Ms. Harris’s long-expected entry comes as many Democrats are keen to search out new leaders and because the social gathering grasps for a unifying message that may enchantment to its more and more progressive base and extra reasonable voters who’ve recoiled from President Trump.
A 54-year-old former California legal professional common and San Francisco district legal professional, Ms. Harris is one thing of a bridge between the Democrats eyeing the race who’re of their 70s, like Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders, and these of their 40s, like Mr. Booker and former Representative Beto O’Rourke. Further, whereas she hails from one of many nation’s most famously liberal cities, she has ties to each the pragmatic and leftist wings of the social gathering: She is rooted within the Bay Area’s Democratic institution however has embraced a extra progressive agenda since being elected to the Senate in 2016.
While different Democrats have targeted their financial coverage on regulating firms or limiting the affect of Wall Street, Ms. Harris’s signature proposal is extra targeted on people and would offer lower-income households with month-to-month money funds of as much as $500. She has additionally proposed a bail reform invoice that’s backed by a number of civil rights teams, and she targeted her preliminary Senate work on curbing maternal loss of life charges, notably amongst black girls.
Like many Democrats, Ms. Harris has sought to align herself with the social gathering’s leftward drift lately, proclaiming her help for “Medicare for All” and, after an preliminary hesitation, disavowing most company donations. She has additionally embraced the legalization of leisure marijuana, a place she as soon as rebuffed.
[Who’s in, who’s prepared to hitch? Follow the Democratic subject with The Times’s candidate tracker.]
“She has long been a reform-minded prosecutor who struck a balance between the need for public safety and reckoning with civil rights ideals,” mentioned Kristen Clarke, president and govt director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
But not everybody agrees that Ms. Harris can simply assuage Democrats nervous about her file as a prosecutor and district legal professional.
“If Kamala Harris wants people who care about dismantling mass incarceration and correcting miscarriages of justice to vote for her, she needs to radically break with her past,” wrote Lara Bazelon, a regulation professor, in an opinion piece for The Times final week.