Democrats preparing to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential campaign are forming their operations, and Congresswoman Kamala Harris is one of the big names gearing up for battle, at least according to one of her former colleagues.
Former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told MSNBC's Hugh Hewitt Sunday that he's not worried Harris will be his primary competition in the 2018 California gubernatorial race because she's ramping up her operation in the early primary states, and plans to be knocking doors in Iowa sometime early next year:
Asking Villaraigosa about possible competition for the Democratic nomination in next year's governor's race, Hewitt specifically brought up Harris, who is a former California attorney general, and who's been using her time in Congress to elevate her name recognition, particularly among progressives.
"Has she got a stake in this governor's race?" Hewitt asked Villaraigosa.
"Well, not yet," Villaraigosa replied. "I hope she will support my candidacy, but as you say, she is a great candidate. She's going to be knocking on doors in Iowa, I expect. But in any case, I'm focused on this race, not the presidential race."
You can never fully count Hillary Clinton out of the running — third time's the charm? — but Harris has already been courting some of the former Democratic presidential nominee's top donors, rubbing elbows with Clinton's inner circle in the Hamptons earlier in the summer.
Back in July, Clinton campaign finance co-chair Michael Kempner held a get together at his multi-million dollar mansion in the tiny New York town, and invited everyone from Clinton's close confidante and inner-circle member, Margo Alexander, to members of the Democratic National Committee to break bread with the California Representative. While taking in the sights of the Hamptons, Harris was also spotted having lunch with big name lobbyists, who would be essential to forming a national campaign.
The news of Harris' big coming out party in Iowa isn't likely to be well received by national Democrats, who view Donald Trump as an easy mark in 2020. Harris isn't among the DNC's top picks — they'd rather see someone like Joe Biden, who will be pushing 80 in 2020, try to tackle Trump by appealing to the party's moderates and union stakeholders — and she's not top on progressives' lists either. Former Bernie Sanders supporters cite Harris' "too conservative" record as California attorney general as evidence she's a progressive in name only.
So far, her only tried-and-true supporters are numbered among Hillary Clinton's former backers, and that'll change if Hillary decides she has to court defeat a third time.