Kamala Harris hopes to make history with 2020 U.S. presidential bid

First-term Democratic Senator Kamala Harris of California, a rising party star and outspoken critic of President Donald Trump's immigration policies, launched her 2020 campaign for the White House on Monday by touting her background as a prosecutor.

Harris, a former California Attorney General, elected to the Senate in 2016, joins a growing field of Democratic hopefuls.

Vowing to "bring our voices together", Harris would be the first woman to hold the presidency if she succeeds.

Yet despite her references to "American values", Harris also invited her supporters to join her for a speech in Oakland on Sunday, January 27.

"Kamala Harris: For the people", is not just her campaign slogan, it's how she used to announce herself as a prosecutor, in the courtroom. "Let's claim our future, for ourselves, for our children and for our country", she said.

She is already planning her first trip to an early primary state as a declared candidate. At least on Twitter, she's no match for the current president.

On the other hand, Harris will be far from alone in a crowded Democratic field and, as Gray notes, every candidate will rightly face questions about their previous positions and political record.

"The question becomes: what is her economic populist plan and how does that pass the smell test for progressives?" said Symone Sanders, a former spokeswoman for Bernie Sanders' 2016 campaign.

"It makes me nervous", Sessions said.

Senators Elizabeth Warren of MA and Kirsten Gillibrand of NY have both launched exploratory committees while former Obama administration housing chief Julian Castro has declared his intentions.

It is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary race, the victor of which would grab the party's nomination and challenge President Donald Trump in the November 2020 presidential race.

After two terms as district attorney of San Francisco (2004-2011), she was twice elected as attorney general of California (2011-2017), becoming the first woman and the first black person to serve as chief law enforcement officer of that populous state.

As she weighed whether to enter the race, Harris spoke about the challenges of running a campaign that would attempt to break several barriers.

As California's Attorney General in 2012, Harris helped negotiate a $25 billion settlement deal with the five largest mortgage companies in the US over mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses. The red-and-yellow style was apparent in a video released by the Harris campaign announcing her run.

Since Harris sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Stephanopoulos also asked if she has seen any evidence from special prosecutor Bob Mueller's investigation that would warrant impeaching Trump.

"And I believe Israel should never be a partisan issue, and as long as I'm a United States senator, I will do everything in my power to ensure broad and bipartisan support for Israel's security and right to self-defense", she added. Harris is the second woman of colour to announce her candidacy in the 2020 presidential election; Gabbard, who is of Samoan descent, is the other one. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) also are considering presidential bids. Harris also won a $25 billion settlement for California homeowners hit by the foreclosure crisis, but refused to prosecute Steven Mnuchin's OneWest Bank for foreclosure violations in 2013.

  • Rogelio Becker