Kamala Harris sits for an interview on 60 Minutes.

Kamala Harris Oozes Confidence in ’60 Minutes’ Interview

Vice President Kamala Harris gave a fairly wide-ranging interview to CBS’ 60 Minutes this week. Disclosure: I am a BIG fan of Kamala and think she is severely underrated. The media narrative around her and seeing people hating her for vague reasons or misrepresentations of her character really bothers me. I think when people get to know her and listen to her from an unbiased lens, they usually like her. And based on reactions to this interview, that seems to be the case here.

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This interview covered a few topics, from policy discussions to her views on the 2024 Presidential election. First up was the increasingly deadly situation in Gaza. She said that the United States has no intention to send combat troops to the area, likely a relief to most Americans. She stressed that Israel had a right to defend itself, but with that being said, she added the undeniably true statement that Palestinians deserve legal measures of safety, security, and self-determination, and also noted that the rules of war must be adhered to.

Harris then moved to Europe and said the administration is committed to Ukraine and that this support is not going to waiver. She clarified that that crisis does not have to be put on the back burner because of the war in Gaza. The scope of what America can do is vast, and those in government know this. The narrative has to be that multiple things can take place at once. Harris is a worldly individual, having visited 19 countries and met with over 100 world leaders. But as the election continues to get into the thick of it, she has been traveling more domestically speaking about key issues.

Among those many trips, she traveled to my home state of North Carolina to mark the anniversary of Roe V. Wade. I had the privilege to be there and I got to see firsthand how many people were passionate about her leadership and the issue at hand. She has also been deployed to discuss gun violence. VP Harris can speak about these issues in a way that really brings out your emotions as well as your logic. That is a gift that would be more obvious and illuminated if so many people didn’t have implicit biases against women of color. Yes, I said it.

Harris has also been seen on a lot of campuses. The “Fight for our Freedoms College Tour” has tried to get the Biden administration’s agenda in front of a key demographic. The question remains, why are many polls not matching what she sees in person? She hopes that with young people in particular, Democrats can focus on the issues, as she mentions the planet and student loans. She reminds the host that the work they are doing is very popular. There is still a disconnect, in part because of lack of media coverage. Harris currently has a 41% approval rating, which is similar to Biden’s. But these issues are more important than polls.

The lack of substantial action can be frustrating (to say the least) but in general, Democrats and the Biden administration are on the right side of these key domestic issues. Speaking on the gun violence epidemic, she touted some gun legislation they have passed but says we need an assault weapons ban. I believe most Americans understand that assault weapons are a huge problem and they cannot rationally explain why anyone, a regular civilian, would need one. We continue to see such carnage and just stand by like we cannot do anything. Our side has to continue showing that something can be done and in the case of the Assault Weapons Ban, has been done effectively in the past.  In terms of policies, the last key issue brought up was the border crisis. She urges more investments to address the root causes of migration. She said that this is not just about political gamesmanship. This is crucial because Republicans love fear-mongering on this topic for votes. Some even think that addressing root causes is not necessary. 

The anchor made sure to talk about Harris’ many firsts, including being the first woman to serve as California AG, the first woman of color elected to be a U.S. Senator from California, and of course, the first woman and first woman of color to become the Vice President of the United States. Harris says being “the first” brings added pressure. “Make sure you’re not the last” her mother used to say. This is moving to me personally, and I think to many across the nation and the globe. Having representation matters and I’m glad that she doesn’t try to obscure that fact.

Finally, Harris us on a tour of the VP’s office. She has a bust of Thurgood Marshall who she says inspires her daily. She says she is focused on re-election and not her own aspirations. She wouldn’t engage in hypotheticals driven by the Republican fearmongering narrative about Biden not being able to continue as President. She says she is focused on the job at hand and emphasized that Democracy is on the line.

“I hear from a lot of different people a lot of different things. But let me just tell you, I’m focused on the job. I truly am, she said sternly. “Our democracy is on the line, Bill. And I frankly, in my head, do not have time for parlor games, when we have a president who is running for reelection. That’s it.”

In terms of their potential 2024 opponent, Kamala says she’s “lost count” of how many charges Trump has against him. She says she isn’t a pundit when asked about why the potential head-to-head polls are close but says “We’re gonna win.” She oozes confidence, which frankly, more Democrats should do, though I think it comes naturally for her. This interview proved that she is serious about her role as VP and that she is ready to handle anything thrown at her.

(featured image: CBS)

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