In the first 24 hours since the Biden campaign named Kamala Harris as the party’s vice presidential nominee, I’m suddenly reminded of Sarah Palin. Now, Palin’s career path to the Republican nomination was much shorter. And in retrospect, she looks more like a novelty politician of a different era. Harris has more staying power.
But the Republican ticket in 2008 was led by John McCain who, like Joe Biden today, is not a hate figure for the other side. There was something almost sleepy about the contest. And then Palin happened. Suddenly, a huge number of conservative cultural populists got engaged with the race in a way they hadn’t been before. In turn, that energized the left in a big way, who fired back from the cultural heights.
That dose of new energy is in evidence all across my social-media feeds, where upwardly mobile and suburban liberal women are thrilled by the choice. The New York Times seemed to finally snap to attention and get more engaged with the campaign yesterday, producing an embarrassing hero-cover for Harris this morning. What suck-ups.
And conservative Republicans suddenly seem more interested in heading off a Harris-era before it starts.