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Kamala Harris Is Not Going to Like 2 New Profiles

Washington Post, New York Times think her campaign is on the ropes
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2019 1:25 PM CST
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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at a Black Women's Power Breakfast Nov. 21, 2019, in Atlanta.   (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

(Newser) – The 2020 campaign of Kamala Harris is the subject of two analytical stories on Friday, one in the Washington Post and the other in the New York Times. It's a safe bet Harris will not like either one, however, because of the similar takeaways: Her campaign is in big trouble. "Teetering" and "flailing" are words used by the Post, and "How Kamala Harris's Campaign Unraveled" is the headline in the Times. The latter newspaper obtained the resignation letter of former Iowa operations director Kelly Mehlenbacher, who wrote: "This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly." And this: "With less than 90 days until Iowa we still do not have a real plan to win." The lack of a clear campaign message and shifting strategies are blamed.

Both stories also take note of some confusion over who's actually running the operation—campaign manager Juan Rodriguez or Maya Harris, who is the candidate's sister and has the title of campaign chairwoman. But Kamala Harris, too, is getting her share of the blame, with her own advisers criticizing her in interviews with the Times "for going on the offensive against rivals, only to retreat, and for not firmly choosing a side in the party’s ideological feud between liberals and moderates." Democratic pollster Paul Maslin puts it this way to the Post: “If she doesn’t turn it around in the next couple months, what I think we may end up saying what doomed her candidacy is there just wasn’t any clear rationale." (Read more Kamala Harris 2020 stories.)

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