Kamala Harris may have suspended her presidential campaign early last month, but so many elements of her candidacy have remained thriving, thanks in no small part to the Democrats who are still running for president.
No, that’s not to say those candidates have been shouting out Kamala on the campaign trail. It’s actually much more of the opposite as a handful of them have kept the California senator’s name out of their mouth while still benefitting from the rhetorical groundwork she laid in a little less than a year while she was working to become the first Black woman nominated by Democrats to be president.
Whether it’s been through proposed policy or just plain talking points — both of which were disparaged by some of her rivals — many of the candidates have been taking (some may call it stealing) ideas from Kamala’s campaign.
That was more than evident on Friday when Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire and former Republican, used a Black marching band to introduce himself at a campaign stop in Atlanta in an obvious effort to endear himself (pander?) to Black voters. It was a curious moment to be sure.
Folks may remember Kamala Harris pioneering the Black marching band approach when she rocked the stage alongside a group of young musicians back in November in what appeared to be a genuine interest in the culture.
It’s doubtful that Bloomberg’s choice of introductions was not at least partly influenced by Harris.
Not substantial enough of an example of the Kamala thievery happening in her absence? There’s more.
The campaign of Tom Steyer, another billionaire, literally stole important voter data from Kamala’s campaign. Now, months later, he’s reaping the benefits of the admitted thievery, shooting up all the way to second place in polling in South Carolina, where — just like in Georgia where Bloomberg was campaigning — the coveted Black vote is up for grabs.
“I’m not a billionaire,” Harris literally said while announcing the end of her campaign on Dec. 3 before emphasizing how much “it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.”
Still not convinced that Democrats running for president have been hovering over Kamala’s campaign like vultures?
How about when Elizabeth Warren dismissed Harris’ literal invitation on the debate stage to join her in demanding that Twitter “shut down” Donald Trump’s account because the president’s tweets were a “matter of safety”?
Warren could be seen laughing off that notion months before she reversed course to the tune of 180 degrees — after Harris had suspended her campaign, conveniently. It took Trump to threaten to destroy Iranian cultural sites for Warren to finally speak up about the president’s Twitter fingers when she introduced a resolution to condemn those tweets.
A lot of people on social media wanted to know why Warren had such a change of heart after Harris pointed out the very real consequences of Trump’s tweets back in October.
Had Warren and others stood with Kamala against Trump on Twitter, he may not have been able to taunt Iran and threaten [more] war crimes last week.
And speaking of Warren at debates, that wasn’t her only Kamala déjà vu moment on the debate stage. In the most recent debate — the first one without Harris — Warren seemed to borrow another page from the California senator’s campaign playbook when she cited the need to “prosecute the case against the President.”
Harris was excoriated for using such legal verbiage that many critics said harkened back to her prosecutorial past that she has been so heavily slammed for in the past year. Warren, however, got no backlash at all for co-opting yet another point that was initially championed by Harris before the president had been impeached.
But wait, that’s not all.
Joe Biden was getting in on the act, too. The former vice president and his campaign were “on the verge of picking up a key fundraiser who was Sen. Kamala Harris’ national finance chairman when she was running for the White House,” CNBC reported on Thursday.
While Biden having Jon Henes on his team was far less controversial and not really in the “stealing” spirit as the above examples, it’s hard to forget the contentious exchange on the topic of race between the former vice president and Harris during the second debate.
To see Biden welcoming a key cog of Kamala’s campaign into his own as other candidates also snatched up elements of the senator’s campaign lent further credence to the notion that Black women are the backbone of the Democratic Party.
But with all of these efforts being done in the greater context of pandering to Black voters for their support, the optics behind all of the above is even more damning.
With that said, perhaps all of this imitation is nothing more than flattery from Kamala’s fellow Democrats who could be eyeing her as a very real possible running mate should they win the nomination to face off against Trump in November. If not that, Harris could also become the next attorney general if the Democrats win the general election later this year.
But all of that speculation centers on events that are a far way off. In the meantime, with all this thievery, let’s see if Democrats keep that same Kamala energy and join Harris in also calling out Tulsi Gabbard?