Washington: Taunted by President Donald Trump after she dropped out of the US presidential race (“Too bad. We will miss you Kamala!” he tweeted), California Senator Kamala Harris torched the incumbent as she exited, retorting, “Don’t worry, Mr. President. I’ll see you at your trial.” The feisty response was illustrative of the campaign the mixed-race senator, whose mother was from South India and father from Jamaica, ran for almost a year before it ran out of gas – and according to Harris, out of cash.
“My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue. I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete,” Harris wrote in an email to her supporters announcing suspension of her campaign, adding she is “still very much in this fight” and “will do everything in my power to defeat Trump.”
It was surprising admission and exit from the senator of one of America’s wealthiest states and home of Silicon Valley, but political pundits surmised that Harris simply could not get the kind of traction that would have attracted lolly. She failed to project a vision that many who saw her as an Obama legatee hoped for and she fell trying to be all things to all people.
On the issue of race too, Harris’ identity lacked clarity. Some Indians viewed her as Indian-American, but many analysts referred to her as a black senator and the first black woman to seek a major party’s presidential nomination, largely ignoring her India connection. Consequently, she did not gain much traction among Indian-Americans or blacks. Indian-Americans, including right wing hyper-nationalists, choose to support Tulsi Gabbard, a Caucasian-American from Hawaii who identifies herself as a Hindu. Harris and Gabbard clashed testily during the Democratic debate. But Gabbard was gracious in sending off her rival. “Sending my best wishes to @KamalaHarris, her family & supporters who have campaigned so hard. While we disagree on some issues, we agree on others & I respect her sincere desire to serve the American people,” she tweeted.