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21 Jan, 2019 15:51

Watch out, Trump? California Sen. Kamala Harris announces presidential run

Watch out, Trump? California Sen. Kamala Harris announces presidential run

California Senator Kamala Harris has announced her candidacy for president with a pledge to “bring our voices together.” The first-term senator has been billed as one of the Democrats’ best chances for defeating Trump in 2020.

Harris, who served as California’s attorney general before joining the Senate, made her long-anticipated announcement on Monday during an appearance on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America.’

“I love my country. And this is a moment in time that I feel a sense of responsibility to stand up and fight for the best of who we are,” she said on the program.

Lamenting that Washington’s “moral authority” in the world has suffered, she emphasized that national security would be among her top priorities as president.

“I’m a career prosecutor. My entire career has been focused on keeping people safe. It is probably one of the things that motivates me more than anything else.”

Harris, who is African-American, also said she was “honored” to time her announcement to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr Day.

A video announcing a formal campaign launch on January 27 in Oakland, California presents Harris as a champion of “decency, equality, freedom and democracy.”

Harris is expected to face off in the primaries against several of her colleagues. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York have both launched exploratory committees, although they’ve yet to formally announce their candidacies.

Her announcement has been described as “historic” by Vox, with many Twitter pundits seemingly in agreement.

Harris has already been pegged as a frontrunner in what will likely be a contentious primary contest. Popular data analysis website FiveThirtyEight wrote in response to her announcement that Harris “has the potential to be among the strongest contenders in the 2020 Democratic field.”

Not everyone is cheering the news, however. Harris has come under fire from progressives for her record as California’s attorney general. A damning op-ed recently published in the New York Times accused Harris of fighting “tooth and nail to uphold wrongful convictions that had been secured through official misconduct that included evidence tampering, false testimony and the suppression of crucial information by prosecutors.”

What are Harris’ chances against Trump? At least on Twitter, she’s no match for the current president. According to Axios, the Democratic senator enjoys the highest Twitter engagement of the expected 2020 hopefuls, but her 4.7 million interactions a month are eclipsed by Trump’s 41.8 million.

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