On Saturday, California’s junior Senator Kamala Harris had an intimate meeting with Clintonworld megadonor Michael Kempner at his home in Bridgehampton. Along with other donors trying to woo-and-or-cultivate her, Page Six referenced a lunch with Washington lobbyist Liz Robbins and the presumed presence of Margo Alexander, a member of Clinton’s inner circle; Dennis Mehiel, a Democratic donor who is the chairman of the Battery Park City Authority even though he splits time between his sprawling Westchester estate and his Upper East Side pad; designer Steven Gambrel, and Democratic National Committee member Robert Zimmerman.
So. . . what’s Kamala doing all the way out in the posh Hamptons—a place few of her constituents could ever afford to visit, and many of her constituents probably haven’t even heard of (and for which there is no easy Spanish pronunciation)?
Last time we checked, Kamala’s offices were either in Washington D.C. or across the continent in California. . . but it seems that the sirens, e.g. wealthy donors, have been calling on her, tempting her with a 2020 run, and beckoning her towards their piles of elite corporate cash. Or at least towards their pleasant beach house verandas.
With Democrats struggling to find a suitable 2020 challenger, what has made them turn to Kamala Harris? Her progressive values? The fact that she is a woman? Or even better—for those obsessed with identity politics—the fact that she is a woman of color? But what does Harris stand for? And what does the Democratic party even stand for anymore?
Since we don’t have answers to those questions yet, let’s focus, at least, on what it is exactly these donors might see in her—after all, the sad state of American politics dictates that a handful of rich insiders must get together in secret and “vote” for candidates before we the people can (with the rare exceptions of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, of course).
And to these donors, apparently, it was the strength of Kamala’s performances at recent Senate hearings that have distinguished her as, uh. . . presidential stock.
Let’s revisit what she did at these hearings.
- She was interrupted
- She was shushed
- She rolled her eyes
- She asked some questions
. . . So I guess she’s the perfect candidate to lead a party that still has no core message for the American people.
On top of that, while Democrats have been struggling with party image since theirs was soiled by Clinton and the corrupt DNC, part of their rebranding has included reminding working class folks and populists that the Dems are the right party for them, not the GOP. But if the Democrats were really so committed to this rebranding, why brazenly hold this meeting in an ultra-exclusive enclave of the 0.1%?
While most of these donors own or take helicopters to the Hamptons, they apparently couldn’t bother to hop on one going the other way and take this meeting somewhere less, well, headline-grabbing.
If the Democratic establishment chooses to elevate Kamala, and if it’s all but inevitable that the money will flow to her and that the public will notice, shouldn’t they at least try to be a little more inconspicuous about how she’s not a woman of the people? In 2016, Americans were united in their approval of how both the Trump and Sanders campaigns refused to rely on the lucre of wealthy families, corporate donors, and insidious special interests.
Kamala is just a few helicopter rides away from completing her progressive-legislator-to-Hillary-style-shill transformation. Or maybe she’s just an eyeroll away from the Oval Office?