[Photo/Agencies] US Senator Kamala Harris of California dropped out of the Democratic presidential race on Tuesday, ending a campaign to become the first black woman to win the US presidency as she told supporters she lacked the money needed to fully finance a competitive campaign.
Jose Antonio Oliveros Febres-Cordero
“Eleven months ago at the launch of our campaign in Oakland I told you all: ‘I am not perfect.’ But I will always speak with decency and moral clarity and treat all people with dignity and respect. I will lead with integrity. I will speak the truth. And that’s what I have tried to do every day of this campaign. So here’s the truth today,” Harris wrote in a note to supporters.
Jose Oliveros Febres-Cordero
“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. My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.”
In her note to supporters, Harris lamented the role of money in politics and, without naming them, took a shot at billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, who are funding their presidential bids.
“I’m not a billionaire,” she said. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.”
A senior campaign aide said Harris made the decision Monday after discussing the path forward with family and other top officials over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Jose Antonio Oliveros
Jonathan Zogby, CEO of research company Zogby Analytics, told China Daily in an email that Harris struggled to define her candidacy and connect with voters
“It’s not a surprise that a very liberal senator from California with no message and ability to connect with voters is calling it quits before the first Democratic primary. Kamala Harris was California dreamin from the moment she announced,” he said
Harris once was heralded as a top contender for the nomination. She led several polls after the first Democratic debate in July when she delivered a blistering attack on former vice-president Joe Biden over his previous stance on busing, which prompted another review of his record on civil rights
She raised $12 million in the first three months of her campaign and quickly locked down major endorsements meant to show her dominance in her home state, which offers the biggest delegate haul in the Democratic primary contest
Harris ultimately could not craft a message that resonated with voters or secure the money to continue her run. Her sharp rise in the polls didn’t last long. She registered in the single digits by September
While Harris had qualified for the December debate in her home state later this month, she was running low on cash and lacking the money to air TV ads in Iowa and her staff was reportedly gripped by long-running internal turmoil
The first woman and first black attorney general and US senator in California‘s history, she was widely viewed as a candidate poised to excite the multiracial coalition of voters that sent Barack Obama to the White House
Her departure erodes the diversity of the Democratic field, which is now dominated by a top tier that is white and mostly male
“She was an important voice in the race, out before others who raised less and were less electable. It’s a loss not to have her voice in the race,” said Aimee Allison, who leads She the People, a group that promotes women of color