Kamala Harris’ Unexpected Withdrawal from the 2020 Presidential Race Draws Mixed Reaction from Campus
Kamala Harris speaking in Oakland, California after announcing her candidacy for president in January 2019
To the surprise of many, Kamala Harris, former presidential candidate for the 2020 elections, dropped out of the presidential race on Tuesday, December 3rd. Due to a lack of funding for her campaign, Harris decided withdrawing was her best option. Westridge students keeping up with the 2020 race had varied reactions to Harris’ withdrawal but overall felt a sense of disappointment.
As a Black and Indian woman, Harris broke many barriers in her bid for president, so her decision to drop out may mean a lack of racial diversity for the future of the 2020 race. In fact, only white candidates have qualified for the December 19th Democratic debate so far, except for Andrew Yang. “It’s kind of sad that the diversity is going down, but it’ll all be better than what we have now,” said Sonoya V. ’22, referring to Donald Trump’s presidency.
After Harris’ withdrawal, two out of the seven qualifiers for the next democratic debate are women—Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar. This is an important topic of conversation at our all-girls school. Many at Westridge would like to see more female representation in the race. “I think we’d all enjoy having a female president, and it’s kind of disappointing that we’re only left with Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden,” commented Holly C. ’23.
Harris’s main reason for dropping out of the race was a lack of financial resources—the same goes for several other candidates. “I think it is unfortunate that money plays such an important role in the politics of the US. I feel strongly that we should move toward a fairer system—maybe one that allots a certain set amount of money and television air time to each candidate,” explained Diane Pintabone, Middle and Upper School Latin Teacher. “Simply having a lot of money should not, per se, be a ticket to candidacy.”
Without Harris in the race, the Democrats now have fewer candidates to choose from, making the voting process less split. “I am happy that she dropped out of the race because although I agree with many of her policies, especially regarding criminal justice reform, I think that her being in the race divided the Democratic vote. Now that she has withdrawn, democrats can be more united in choosing a candidate to beat Trump,” said Solaar K. ’20.
For many Westridge seniors, the 2020 election will mark their first time voting in a presidential election, and some wish there was more variety in the candidates. “This is the first election where I’ll be able to vote and it’s kind of disappointing that all the women are dropping like flies,” said Sophia L. ’20.
Although Harris ended her bid for president, she isn’t completely stepping off the national scene. “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue,” Ms. Harris wrote. “But I want to be clear with you: I am still very much in this fight.”