The daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, Harris credited her mother for instilling in her that “we must be focused on what can be unburdened by what has been.” In her book, the senator declared her support for a wide range of progressive policies, including legalizing marijuana, Medicare for All and debt-free higher education.
This week, Harris embarked on a whirlwind tour of daytime and late night talk show circuit to promote her book, while giving the appearance of a candidate preparing to seek higher office. While the senator has remained tight-lipped when asked about a potential presidential bid, she is poised to enter a crowded Democratic primary field.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former HUD Secretary Julian Castro have already launched exploratory committees, while former vice president Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke are also rumored to run. On Friday, Hawaii Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard also announced that she too is seeking the presidency.
Harris may have to defend her record against a base that’s energized by its opposition to Trump, and has fully embraced left-leaning policies. At a time when criminal justice reform has attracted broad bipartisan support, Harris has been criticized by liberal activists for her track record as a prosecutor — first as a district attorney in San Francisco and later as the California attorney general.
In her book, Harris moves to address those concerns head on. She frames herself not only as someone with valuable law enforcement experience but also progressive beliefs befitting a Democratic party that has shifted further left.
“It is a false choice to suggest you must either be for the police or for police accountability,” she writes. “I am for both.”
Harris said she remains committed to creating “a picture of the future in which everyone can see themselves.” In October, she introduced the LIFT the Middle Class Act, which would guarantee every family making $100,000 or less a tax credit of up to $6,000 annually.
“This country is worth fighting for,” she said.