Replacing Kamala Harris
Democratic Party donor Guy Saperstein says replacing Harris is critical to 2024 success
In the exclusive piece below, Democratic Party donor Guy Saperstein argues that Kamala Harris’s presence on the 2024 ticket could be fatal to Joe Biden’s electoral chances.
I’ve said the same, especially here:
Trump (if he's smart) pivots to Kamala Harris, dismisses Biden and makes her his opponent. … Biden improves his odds if he gets rid of Kamala Harris as a running mate.
What’s different about Saperstein’s argument is his bill of particulars — reasons why Harris should be dropped. Much of this is in the public domain. But much of it isn’t — the Willie Brown connection, for example, or her sloppiness and massive “chain of custody” problems as DA.
About the Willie Brown material, you may not want to think ill of Harris for her romantic life or its effect on her career, but progressives avoiding the discussion won't stop Republicans from making sure everyone in the country is exposed to it daily. Saperstein's point is the effect of Harris on the ticket. Willie Brown will be made part of that effect.
The piece deserves your careful consideration. To paraphrase Saperstein, “Imagine how Republicans are going to play this.” They won’t be silent.
[H]e founded a law firm in Oakland which became the largest plaintiffs civil rights law firm in America, in the process successfully prosecuting the largest race, sex and age discrimination class actions in American history. Guy also prosecuted False Claims Act cases against Lockheed Missiles & Space Co. regarding satellite surveillance systems, and against Raytheon, Boeing and TRW regarding the sham National Missile Defense Program.
In 2006, Guy helped write the “Real Security” plank of the Democratic Party’s New Directions for America, and in 2007, helped found the National Security/Foreign Policy New Ideas Fund, with funding from the Democracy Alliance. He also has been Co-Chair of the Democracy Alliance’s Strategy Group and was active in its National Security/Foreign Policy Group. In 2006, Guy was described by Bill O'Reilly as "a character assassin” and “a member of the nefarious Left-Wing Mafia," along with four other DA Partners.
The Twitter insertions below are mine. The rest is Saperstein.
The Time to Replace Kamala Harris Is Now
by Guy Saperstein
2024 is going to consist of an attack on Biden for being too old and frail, combined with an attack on his VP, who would become president if Biden died. The attack on Biden will be simple: endless, repeated videos of him slurring words, misstating facts, stumbling, looking lost, forgetting names — all the classic signs of dementia.
The Republicans ignored Kamala in 2020, but they won't in 2024 because of Biden's age. They will be shouting from the rooftops, “Hey, people, this person could become your President!”
Remember that the person we are talking about entered the 2020 primaries polling 18% and, after four debates, fell to 6% and dropped out. I can't remember any presidential aspirant falling so far, so fast, so there should be no argument Kamala is a truly terrible candidate.
But there is more, much more.
Harris as District Attorney
My career was as a trial lawyer in the SF Bay Area. The mayor and later Speaker of the California Assembly, Willie Brown, was a personal friend and political supporter of trial lawyers. I loved Willie. He was smart, politically gifted — he supported everything I ever asked him for — and funny. Willie defined the word “dapper.” We'd go shopping at the same store, Wilkes Bashford, where he was the King. He would always tell the staff, “Now, you take care of my white buddy Guy. Whites are not blessed with my good taste, so help the poor boy.” Willie had more charm than ten white boys.
Willie was married and estranged from his wife. It was well-known he had a young — 30 years younger — black girlfriend. He didn't even try to hide it. The girlfriend was Kamala Harris, then a nondescript assistant city attorney. Next thing I knew, Kamala was running for District Attorney, supported by Willie's powerful political machine against the then DA, Terence Hallinan, a progressive. Willie's machine won and Kamala became San Francisco DA.
Next next thing I knew, assistant San Francisco DAs were calling me and asking, “Where is Kamala?” They knew I was a friend of Willie's. Apparently, she wasn't showing up for work.
A few months later, I read that Kamala had been read the riot act by a solid Democratic judge for not maintaining good chain of custody for evidence. “Chain of custody” is a legal term which means that the evidence you submit to the court is that same uncontaminated evidence you seized at the crime scene. Before I became a civil rights class action lawyer, I did 50 criminal jury trials, and chain of custody was never an issue because the DA would do his/her job competently and insure that the correct evidence was presented to the court. But that was before Kamala's laziness set new standards.
Kamala was hauled before three liberal judges who were outraged by her sloppiness. In response, Kamala lied under oath to all of them, trying to blame it on the police department crime lab, but that was total bullshit. When an attorney presents evidence to a court, she or he vouches for it. Kamala should have been disbarred as a result, but San Francisco is a liberal “old boys” network, and liberals protect even lying, unethical DAs.
When the dust cleared, 1,100 FELONIES had to be dismissed — and by Democratic judges. In the history of American jurisprudence, I don't think this has ever happened. Just think of what it means to have 1,100 felonies dismissed for defective chain-of-custody. Harris was willing to allow 1,100 people to go to prison for years because she wouldn't admit her errors.
Pretty low-integrity, in my opinion. Now imagine how the Republican law-and-order zealots are going to play this!
Harris as National Candidate
In two Senate campaigns against weak opponents, Harris ran behind Democratic registration. And though Biden picked her for his VP, the first black woman to be so chosen, she is not well-liked in the black community. She is seen as “the black DA who put black men in jail.” Her parents were not inner city blacks; her mother's heritage is Indian and her father is Jamaican. She didn't really share the American black experience, having grown up middle class.
When she was California Attorney General, I interfaced with her many times, mostly around federal bail-out money for homeowners. She was uniformly terrible. She wouldn't do a damn thing unless pushed to the wall and embarrassed politically.
My last direct contact with her was when she ran for her second Senate term. She came to my house and we talked in my living room for 1-1/2 hours. Partway through I said, “We've been talking for at least an hour and all I've heard are Democratic platitudes. Now I would like to hear one original idea.”
She couldn't do it.
Time for Change
We may be locked into Joe Biden, but VPs get changed all the time.
Since Biden played race politics the first time, he may feel compelled to choose another black woman. Fine with me. My first two choices are Stacey Abrams and Karen Bass. Abrams is an accomplished author, incredibly eloquent, very likeable, very smart. And not just attractive to black women. I have heard so many white women comment about how they feel her compassion.
Bass had at least several terms in the House, some in leadership positions, and now is running an iconic major city, Los Angeles.
Gretchen Whitmer would also help Biden with women. She is younger, attractive, more robust, and she governed Michigan, a major state.
Of course, I think Newsom is the strongest candidate and Pritzker in Illinois is doing a great job.
Let the discussion begin, but let's not assume Harris is irreplaceable.