Harris’ Fall: A Campaign Divided And A Candidate Lost

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) participates in a interview and question-and-answer session with leaders from historically black colleges and universities dur... WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) participates in a interview and question-and-answer session with leaders from historically black colleges and universities during a Thurgood Marshall College Fund event at the JW Marriott February 07, 2019 in Washington, DC. Harris officially announced her candidacy for president of the United States on January 21. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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November 29, 2019 9:58 a.m.
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Disorganization is the currency of the realm at the Kamala Harris campaign, with an apparatus split between two coasts and a candidate who can’t decide on a message.

According to an extensive behind-the-curtain from the New York Times, things have become so fractured that Harris herself was caught off-guard by the recent wave of layoffs and called her campaign manager in a fury.

The layoffs are representative of the depth of the current crisis. Iowa Operations Director Kelly Mehlenbacher quit after they were announced, directing her parting fury at campaign manager Juan Rodriguez and campaign chairwoman Maya Harris, the candidate’s sister.

“This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly,” Mehlenbacher wrote. “With less than 90 days until Iowa we still do not have a real plan to win.”

The campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

The coffers are running extremely low, and the campaign has lacked the money to pay for any television advertising since September.

Part of the problem lies with the dual leadership of the campaign. Staffers are split between Baltimore and the Bay Area, and loyalties divided between Maya Harris and Rodriguez, a situation rife with rivalries.

Some blame the candidate herself for failing to settle on a message. The campaign’s central slogans have mutated into many different shapes, and some big issues remain unresolved. Namely, the campaign struggled with whether or not to embrace Harris’ prosecutorial background for months, leaving her with a gaping vulnerability.

Now, some are urging what would have been unthinkable when she first entered the race: a drop-out by December, so as to avoid the likely humiliation of losing badly in California.

Read the Times’ in-depth piece here.

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