When you look at the Senate Democrats who have announced their presidential campaigns so far, you notice that each one has a theme. For example, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has made her career about reform of the financial industry. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., has made hers about preventing workplace sexual harassment. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who has all but announced his candidacy with his tour of Iowa, has made his campaign about what Democrats still have to offer the working class.
But what about Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who announced her candidacy on Monday?
Look only at her two years in the Senate and two relevant data points pop up. First, there’s her recent attempt, along with Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, to apply an anti-Catholic religious test to a judicial nominee because he belonged to the Knights of Columbus. This was too much even for her fellow Democrats to bear — not a single one objected to a resolution that implicitly rebuked Harris and Hirono for their behavior.
The second relevant point is Harris’ conduct during the Justice Brett Kavanaugh hearings. No, not the contentious second round of Kavanaugh hearings involving sexual misconduct allegations, but the relatively placid first round in early September. During that process, Harris insinuated, through a line of questioning, that Kavanaugh had held a highly improper conversation about the Russia investigation with someone at the law firm President Trump had hired. After casting this slanderous aspersion, Harris then knowingly lied to journalists in order to prejudice public opinion against Kavanaugh's nomination. She falsely assured reporters that she had "good reason" and "reliable" evidence that Kavanaugh had indeed discussed the Russia investigation with lawyers at Trump's firm.
Then, as it turned out, she didn't have any evidence at all. She had been bluffing, the way unethical prosecutors do when trying to get people to plead guilty to offenses they didn't commit. But this wasn’t some police interrogation room — it was a Senate committee hearing.