Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has reportedly been jockeying to secure the vice presidential spot on Joe Biden’s ticket, but former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown says she shouldn’t take it if offered.
Brown says Harris should “politely decline” and hold out for a better slot in the administration.
In a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed headlined “Brown: Kamala Harris should say no to vice presidency,” Brown said Harris should ask to be made attorney general in a Biden administration.
“Harris is a tested and proven campaigner who will work her backside off to get Biden elected,” Brown wrote. “That said, the vice presidency is not the job she should go for — asking to be considered as attorney general in a Biden administration would be more like it.”
“Historically, the vice presidency has often ended up being a dead end. For every George H.W. Bush, who ascended from the job to the presidency, there’s an Al Gore, who never got there.”
“On the other hand, the attorney general has legitimate power,” Brown said. “From atop the Justice Department, the boss can make a real mark on everything from police reform to racial justice to prosecuting corporate misdeeds. And the attorney general gets to name every U.S. attorney in the country. That’s power.”
Brown also said excelling in the attorney general slot would be easy after the current AG’s performance, and turning down the veep slot would give her more distance from the administration.
“[G]iven the department’s current disarray under William Barr, just showing up and being halfway sane will make the new AG a hero,” he wrote. “Best of all, being attorney general would give Harris enough distance from the White House to still be a viable candidate for the top slot in 2024 or 2028, no matter what the state of the nation.”
Brown and Harris were once romantically involved, and the former mayor has openly discussed his past extramarital relationship with Harris, Fox News reported.
Harris has long been the front runner for the veep slot, and speculation peaked late last month after an Associated Press photographer captured a shot of Biden’s handwritten notes as the former vice president talked with reporters in Wilmington, Delaware. The notes had a section titled “Kamala Harris,” which was followed by a list of attributes: “Do not hold grudges.” “Campaigned with me & Jill.” “Talented.” “Great help to campaign.” “Great respect for her.”
But Harris, who ran for the 2020 presidential nomination before dropping out, was once one of Biden’s fiercest opponents. At one debate, she ripped the former longtime senator for his stance on busing for school integration in the 1970s.
“Do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America?” Harris asked Biden on a debate stage in Miami in June 2019. “There was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day,” she said. “And that little girl was me.”
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