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A Vote for President Kamala Harris

Honestly, I'm kind of excited to see how Joe does in the Oval Office in let's say about three years. I'm serious, I think he'll still be able to find the Oval Office! OK, he may get lost occasionally, the White House is a big place.

A Vote for President Kamala Harris

The Vice President wants you to know she’s ready to be President. She’d better be.

By The Editorial Board, WSJ

Updated Feb. 12, 2024

Vice President Kamala Harris is reassuring everyone that she’s up to the job of succeeding her boss if the moment arrives, and the timing is no accident. The evident mental decline of the 81-year-old President Biden means that a vote for Mr. Biden this year is also really a vote for President Harris sometime in a second Biden term.

“I am ready to serve. There’s no question about that,” Ms. Harris told the Wall Street Journal in an interview last week, before the release of Robert Hur’s report highlighting Mr. Biden’s failing memory. Everyone who sees her on the job, Ms. Harris said, “walks away fully aware of my capacity to lead.”

Readers no doubt have their own view of Ms. Harris’s capacity. She hasn’t demonstrated it much as Vice President, notably in her assigned task of securing the border. Her main contribution to that debate was to blame poverty and lawlessness in Central America, though those have long existed. Her main job in the last 18 months or so has been as Mr. Biden’s emissary to the Democratic left on voting rights, abortion rights, and more.

Ms. Harris has also provided political security to Mr. Biden because so many Democrats believe she would be a disaster as their presidential nominee if Mr. Biden chose not to run. But that’s a false sense of political security.

For one thing, Democrats wouldn’t have to nominate Ms. Harris if Mr. Biden stood down and the nomination were decided at the Democratic convention in August. Other candidates would run, and their relative appeal would be tested.

Our guess is that Ms. Harris’s polling would be bad enough that Democratic pros would rally behind someone else, despite the identity-politics complications of opposing a minority woman. Democrats are bloodier-minded about power than are GOP primary voters.

Democrats also won’t be able to escape the problem of Ms. Harris even if Mr. Biden stays in the race. Republicans are sure to make Ms. Harris a central issue, and they should because chances are high that Mr. Biden wouldn’t serve out his term through age 86. That might scare more swing voters even than Mr. Biden’s mental frailty or Donald Trump’s daily diatribes. It’s another good reason for Democrats to rethink their entire ticket.

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