Home/Rod Dreher/Kamala: Woke Capitalism’s Dream Pick

Kamala: Woke Capitalism’s Dream Pick

Sen. Kamala Harris (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/POOL)

Let’s stipulate that nobody Joe Biden could have picked for his running mate would have pleased conservatives in any way. Of all the people he could have picked, I think Kamala Harris is the most dangerous, from a social conservative point of view. I’ll get to that in a second. But first, let me explain why I think she was probably the best pick for Biden.

Biden said he was going to pick a female running mate. In any other year, Elizabeth Warren would have been a stronger choice, given the role she’s carved out for herself as a scourge of Wall Street. But in this George Floyd year, Biden needed to choose a black woman — especially because the support of black voters is what saved his presidential candidacy.

Harris is very aggressive in her speeches — and that’s what Biden needs. Traditionally presidential candidates need their veep picks to be bulldogs. Trump doesn’t, but Biden really does. He gets to keep his avuncular Uncle Joe affect for one, and for another, she can throw sharp elbows that elderly Joe Biden cannot manage.

Harris is woke on all the social issues, but some progressives don’t like her because of the years she spent as a prosecutor in California. You might recall how Tulsi Gabbard rattled Harris in a Democratic candidates’ debate by grilling her on her prosecution of marijuana offenders. Overall, though, this reputation will help Biden, I believe. No progressive with a lick of sense is going to sit out the election because Officer Kamala is on the ticket. Given all the rioting this year, it is likely an advantage for Biden to be able to say he has a law-and-order progressive on his ticket — however phony that claim might be. Remember, Biden doesn’t need the pothead vote; he needs the wine-mom vote.

Finally, Biden surely knows that given his age, he is likely to be a one-term president, meaning that win or lose this fall, his VP choice will probably head the Democratic ticket in 2024 — and is a favorite to lead the party after he passes from the scene. The Harris choice is a solid bet on the future of the party.

So what’s wrong with her?

First, from a purely strategic point of view, choosing an aggressively leftist San Francisco Democrat is likely to rally some Republican voters who were going to sit this election out. And note well that she had very little support from black voters in the primary. I certainly don’t think she is going to cost Biden support with those voters this fall, but I would like to why she did not resonate with them — and if it signals deeper problems.

Now, from the point of view of religious and social conservatives, I think Harris is very bad news. Alexandra De Sanctis recalls how Sen. Harris insinuated that a Catholic judicial nominee’s membership in the Knights of Columbus disqualifying. Harris, whose record shows her to be one of the most left-wing members of the Senate, will become the de facto leader of the Democratic Party no matter what happens in November. I doubt that she will be significantly more progressive than any other Democrat that Biden could have picked, but the fact that she is so relatively young, and so stylistically vigorous, means that the Democrats in power are going to be very aggressively anti-conservative on social issues for the foreseeable future.

Unlike Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris poses no threat to Big Business. CNBC reports:

Wall Street leaders on Tuesday cheered Joe Biden’s selection of Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate in the presidential election.

Finance executives, confident the ticket has what it takes to topple President Donald Trump, raved about her experience in government, as well as her fundraising prowess.

“I think it’s great,” said Marc Lasry, the CEO of investment firm Avenue Capital Group. “She’s going to help Joe immensely. He picked the perfect partner.” Lasry is also a part owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks.

Blair Effron, the co-founder of Centerview Partners, texted “GREAT CHOICE” to CNBC. Citigroup’s Ray McGuire sent a similar message.

When she ran for president last year, Harris saw contributions from executives in a wide range of industries, including film, TV, real estate and finance, according to data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Her campaign finished raising close to $40 million.

All of her left-wing vigor, both as a vice-presidential candidate and in whatever her promising future brings, will be directed at social conservatives. The fact that Wall Street considers her to be a “moderate” tells you everything. Joe Biden has made a choice that is safe for Woke Capitalism.

I think we can all agree, though, that it’s great news that Maya Rudolph will be a big part of our autumn viewiing:

UPDATE: From today’s NYT:

“Moderate.”

Well, any candidate beloved by Wall Street and Silicon Valley is not beloved by me. The 2024 Harris/Hawley race is going to be lit. 

UPDATE.2: Ha! Just saw this:

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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