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Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) attends a Senate hearing in Washington. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)
Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) attends a Senate hearing in Washington. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

Kamala Harris throws her hat into the ring

The California Senator is the last to announce her candidacy to the Democratic primaries for the 2020 presidential nomination, and her campaign must show that…

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It’s no surprise to anyone that Kamala Harris announces her presidential candidacy.

Rumors about her interest in a campaign against Trump in 2020 became increasingly strong in recent months, and just a few days ago she was discussing with Stephen Colbert something more than her new book.

But at a time when the turbulent waters of national politics make room for many proposals, Harris's is not exactly the simplest of them.

Having served as a district attorney during the 1980s, this lawyer gradually stepped up to positions as District Attorney in San Francisco, where she served for 12 years before arriving in the Senate, and her work in law enforcement won her antipathy for her rather conciliatory positions.

Some have argued that "Harris was overzealous against defendants in a slew of cases she or her office handled," according to Politico.

Law professor Lara Bazelon wrote in an opinion column for the New York Times:

"Time after time, when progressives urged her to embrace criminal justice reforms as a district attorney and then as state’s attorney general, Ms. Harris opposed them or stayed silent."

"Most troubling, Ms. Harris fought tooth and nail to uphold the wrongful convictions that had been secured through official misconduct that included evidence tampering, false testimony and the suppression of crucial information by prosecutors,” Bazelon continues.

As aggravating as these kinds of accusations may seem, the fate of any presidential candidate is the aggressive public scrutiny of every part of their lives.

Harris, however, represents another type of political candidate that is profoundly at odds with the U.S. environment in the Trump era.

While some opt for aggressive and divisive rhetoric - the "us or them" - Harris proposes a less extreme approach, but strong nevertheless.

Her positions have always been on the side of issues such as immigration, Medicare For All, and even the legalization of marijuana, and during the Trump administration, she has been a voice of dissent against racism, misogyny and the tribal conservatism of the Republican Party.

Furthermore, her background as a daughter of immigrants, the fact that she’s the first African-American woman to become Attorney General and Senator of California, and the second African-American woman to sit on the Judiciary Committee of the Senate gives her much heavier baggage than many of her opponents in the primary.

This might be precisely the reason why it did not take long for her critics to come out and question her presidential project because, at a time when a solid candidate is needed in order to defeat Trump, everyone will be put to the test.

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