Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.) in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday.
(Charlie Neibergall/AP) Jennifer Rubin Opinion writer covering politics and policy, foreign and domestic The Post reports: Half a dozen prominent Democrats descended on Iowa this weekend, seeking momentum for a primary presidential campaign or testing whether to plunge into an already crowded field.
On the other side was everyone else, Democrats like Castro, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose crowds numbered in the double digits and who mostly dubbed themselves underdogs as they implored Iowans to keep an open mind.
That said, it is worth considering how Kamala D. Harris has differentiated herself from the crowd.
We find the process fascinating by which one candidate seems to gain the limelight — bringing more coverage, which in turn elevates that candidate above the crowd of opponents.
Let’s start with what doesn’t make a difference, at least at this stage: money (Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) has raised more), name ID (she gained more visibility during the Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh hearings, but others such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren are better-known) or specific policy initiatives.
More important than those things, at this stage in the race, are four factors that appear to have helped Harris.
With social media, 24/7 coverage and the never-ending presidential campaign, candidates lose their freshness with remarkable speed.
It is that ability to weave one’s personal story (in her case, a woman raised mostly by her mother after a divorce, a multi-ethnic American and a prosecutor wanting to do good from the inside) that allows voters, whether in person or through a screen, to connect in some emotional way with the candidate.
Now, the first three of these factors (newness, timing, roll-out) will not help Harris down the road.
Read more: Colbert I. King: Kamala Harris’s record and character matter — not the race of her father and husband Joe Scarborough: Kamala Harris has what it takes Charlie Jane Anders: Kamala Harris is wrong about science fiction Jamie Stiehm: 2020 may be historic for women in more ways than one Paul Waldman: Kamala Harris’s clever appeal to liberals
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