Commentary

The Calculated Endorsement of Kamala Harris

By Allen West | March 9, 2020 | 6:16am EDT
Democratic presidential hopefuls former Vice President Joe Biden and US Senator from California Kamala Harris at the Democrat primary debate in Detroit, Michigan on July 31, 2019. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopefuls former Vice President Joe Biden and US Senator from California Kamala Harris at the Democrat primary debate in Detroit, Michigan on July 31, 2019. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

First, I pray y’all are adjusting to losing that hour of sleep Saturday evening, and did not awake in a panic Sunday morning. Even if the time change didn't panic you, here's something that might:

In the early hours of Sunday morning -- real early in California -- former Democrat presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris tweeted out a video endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden. I am sure there are those who are saying, so what. The “so what” is that this very calculated, of course political, move by Sen. Harris presents a very interesting discussion opportunity.

I have stated this before, and it is worth reiterating. Joe Biden’s presidential campaign was brought back from the dead in South Carolina by one electoral demographic, the Black vote. There can be no doubt that South Carolina Democratic Rep. James Clyburn was the architect of Biden’s resurrection.

That resurrection led to a Biden resurgence last week on Super Tuesday and may prove instrumental going into this week’s primary contests in six States. Regardless, the Democrat Party knows, unconditionally, they lose without the Black vote.

This is a lesson the Democrat Party learned in the last presidential election cycle when Hillary Clinton failed to connect with the Black community. And that was after Mrs. Clinton spoke in a fake southern black accent and stated that she carried a bottle of hot sauce in her purse. (The latter assertion was so obnoxious, condescending, and offensive it is beyond comprehension.)

The Democrat Party is trying to avoid a repeat of the 2016 Clinton debacle, and Senator Kamala Harris knows that.

Why didn’t Sen. Harris endorse Joe Biden prior to the California primary? Simple, it was a risk. Last week, Joe Biden lost California to Bernie Sanders. That presented an opportunity for Kamala Harris, the U.S. senator from California, who can now market herself as the one who can deliver the state for the former vice president and energize those Bernie Sanders supporters who may feel disenfranchised.

By comparison, we saw a former Democrat presidential candidate, Robert Francis O’Rourke, run into the spotlight last Monday in Texas to lend his support and endorsement to VP Biden. Biden ended up winning Texas and even made the statement that he would use O’Rourke to help with the “gun problem.”

There is no debating that the left wants to “flip” Texas, a topic in and of itself. But believing that using Bob Frank O’Rourke to advance an anti-Second Amendment agenda will endear voters in the Lone Star State is utterly delusional…the lightning that struck in Virginia will not work in Texas.

What will work in Texas, and across America, is an identity politics VP nominee standing next to an ol’ white guy. What will work is making the emotional pitch to the Black electorate that has proven it will vote for Biden. What Kamala Harris knows is that on her own merit she could not attain the nomination for president -- but she can leverage her image, appeal, as a VP nominee.

Why is Harris in the driver’s seat for a VP nomination? Simple, President Donald Trump.

Back in 2016, in Charlotte, N.C., it was then-candidate Trump who asked the Black community of America, “What have you got to lose?”

It was the first-ever challenge of such a nature issued from a top Republican, not to mention presidential candidate, to the Black community. Of course, President Trump’s words were met with the usual denigrating and disparaging responses of being racist. Hardly. And what has happened is that President Trump has backed up his challenge with proven policy results.

There has been criminal justice reform, for which Alice Marie Johnson is now a national spokesperson for that initiative. It was President Trump who secured her release from prison. The unemployment rate for the Black community is at an all-time low. Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are receiving incredible federal funding support that did not happen in the Obama administration. We have economic and educational opportunity zones and scholarships lifting Blacks, as evidenced during the State of the Union address.

President Trump’s approval rating in the Black community has hovered anywhere between 27 and 34 percent. Results matter. This caused even the avowed socialist Van Jones to sound a clarion call for the Democrat Party, which has taken Blacks for granted since the mid-60s. And it has been the Democrat Party that has produced policies that have decimated the Black community.

But there is one thing we all know to be true: these accomplishments, results, will be forgotten when it comes to a “historic” moment. And that is what Kamala Harris is depending upon. She is banking her political capital on reimagining a Barack Obama sort of wave as the First Black female Vice President.

Yep, she will be all over the talk shows, “The View” and “Ellen.” Yep, she will be all over the magazine covers, Essence, Ebony, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan – don’t worry, I had to look this up. Kamala Harris is just progressive enough, what I call a progressive moderate, to make her palatable to the leftist base of the Democrat (Socialist) party.

Then again, remember, this has less to do with policy than it does with image. Let’s face it, Biden and his campaign will need help with image and energy. And the Democrats must make the emotional presentation to the Black community and deceive them into forgetting about the policies of the Trump administration that have economically empowered them.

The seminal question is, will the Black community be fooled again?

Objectively, Barack Obama was one of the worst presidents for the Black community. Never forget that he cancelled the DC School Voucher program for deserving minority kids seeking the equality of opportunity via a quality education. It was President Donald Trump who recognized a little black girl from Philadelphia, and her single mother, and gave her an education opportunity scholarship before the Nation, and world, during his State of the Union address.

Kamala Harris once assailed Joe Biden for using her story as a little black girl, but she has grown up to be nothing more than a calculating political opportunist.

(Allen West is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. During his 22-year career, he served in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, receiving many honors including a Bronze Star. In 2010, West was elected as a member of the 112th Congress representing Florida’s 22nd District. He is a Fox News contributor and author of “Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom” and his latest book from Brown Books Publishing Group, “Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death.”  Mr. West writes daily commentary on his personal website theoldschoolpatriot.com and is a Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center to support its mission to expose and neutralize liberal media bias.)


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