The Charlotte Observer
Harris flies to help governor facing recall vote
Vice President Kamala Harris had an opportunity to try out the administration’s midterm messaging strategy and demonstrate her political clout on Wednesday at an event to show support for Gov. Gavin Newsom in the California recall election.
The recall has primarily been about the COVID-19 pandemic and dissatisfaction, mainly from Republicans, of restrictions that Newsom introduced at the height of virus transmission. It has drawn intense national attention and involvement from former presidential contenders, including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
“It is in very many senses, I think, a preview of the midterms,” said Brian Brokaw, a longtime Harris political adviser and current Newsom adviser.
Harris is expected to campaign for Democrats in next year’s elections – a role her allies say she enjoys and is well-positioned to resume as her party fights to maintain control of Congress.
Her approval rating slipped over the summer, but she remains a popular figure among Democrats nationally, with nearly 84% giving her favorable marks in polling.
Brokaw said she is “somebody who is skilled at both campaigning for her colleagues and landing blows against our opponents,” calling her a “natural campaigner.”
Her visit to California to support Newsom comes a week after the Biden administration removed the last U.S. troops from Afghanistan. It was rescheduled after a suicide bombing killed American military personnel in Kabul just prior to her planned campaign trip.
The vice president’s office stressed that the focus of Harris’ remarks in California would be the recall election but did not provide additional details on her speech.
Democrats remain concerned about apathy among Newsom backers in the election that is being conducted by mail and hope the visit by the vice president, who won statewide election three times, will boost votes from Californians against the recall.
“Turnout is critical, we’ve seen that from the polls,” said Karen Finney, a Democratic strategist. “And that is why she is going to be important to help mobilizing Democratic voters to turn out in the recall election for Gavin Newsom.”