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Assault on America, Day 219: Kamala Harris shows true meaning of political ‘flash in the pan’

Harris Support Drops
The political flash in the pan.

We’ve seen it before -- a relatively new face bursts onto the national scene, makes a giant impression during one particularly noteworthy public appearance and suddenly everyone’s talking about him or her at the dinner table or on barstools down at the local pub. The person’s poll numbers suddenly shoot up -- meaning they gain three or four points in surveys -- and bored pundits on cable talk shows and news programs begin theorizing about the newcomer’s prospects to alter the otherwise staid political balance.

Every presidential nominating cycle has its share of them. In 2008, for example, Republicans flirted with Michele Bachmann and “pizza man” Herman Cain before taking a harder look and noticing the apparent flaws in each candidate’s resume or presentation. In 2016 there was Ben Carson (now HUD secretary), the only GOPer to seriously challenge Donald Trump for the overall polling lead throughout the party primary campaign only to fall away and eventually leave the field and endorse the frontrunner.

Then there was Trump himself, a lifelong real estate developer and reality TV star who everyone considered the ultimate “flash in the pan”… until he started winning states (New Hampshire was the first) by wide margins and rhetorically slashing and burning his way to an insurmountable delegate lead, forcing his more mainstream opponents to drop off, one by one.

The Democrats had their own example of the type in this century, Barack Obama. Obama was a little known former community organizer with a dearth of big-time political experience yet possessed all the right qualifications to succeed in the liberal party -- he’s a minority (check!), could make big government programs (Hope and Change!) sound like the best thing since sliced bread (check!), and his competition was more repulsive than taking a flier on a young, attractive face.

This year’s gaggle of Democrat presidential hopefuls contains several would-be flashes in the pan, though it’s still very early and voters are yet to pay attention much less decide if they’ll risk a (huge) leap of faith on the establishment choice, Joe Biden. Thus far, California flake Sen. Kamala Harris looks to be the first of probably several flavors of the moment who won’t pan out.

Has Harris already commenced her decline? Stephen Green wrote at PJ Media, “Harris tried to create another Biden moment in last Wednesday's debate, but the sparks never quite flew. Her demeanor and performance were so relaxed -- verging on comatose -- that I wondered during my drunkblog if she was on some heavy cold medication...

“I'm far from the only one to notice that Harris's campaign is sagging. FiveThirtyEight's Nate Cohn, who was once ‘optimistic about her chances,’ now says that her ‘performance in last week’s debate gave me reason for pause.’ He concludes that Harris is ‘increasingly at risk of becoming the Marco Rubio in a field of candidates who have more distinctive pitches to voters.’”

The parallels between Harris and Rubio don’t end with their respective stations as flashes in the pan. Like Harris, Rubio was a junior senator from a major sunny state with a huge population and singular importance in the electoral sense. California isn’t up for grabs in the national election but it will play one heck of an important role in next year’s Democrat primaries because it’s moved close to the front of the line in terms of calendar dates.

Unlike in the past when the Golden State’s partisans didn’t get much of a say in either party’s nomination race (due to its well past-primetime June voting dates), next year California’s big government elites, environmental freaks and limousine liberals will pull the lever on March 3’s “Super Tuesday”, a mere month after the Iowa caucuses. Only Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina will have voted at that point, so California (along with thirteen other states) will factor very heavily in every Democrat’s campaign plans.

As the favorite daughter of the west coast, Harris obviously figured she’d be right in the thick of things even if she flamed out in the cold weather jurisdictions back east. Rubio no doubt followed a similar line of thinking (except he was counting on early voting Florida to be his firewall), but his utter lack of substance was exposed by Chris Christie, Trump and Ted Cruz to the point where he couldn’t justify asking people to trust him as president.

Kamala suffers from the same airy nothingness. If being California’s Attorney General is your claim to fame, you’d better do a much better job of defending your record than Harris did against lightly regarded Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard last week. Gabbard took particular umbrage with the former AG’s handling of pot convictions and incarcerations. Harris could’ve made another of her signature emotional appeals to make it sound like she was the greatest prosecutor/public protector of all time, but instead she wilted like a cut flower in the Palm Desert heat.

To their credit, some always suspected Harris wasn’t much of a promising political prospect. Other than her minority status, her gender and her (somewhat) good looks, there isn’t much there. If you’ve seen one of Kamala’s past speeches, she doesn’t exactly wow her audience with charisma or the “it” factor. She ain’t no Obama, put it that way. Instead she’s an opportunistic liberal activist who palled around with all the right people (like serving as Willie Brown’s mistress) and managed to insert herself into the national conversation irrespective of talent.

Harris was a natural fill-in when ultra-liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer announced her retirement in early 2015. It’s not like Kamala overcame serious opposition to her ascension to the national senate, either. It’s more like she was California’s Democrat next in line. Former Gov. Jerry Brown was too old to want to go to Washington and the rest of California’s Democrats couldn’t hope to match Harris’s perfect demographic “qualifications”.

Now she’s in the middle of the national Democrat scrum and may already have reached her apex before plummeting back to earth. Green added, “So is it all over for Harris? Hardly. She's well-funded, has a natural base of core supporters, and probably won't be doped up on NyQuil at the next debate. But for somebody who was thought to be a Tier One candidate, she's failed to capitalize on her one big win, and was ill-prepared to defend herself from the inevitable blowback.”

The Real Clear Politics average shows Harris lost the polling bump she’d gained after the first round of debates -- and then some. She peaked at 15.2 percent on July 5, and as of Wednesday, Harris’s average was back down to 8.3 percent. I’m not a mathematician but it looks like she’s lost about half (45%) of her support in the past month. If Kamala isn’t exhibiting the feverish symptoms of a “flash in the pan,” I’m not sure what would qualify.

In contrast, “Uncle Joe” Biden’s holding steady at 31 percent, which is roughly double the backing of his closest competitor, “crazy” Bernie Sanders. “The Bern” stayed about the same after last week’s debates, which clearly demonstrates, if you’re a Democrat, it pays to be old, crusty, angry and borderline incoherent! The next closest challenger to the top two is Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren at 15.5 percent, which makes her virtually tied with Sanders. Needless to say, Warren’s got all of Sanders’ personal attributes, plus she’s a fake Native American… and a woman. That’s definitely enough in a lot of Democrat voters’ books!

Unless something dramatic happens in the coming months Biden might just win by default. The crazy Democrat nominating process may keep several candidates viable well past Super Tuesday, so it could get interesting once the field narrows to three or four contenders. Harris almost certainly would figure in those calculations, but how much? Time will tell.

Biden’s established himself as the heir apparent to Obama, and his gaffes thus far haven’t dramatically reduced his overwhelming lead. The former president himself reemerged this week to comment on the recent mass shootings. Predictably, Obama took a (symbolic) shot at Trump while restating his tired politically correct viewpoint. Matt Margolis reported at PJ Media, “Like clockwork, Barack Obama joined the chorus of Democrats politicizing the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and issued a public statement via Twitter...

“While the left is always itching to blame tragedies on Republicans, the NRA, and, since he became president, Donald Trump, they deliberately ignore inconvenient truths about guns and mass shooters that don't fit their gun control narrative. For example, that an overwhelming majority of mass shooters were raised without their father in the home, the inverse relationship between gun ownership and gun homicides, or that the often-cited 1996 Australian gun confiscation did not work. Instead, the left simply wants to score a few cheap political points to justify more gun control that doesn't work.”

Who needs the truth when you can spin a pile of pleasant-sounding gobbledygook into something that sounds rational and “caring,” which is the goal of every Democrat? Democrats would pass their gun restrictions and then call for more when the next mass shooting takes place.

That’s right -- confiscation is their ultimate aim. And even then, you’d still have desperate has-beens like Obama trying to re-enter the spotlight by tweeting out criticisms of the current president. It's funny how Democrats, #NeverTrumpers and the media always claim Trump’s behavior isn’t becoming of the office, but how “presidential” is it for a former chief executive to snipe from the sidelines on a matter that is completely out of the current president’s control?

Trump didn’t let Obama’s insult go unanswered. Per Margolis’s article, “Trump's reply Tweet: ‘Did George Bush ever condemn President Obama after Sandy Hook. President Obama had 32 mass shootings during his reign. Not many people said Obama is out of Control. Mass shootings were happening before the President even thought about running for Pres.’ @kilmeade @foxandfriends”

It takes a lot for a politician to achieve electoral viability and sustain it through a grueling campaign -- and then maintain it once in office. Democrats like Kamala Harris can only get so far on surface characteristics alone, something several candidates are yet to discover in this year’s presidential race.

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