announced her exit in an email to supporters on Tuesday, claiming that she lacked the financial prowess to execute a campaign competitive enough to take on her contenders. While money poured in at the beginning of her campaign, it simply wasn't enough to sustain her strategy. "My campaign for President simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue," she wrote. "But I want to be clear with you: I am still very much in this fight." In a conference call conversation with donors, she revealed that she made the decision after much contemplation. She discussed her departure with both her family as well as two political advisors, finally concluding that she simply had “no path” forward in the race.
It is unclear how Harris' withdrawal will affect polling numbers as she had already dropped quite a few places prior to the announcement. It is unlikely that her surprise exit will help any Democratic candidate in particular. Though she and competitor Elizabeth Warren fought for some of the same voters earlier on in the year, the former's standing had declined drastically as the year went on. Perhaps moderates such as former Vice President Joe Biden and Mayor Pete Buttigieg will experience a boost in support from her potential voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. Moreover, her exit has triggered a rat race for her "top-tier roster of endorsements and staff members." Allegedly, her donors have already begun receiving calls from her rivals.
One thing, however, is startlingly clear: politics is still no place for a Black woman in America. Throughout her run, her identity was a pain point. Though, of course, there were several logistical and strategic shortcomings that faulted her political campaign, her withdrawal is a sad reminder of how far the United States is yet to travel. Leah Greenberg, co-executive director of national progressive group Indivisible, stated, "No matter your candidate, you have to recognize that going from the most diverse field ever in January to a potentially all-white debate stage in December is catastrophic." "She really showed the importance of having different perspectives on the debate stage," added Amanda Hunter, research and communications director at the Barbara Lee Family Foundation. "Her personal story about being bused to school was something that a historically typical older white man would not bring to the conversation... Simply by running, Senator Harris challenged that and broke down stereotypes." Needless to say, this is a sad victory for her contenders.