December 3, 2019 - Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) Suspends Campaign

4:04 video
email to supporters [very similar to the video]:

From: Kamala Harris
Date: Tue, Dec 3, 2019 at 1:19 PM
Subject: I am suspending my campaign today

Eleven months ago at the launch of our campaign in Oakland I told you all: “I am not perfect. But I will always speak with decency and moral clarity and treat all people with dignity and respect. I will lead with integrity. I will speak the truth.”

And that’s what I have tried to do every day of this campaign. So here’s the truth today.

I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life.

My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.

I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.

In good faith, I can’t tell you, my supporters and volunteers, that I have a path forward if I don’t believe I do.

So, to you my supporters, it is with deep regret -- but also with deep gratitude -- that I am suspending my campaign today.

But I want to be clear with you: I am still very much in this fight.

And I will keep fighting every day for what this campaign has been about. Justice for The People. All the people.

Our campaign has been about fighting for people whose voices have not been heard or too often ignored.

We will keep up that fight.

Let’s remember: we were the first to put the injustice of inadequate teacher pay on the national agenda.

We will keep up that fight.

We were the first to demand justice for our children, declaring we would take bold executive actions to stop gun violence.

We will keep up that fight.

We were the first to demand justice for women with a plan to block unconstitutional state abortion laws.

We will keep up that fight.

And our campaign uniquely spoke to the experiences of Black women and people of color -- and their importance to the success and future of this party. Our campaign demanded no one should be taken for granted by any political party.

We will keep up that fight because no one should be made to fight alone.

And I believe our campaign showed every child in America -- regardless of their color or gender -- that there are no limits to who can lead and hold positions of power in our country.

In that way -- this campaign has been so much bigger than me.

I am extremely grateful to the hundreds of staff who moved and uprooted their lives and sacrificed time away from their families. I know our fight has been personal for each of them.

Of course I could not have done this without my husband Doug and my entire family and friends who gave up so much to embark on this journey with me and have supported me every step of the way.

And I am grateful to the thousands of volunteers and contributors who chipped in, who knocked on doors, who made calls and who put their faith and trust in me. It has been the honor of my life to be your candidate.

And I want to be clear: although I am no longer running for President, I will do everything in my power to defeat Donald Trump and fight for the future of our country and the best of who we are.

I know you will too. So let’s do that together.

Let’s keep fighting for the America we believe in, an America free of injustice. An America that we know we can be unburdened by what has been.

Thank you.

— Kamala

Analysis: Harris launched her campaign in Jan. 2019 amid great expectations including a huge announcement event in Oakland on January 27; she brought an element of celebrity and star quality and that persona put her in the top tier of candidates from the outset.  Activists found her Indian and Jamaican background appealing.  Additionally her questioning during the Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh had attracted praise.  Observers predicted she might do well in the South Carolina primary.  California's March 3 primary loomed as a big prize, and by the end of Feburary Harris had lined up strong support from California elected officials including Gov. Gavin Newsom, five other statewide constitutional officers and more than half of the Democratic state senators. 

Compared to other campaigns, the Harris campaign seemed to send out a lot of press releases touting endorsements, and she had mixed results in this area.  At the time of her departure from the race, Harris was second to Biden in the number endorsements from U.S. House members at 15 (16 counting Plaskett from USVI), including 10 (11) members of the Congressional Black Caucus.  However in the four early states she did not tally as many state legislator endorsements  as other major candidates. 

The campaign built up a large national staff and strong organizations in early states.  Harris' team put on robust and energetic shows of support at the major multi-candidate events.  Loyal supporters had an active presence @TheKHive.

On the policy front, the message could perhaps have used some sharpening.  Starting at the June debate, Harris spoke frequently of her "3 AM Agenda."  She also often argued she was the candidate best equipped "to prosecute the case" against President Trump, a limiting argument which doesn't really get to the broader power and potential of the presidential bully pulpit.  Harris also declared that "justice is on the ballot."

Harris described herself as a "joyful warrior" (>).  She did not shy from putting on the moves, for example coming into some events accompanied by a marching band.  (There is a notion of the "noise added candidate" who needs a marching band to create a bit of excitement, but this is not necessarily a good idea in closed interior spaces).  Still Harris came across as a bit  grating to some people.  She often seemed to be laughing at something or other, and one Democratic activist described her manner as oleaginous.

As other senators, even high profile senators, have found, moving from the Senate to the White House is not an easy task (think for example John Glenn in 1984).  Harris participated in all five televised debates, and had a few moments but no real breakthroughs.  For one reason or another polling numbers slipped.  Although the campaign started out strong on the fundraising front, Harris pointed to money as the reason for her exit, stating that "as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete."

One major problem, based on a number of news reports starting in September, seems to have been the management structure of her national campaign.  Both the campaign manager Juan Rodriguez and the candidate's sister and campaign chair Maya Harris wielded significant power, leading to lack of a clear strategy.  By the end of October the campaign underwent a significant reorganization, cutting national staff and all but closing operations in New Hampshire, in order to refocus on Iowa.  The campaign went all in in the Hawkeye State.  Ultimately it opened 16 offices around the state; Harris spent Thanksgiving there, and Gov. Newsom was scheduled to campaign there for her on Dec. 14-15.

However the tensions in the national campaign remained in the background.  In a Nov. 11 resignation letter, reported by The New York Times in late November, state operations director Kelly Mehlenbacher wrote, "This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly."  "[We] have refused to confront our mistakes, foster an environment of critical thinking and honest feedback, or trust the expertise of talented staff," she wrote.

These complaints may be overstated.  Fellow candidate Julián Castro observed, “The way the media have treated Sen. Harris in this campaign has been something else. In the last few days to see articles out of Politico, The New York Times, The Washington Post that have basically trashed her campaign and focused on just one small part of it and I think held her to a different standard, a double standard, has been grossly unfair and unfortunate (>)."  The campaign's successes should not be discounted.  On the ground in the early states staff did a lot of solid, creative work.  And, as Harris noted in her Dec. 3 statement, her campaign "uniquely spoke to the experiences of Black women and people of color."  Melanie Campbell, president of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation noted, "She often times, through her lived experiences, brought the issues impacting Black America to the forefront." ema 12/03/19