Kamala Harris, the first Indian-American US senator, will decide whether she will run for the White House in 2020 “over the holiday”. “It will ultimately be a family decision,” she said at an event in San Francisco on Saturday. “And over the holiday, I will make that decision with my family.”
If Harris decides to run, as has been speculated from the time she was elected to the Senate in 2016, she will notch up a pair of firsts: the first Indian American woman and the first African-American woman to mount a bid for the White House. Her mother is from India and father from Jamaica. The California senator has been frequently mentioned along with a growing list of Democrats said to be planning a run for the Democrat party nomination to go up against Republican Donald Trump in 2020, and deny him a second term.
It’s a packed field at present. But Harris is among the favourites, coming in at Number 3 in a poll by CNN in October, behind former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders, in the first and second positions respectively. She narrowly edged out Senator Elizabeth Warren, the firebrand lawmaker who has clashed with Trump.
Tulsi Gabbard, the Democratic member of the House of Representatives from Hawaii, did not figure in that early poll by CNN. But she is said to be considering a run as well, according to some Indian Americans sounded out by her. If she decides to, she will be the first Hindu to run for the country’s elective top office. Bobby Jindal, the first Indian American to get into the race, in 2016, is Christian.
Democrats are rushing to the starting line more and more as President Trump has appeared vulnerable, besieged by an unending litany of scandals and probes. The 2018 midterm elections last month did not help him much. Though he sought to portray it as a victory as Republicans improved their tally in the Senate, the party lost the House of Representatives by a wide margin. There is talk of Republicans planning to “primary” him as well, run against him in the primaries, which is rare for a sitting president.