The Kamala Harris Election; Kevin McCarthy’s First Big Vote as Speaker
Author: Greg Valliere
April 26, 2023
THE KNOCK ON HARRIS has been that she lacks gravitas and has been an undistinguished vice president. But there’s an opposite narrative; her allies point out that she wasn’t given many meaningful tasks by the White House — and, they say, she brings three very big assets to the upcoming campaign:
1. Harris will focus on strict new abortion curbs. Republicans have over-played their hand on this issue, polls agree, and she will make abortion her dominant campaign theme.
2. Harris will guarantee strong support for the ticket among female and African-American voters, perhaps freeing up some time to focus on wavering Hispanic voters and on young people who are angry about Biden’s Alaskan oil policies.
3. And Harris will bring energy to the ticket; her speeches have become more fiery, as Biden seems increasingly frail.
THE CAMPAIGN VIDEO seemed to proclaim that Biden knows he can’t dump Harris, so why not try to make her an asset? Despite the gravitas issue, the White House is all-in for Harris, who stands a good chance of becoming president at some point in a second Biden term. Whether voters are comfortable with that likelihood remains to be seen.
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KEVIN McCARTHY’S FIRST MAJOR VOTE: The beleaguered House Speaker still doesn’t have the votes for his deficit-reduction bill. He’s lobbying members furiously but if just four Republicans vote against it, the measure could die. McCarthy wants a vote today, but it could be postponed for lack of support.
WHAT’S HOLDING UP THE BILL? Some conservatives want more aggressive work requirements for beneficiaries of federal programs; some moderates want to preserve energy tax credits; many Midwesterners are opposed to killing ethanol subsidies; and some members simply will not vote for any bill that leads to raising the debt ceiling.
IT STRIKES US THAT TWO ISSUES MAY BECOME DOMINANT in the next few days: McCarthy’s inability to move a bill, and increasing problems at the First Republic Bank, which hit a deep pothole yesterday. If there’s no progress on a budget and fresh anxiety over banks, the case for the Federal Reserve finishing its rate hikes could become much louder.
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