Thursday, September 24, 2020 | ePaper

Democrat Kamala Harris ends 2020 White House bid

  • Print


Kamala Harris, 55, was the only African-American woman seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.



Democrat trailblazer Kamala Harris pulled the plug on her US presidential campaign Tuesday after a promising start to her bid was eroded by underperforming in a crowded field and a failure to raise sufficient funds.
The exit of the progressive senator leaves 15 candidates in the battle to see who challenges President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.
Harris has been a fierce Trump critic, repeatedly calling for his impeachment.
He reacted to her withdrawal by tweeting, "Too bad. We will miss you" - to which Harris quickly replied, "Don't worry, Mr. President. I'll see you at your trial."
Her departure, following weeks of campaign turmoil, shines a light on the disruptive potential of a self-funding candidate like billionaire Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York.
Having stagnated in fifth place in polling, with under four percent support, Harris was bumped to sixth spot after Bloomberg's recent entry.
"I've taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life," the 55-year-old Californian told supporters in an email.
"My campaign for president simply doesn't have the financial resources we need to continue.
"I'm not a billionaire. I can't fund my own campaign."
It was a parting swat at Bloomberg and billionaire activist Tom Steyer, both of whom have spent millions of dollars in broadcast and online advertising.
It was also a telling revelation about the piles of cash that candidates need to mount a viable campaign.
"Kamala is right - our system is deeply broken when billionaires can buy their way in," tweeted liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of several presidential hopefuls to quickly thank Harris for her campaign.
Harris has been a political ground-breaker, only the second black woman elected to the US Senate.
She rocketed into White House contention with a stirring campaign launch in January, on Martin Luther King Jr's birthday, before 20,000 onlookers.
But her prospects slid in recent months as she struggled to define her positions on domestic issues including health care.
She antagonized voters by suggesting in January, and again in a debate, that she sought to eliminate private health insurance to make way for universal health coverage.
Harris is one of the biggest names to date to leave the race, along with former congressman Beto O'Rourke of Texas and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
She had jousted with Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden in the party's first presidential debate in June, when she attacked him on his positions on race and school busing.
It provided a breakout for the candidate, who saw her support rise to - and peak at - 15 percent in polling.
But that viral moment proved to be a strategic miscalculation; she suffered a months-long slide while Biden's support largely held steady.
Harris recently invoked the need to rebuild the "Obama coalition" - African Americans, Hispanics, women, independents and millennials who together swept Barack Obama to victory in 2008 - in order to defeat Trump.
But Biden, who for eight years served as Obama's vice president, has managed to maintain pole position among black voters.
Harris is a former prosecutor and one-time attorney general for California whose steely demeanor can give way to a million-watt smile.
Her candidacy was noteworthy in the era of Trump: as a black American daughter of immigrants, Harris appeared to be the "American dream" incarnate, mounting a challenge to a president whom many Democrats denounce as the nation's divider in chief.
Biden said he had "mixed emotions" about Harris dropping out. "She is a first-rate intellect, a first-rate candidate and a real competitor."
Harris was the third candidate to quit the race in recent days, along with low-polling Democrats Montana Governor Steve Bullock and former congressman Joe Sestak.

More News For this Category

France backs Saad Hariri's proposal to end political deadlock

France backs Saad Hariri's proposal to end political deadlock

Al Jazeera News :Hariri proposed in a statement on Tuesday that prime minister-designate Mustapha Adib, a Sunni Muslim under Lebanon's system of power-sharing, name an "independent" Shia candidate to the

Malaysia's Anwar gets backing to form govt, PM unshaken

Malaysia's Anwar gets backing to form govt, PM unshaken

AFP :Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said on Wednesday he had strong support from MPs to form a new government, but the premier appeared unshaken and criticised "blind actions" of

Lukashenko abruptly sworn in, Belarus opposition calls for more protests

Lukashenko abruptly sworn in, Belarus opposition calls for more protests

Reuters, Minsk :Ignoring calls for an end to his 26-year grip on power, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus was sworn in for a sixth term on Wednesday after an election

Mozambique asks EU for help in tackling insurgency

Reuters, Johannesburg :Mozambique has asked the European Union for support in tackling a wave of militant attacks in the country's north by rebels with links to Islamic State, a conflict

Palestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel deals

Palestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel deals

Al Jazeera News :Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal ties

Gulf coronavirus infections surpass 800,000

Reuters, DubaiĀ  :The number of recorded novel coronavirus cases in the six Gulf Arab states has doubled in three months to over 800,000, according to a Reuters tally.All countries have

New Zealand's Ardern set to return in October vote

New Zealand's Ardern set to return in October vote

Al Jazeera News :New Zealand's governing Labour Party has lost some support since July as the coronavirus resurged in Auckland, but it is still set to win the upcoming general

Australia attempts to rescue hundreds of stranded pilot whales

Australia attempts to rescue hundreds of stranded pilot whales

Reuters :Rescuers were trying to refloat hundreds of whales stranded on a sandbar off the remote west coast of the Australian island of Tasmania on Tuesday, hoping to end one

Myanmar rejects calls to postpone election despite virus surge

Reuters, Yangon :Myanmar plans to push ahead with a November general election despite calls from opposition parties to postpone it because of a surge in novel coronavirus cases, officials said.The

UAE gets American drones as China ramps up sales

UAE gets American drones as China ramps up sales

Al Jazeera News :The White House's recent decision to allow the sale of advanced weapons systems to the United Arab Emirates highlights the deliberate shift in US policy towards