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Tue Aug 11, 2020, 11:28 PM

America is about to see what smart Republicans saw in Kamala Harris years ago

Smart Republicans could see Kamala D. Harris coming years ago, and they tried to smother her early. Now that Joe Biden has chosen the first-term senator from California as his running mate, America is about to see what those Republicans could see long ago: Harris is a quick learner and gifted political performer with genuine star power.

It’s facile to compare Harris to former president Barack Obama, though the two are friends. Harris, 55, is the daughter of two academics, a mother from India and a father from Jamaica, who separated when she was 5. Harris and her younger sister were raised primarily by their mom.

She was an early fundraiser for Obama when he first ran for U.S. Senate in 2004. Three years later, she was quick to endorse his presidential candidacy when others in the party held back. Like Obama, Harris navigated her way through a swampy city filled with sharp-elbowed politicians. The shrewdest one of all, Willie Brown, the former San Francisco mayor and speaker of the California Assembly, helped out.

I was in the union hall near Fisherman’s Wharf covering the Brown for Mayor victory party in 1995, when Harris, then a 31-year-old deputy district attorney from Alameda County across the bay from San Francisco, presented Brown with a baseball cap emblazoned with the words “Da Mayor.”


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