The California senator was set to storm the race but instead has been taking dramatic action to boost her campaign will the impeachment inquiry save it?
On a crystalline fall day, Kamala Harris arrived at a split-level home in a leafy northern Virginia suburb for a canvassing event to support local Democrats ahead of the states legislative elections next week.
The front yard was full of volunteers, some wearing pink and green pins from the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority that Harris joined as an undergraduate at Howard University, a historically black college in Washington. A woman dressed in a sari wished Happy Diwali to Harris, whose mother was an immigrant from India and whose first name means lotus flower in Sanskrit.
As the Democratic presidential hopeful made her way toward the porch to address the crowd, a high school student clasped her hand and thanked her for supporting LGBTQ equality. A little girl bashfully approached her with a picture of an American flag that she had drawn.
Harriss face softened as she knelt down to accept the gift. With a hand clasped to her heart in appreciation, the candidate smiled: This is what its all about.
But the glow from that afternoon didnt last long.
On Wednesday, Harris was forced to take dramatic action to salvage her beleaguered presidential campaign, slashing staff at her Baltimore headquarters and pivoting to an all-in on Iowa strategy with less than 100 days before the official start of the Democratic primary contest.
Its a stunning reversal of fortunes for a presidential campaign that began with dazzling promise. Early supporters believed Harris, the 55-year-old junior senator from California, was a candidate whose time had come. Who better to challenge a president accused by his detractors of lawlessness, racism and misogyny thana barrier-breaking prosecutor who would make history as the first black female president?
Kamala represents the now and the future of our party, said Antjuan Seawright, a South Carolina Democratic strategist who is unaligned with a campaign. But were not living in normal times.
In 2016, Democrats watched in horror as Donald Trump vanquished 16 Republicans rivals and their partys first female nominee, Hillary Clinton. This year, Seawright said, Democrats arent trying to make history. They just want the president out of office.
Harriss fate now hinges on her ability to convince voters that she is best suited to the task.And with three months left before Iowas first-in-the-nation caucuses, the window for Harris to successfully turn around her campaign is closing.
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