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Kamala Harris Isn’t “Too Ambitious,” You’re Just Sexist

(Photo above by Joshua Sukoff via Unsplash)

Kamala Harris. I’m sure you’ve heard of her. She had a brief presidential campaign in 2019, and she currently serves as California senator (and is the only Black woman in the Senate). Has a less-than-stellar criminal justice record. Previously she was the first African American and first woman to be an elected district attorney of San Francisco and later California attorney general.

Now, after dropping out of the presidential race, Harris is a top contender for Biden’s vice president pick, especially after he promised to choose a woman for the position. But some have set their sights on Harris, calling her “too ambitious” for eyeing the VP seat. One Biden supporter quoted in that CNBC article said he doesn’t “like the way she campaigned. She seems not loyal at all and very opportunistic.”

Let me ask you — is a senator running for president ambitious? 16 of the past 45 presidents have served in the Senate. Most recently, Obama went directly from incumbent senator to president. If it’s logical for someone to go from the Senate to the presidency, then it must be even easier for someone to instead transition to VP.

The difference between those 16 presidents who were senators first and Harris is that those presidents were men. There’s never been a woman in the White House, and opinion columnists love to point out character flaws in female candidates that they don’t in their male counterparts. In 2016, Hillary Clinton was criticized for being “cold.” Meanwhile, popular criticism of Trump never included observations of his affect.

Similarly, Harris is being called “too ambitious” and “opportunistic,” while Biden, who has had two previous unsuccessful presidential campaigns, doesn’t face the same criticism. And Buttigieg had a popular bid for president while being only a mayor. But Harris is the one who’s out of her league as a Senator being considered for VP. Makes sense.

It doesn’t really matter if you dislike Harris for her criminal justice record or another part of her political stance history. But bad faith criticism targeted against female candidates is inappropriate and has no place in real political discourse.

  • Who’s the most ambitious?

    • Mayor Pete
    • Biden
    • People criticizing Kamala for doing her job

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Written by Abby Sacks

Student at the University of Virginia studying Psychology and Media Studies. When not writing or hanging out with my cat, can be found watching too much bad TV and being too old for TikTok but enjoying it anyway.

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