Kamala Harris to preview 2020 message in new book


With a new memoir set to publish Tuesday, the 2020 spotlight shifts this week to Sen. Kamala Harris as she embarks on a book tour in advance of an expected presidential announcement this month.

The book, “The Truths We Hold,” and the accompanying publicity blitz will offer some hints about the rationale for the California Democrat’s likely presidential candidacy. This second work is a more personal look at her upbringing and the roots of her activism than her first book, which drew lessons from her career as a prosecutor to explain her approach to fixing the criminal justice system.

She planted the seeds of a potential campaign message during her travels across the country last year with her constant anti-Donald Trump refrain: “We can do better than this.” In the Senate, she vigorously challenged Trump’s immigration policies, calling on Americans to stay true “to who we say we are as a country.” And Harris made a smooth debut last year in states like Iowa and South Carolina.

Already the early stages of a Kamala Harris presidential campaign are taking shape. The former California attorney general has a seasoned team of political tacticians in California, including Sean Clegg and Ace Smith, who helped elect Jerry Brown, and more recently, Gavin Newsom to the California governor’s office.

Smith, a relentless Democratic strategist, became legendary in California earlier in his career for his skill in the art of opposition research. Later, he steered Hillary Clinton to victory in North Carolina, Texas and California in the 2008 primaries.

For the day-to-day management of the campaign, Harris allies say she is most likely to entrust the role of campaign manager to Juan Rodriguez, a close confidante in his early 30s who led her bid to become the state’s first African-American US senator in 2016.

After Rodriguez helped Harris build strong coalitions across California’s varied ethnic groups in 2016, the senator told The Sacramento Bee that he represented “on so many levels the new generation of California.”

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