In a move that “could enhance her chances of becoming vice president but could also anger liberals in California,” as The New York Times puts it, former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris appears to be moving closer to making a public endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden.
Citing “multiple Democratic officials familiar with her deliberations,” the Times reported Thursday that Harris is “weighing an endorsement” of the man she famously targeted in a racially charged exchange during the first Democratic primary debate.
“Such a move could lift Mr. Biden’s campaign and perhaps do even more to enhance Ms. Harris’s chances of becoming vice president, but it could also anger her liberal base in California,” the Times’ Jonathan Martin notes.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Times that if she does end up endorsing Biden, or any candidate for that matter, she will likely hold off until the Senate impeachment trial is over.
“Yet she and Mr. Biden, the former vice president, have remained in contact since she exited the race and had a long conversation in the immediate aftermath of her departure,” Martin writes.
Democrats “close” to Harris told the Times that she is “mindful” that her endorsement would impact the remaining female senators in the race, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and is “uneasy about the prospect of backing a candidate only to see him or her lose California.”
A spokesman for Harris insisted that Harris has not decided yet about whether she will endorse a candidate. “Senator Harris remains focused on the ongoing impeachment trial of President Trump,” Harris spokesman Chris Harris told the Times. “No decisions have been made about whether she will endorse, which candidate, nor when an endorsement decision will be made.”
Harris’s consideration of throwing her support behind Biden follows some head-turning comments by the frontrunner a day after she announced that she was ending her campaign in early December. Asked if he would consider her on the ticket, Biden said, “Of course I would.”
“Look, Sen. Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be,” said Biden, who’s enjoyed a healthy lead in the national polls until recent weeks as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has closed the gap. “I mean it sincerely. I talked to her yesterday. She’s solid, she can be president someday herself, she can be vice president, she could go on to be a Supreme Court justice, she could be attorney general. I mean she has enormous capability.”
As The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti noted at the time, Biden particularly benefited from Harris’ departure. “With Harris gone, Biden can consolidate support among minority voters, increasing his margin of victory in places like South Carolina and Nevada, giving him a commanding lead in places he’s already expected to win,” Zanotti wrote.
While Biden and Sanders contend for the top spot, the woman with the best shot at the nomination, Warren, has steadily lost ground after a brief bump in the polls in early fall.