While the 2016 presidential election is still a fresh (and for many, painful) memory, some politicians are already quietly making the first moves to stage a run in the 2020 election. According to Sean Cockerham, Kamala Harris, the Democratic Senator from California, is one of them, by making speeches for think-tanks and key national constituencies, fundraising for colleagues and building relationships with reporters and others. While her entourage is trying to quell any speculation about a 2020 run, observers in the media and the Democratic party are watching her closely. “A lot of activists in the party would love to see a new leader step forward,” Roger Hickey, co-director of the progressive strategy group Campaign for America’s Future said. “From everything I’ve seen of her she’d be an attractive candidate, she could be a compelling candidate, and I think she’d have a lot of appeal for primary voters,” said Bob Shrum, a senior adviser to the presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry.
At 52 years old, Harris is much younger than other potential 2020 frontrunners like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, and with an energetic speech at the Women’s March on Washington, she was able to work her way into the national spotlight. However, as a first-time senator she has not been able to make her mark politically yet. Harris claims she is not thinking about a presidential run. “I’m four months into the Senate and we’ve got a lot of work to do,” she said after an event in downtown Los Angeles. “I just got back from Iraq, from Baghdad, and from looking at one of the largest refugee camps in the world with 80,000 Syrian refugees. Those are the issues I will focus on.” Right now, it makes sense for Harris to be courting donors and interest in a White House bid. On Monday, The Hill put together a list of 43 people — one of whom is Harris — who could reasonably make a run at the White House in 2020. Competition, three years out, looks stiff already.
Harris is no stranger to the Women in the World scene. Two years ago, when she was California’s attorney general, she appeared onstage in a panel alongside Ashley Judd and Anita Sarkeesian to discuss the problem of online harassment. Watch the full discussion below.
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