Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) 2020 Democrat presidential primary campaign is flailing, according to her current and former aides.
A New York Times report reveals warring factions within Harris’ campaign against her Baltimore, Maryland and California-based staff, as well as financial woes that continue to get worse. As part of the Times‘ various interviews with current and former Harris staffers, the report details the recent resignation letter of the campaign’s operations director Kelly Mehlenbacher.
“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.”
Mehlenbacher wrote that Harris’ campaign lacks “leaders who will lead,” calling the direction of the campaign with Harris’ sister, Maya, at the helm “unacceptable.” Mehlenbacher has since taken a top job for billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s newly-announced Democrat presidential bid.
Those sentiments are reflected in interviews, where one former Harris staffer told the Times that “You can’t run the country if you can’t run your campaign,” when speaking of the campaign’s disarray of messaging and leadership.
Harris’ financial issues have not gotten any better since the last Democrat debate, putting her in a “dire” situation that has left her staff wanting former aides to set up a super PAC to help them run ads that they, themselves, cannot afford [emphasis added]:
But her troubles go beyond staffing and strategy: Her financial predicament is dire. The campaign has not taken a poll or been able to afford TV advertising since September, and it has all but quit buying Facebook ads in the last two months. Her advisers, after months of resistance, have only now signaled their desire for a group of former aides to begin a super PAC to finance an independent political effort on her behalf. [Emphasis added]
Likewise, Harris’ staff complained her message has been all over the place. According to the Times, Harris first chose to use the word “truth” as a campaign slogan because it polled well with focus groups. In recent months, though, Harris has dropped the phrase to focus on the term “justice” where she plays up aspects of her prosecutorial career:
For a time, she sought to highlight a pragmatic agenda, about matters she said voters thought about while lying awake at 3 a.m. Today, her aides are given to gallows humor about just how many slogans and one-liners she has cycled through, with one recalling how “‘speak truth’ spring” gave way to “‘3 a.m.’ summer” before the current, Trump-focused “‘justice’ winter.” [Emphasis added]
Even in Harris’ home state of California, the former prosecutor has failed to break into the top tier of candidates in the state’s Democrat presidential primary — a problem that one of Harris’ donors, Susie Buell admitted to the Times.
“For her to lose California would be really hard and it’s not looking good,” Buell said.
In the latest SurveyUSA poll, Harris runs in fourth with just 10 percent in California behind former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Harris garners almost as much support in the state as South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is polling at eight percent.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.