Here are a few of Peggy Noonan’s remarks from her Wall Street Journal column about Kamala Harris:
If commentators are now struggling to define Ms. Harris, it’s because she offers little that is truly defining. The party establishment quickly closed ranks around her 2016 Senate race, allowing her to run a standard liberal campaign that the Los Angeles Times described as “carefully orchestrated” and “overly cautious and scripted.” In her 3½ Senate years, she’s done little by way of legislation, preferring to showboat at hearings. The lack of an animating agenda helps a explain a presidential campaign in which she bounced from left to far-left position, whatever she thought most helpful at the moment. She twice called to eliminate private health insurance—and twice reversed herself the next day after backlash. As Vox noted, the “combination of policy reversals and botched rollout . . . undermined faith in her ability to govern on the issue Democrats rate as most important.”
The campaign was a mess, rocked by infighting, leaks, restarts and financial problems. After the campaign announced layoffs in early November, its veteran Iowa operations manager wrote a scathing resignation letter in which she said she’d “never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly” and expressed dismay at its ability to make “the same unforced errors over and over.” Ms. Harris didn’t even make it to the first contest, dropping out—broke and with embarrassing poll numbers—two months before the Iowa caucuses. The only other “top tier” candidate to implode as quickly or spectacularly was Beto O’Rourke. The Washington Post campaign obituary bluntly called Ms. Harris an “uneven campaigner” who was “engulfed by low polling numbers, internal turmoil and a sense that she was unable to provide a clear message.” The Post this week lauded Ms. Harris as “vibrant and energetic” and a “vessel for Democratic hopes.”
VP Biden has a challenge ahead of him. Sen. Harris is most useful to his campaign as a symbol and that does not appear to be a role she is by temperament suited to play. The more the campaign becomes about her, the more votes he will lose. There’s plenty of room for substantive criticism of her and accusations of racism and sexism in response to those will ring hollow. Keep in mind that 99% of Democratic primary voters voted for any candidate other than Kamala Harris in the primaries. Mr. Biden is fortunate that substantive criticism is not Mr. Trump’s strong suit. He’s more predisposed to feces-flinging, more likely to benefit the Biden/Harris campaign.