KERNS: Democratic Women Face Bleak Prospects In 2020
Another Democratic candidate stumbled out of the gate over the weekend, as serious concerns over personal character threatened to derail another 2020 presidential aspiration.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced her bid for president amid a snowy backdrop on Sunday, but not before a blizzard of allegations over her behavior in office — reportedly filled with “rage” and flying office supplies — nearly buried her announcement.
According to numerous staff reports corroborated by emails, at least eight former staffers of the Minnesota senator describe a mentally abusive office environment filled with “physical outbursts,” “bouts of rage” and “intolerably cruel” acts including Klobuchar “hurling a binder at a staffer.”
The allegations stand to strongly cut into Klobuchar’s orchestrated image of a down-to-earth Midwestern gal.
The reports of such salacious behavior are especially ironic considering it was Klobuchar who criticized Supreme Court associate justice Brett Kavanaugh’s temperament, accusing him of “yelling” and “chest-beating” during his confirmation hearing after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accused him of assault.
Klobuchar’s reported character flaws should be of particular concern to Democrats, given that the rigorous presidential election cycle makes for long hours and that 24/7 media access on the campaign trail creates an environment in which such rage, if true, would be especially difficult to hide.
Her missteps come as another female Democratic senator, Elizabeth Warren, struggles to overcome her own scandal after falsely claiming for 32 years that she was Native American.
Over the weekend, Warren found herself once again apologizing for misrepresenting herself as a member of the Cherokee tribe when she, in fact, was not. The announcement was not Warren’s first apology to date, signaling that the senator may never be able to shake the scandal which has earned her the name “Pocahontas.”
Furthermore, there may be more trouble on the horizon for Warren who signaled over the weekend that there might be other documents out there that falsely claim Native American heritage.
In their obstacles, Klobuchar and Warren are not alone.
Despite her upbeat kickoff rally filled with an overflow crowd, Sen. Kamala Harris faces questions of her own over her prosecutorial record in San Francisco and her personal history of how she came to power.
It has long been reported that Harris was the mistress to former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who is credited for appointing then-girlfriend Harris to her first government post when he served as the powerful speaker of the California State Assembly. Harris was then only 29 years old, while Brown was 60 years old.
Perhaps less troubling than her history as Brown’s benefactor is the fact that once the couple’s relationship ended, Brown claims that Harris — who had just become district attorney in San Francisco — threatened to have him arrested if he “so much as jaywalked” in what is clearly an abuse of power. Talk about a lovers’ quarrel!
Furthermore, Brown’s admission just last week in The San Francisco Chronicle that he indeed “dated” Harris and “influenced her career by appointing her to two commissions” when he was speaker certainly weakens Harris’ case that she is a self-made African American woman who worked her way to the top. It shows she was helped along the way by the man with whom she was sleeping. Hardly an empowering, rock-solid feminist narrative.
Given that Klobuchar and Harris have joined the ranks of the Democrats’ top female candidates, it begs the question how would they fare in a general election facing President Trump? Known to take to Twitter to poke fun at his opponents, there would be no end to the “flying binder” and “willie” jokes.
If Democrats are serious about taking on Trump — whose approval rating is decently on par with President Obama’s during this week in the second year of his presidency — they will have to get serious about bolstering their field.
For a party that claims to be the party of inspiring women leaders, the females at the top of their ticket leave much to be desired.
Jen Kerns (@JenKernsUSA) served as spokeswoman for the California Republican Party; spokeswoman for California’s Proposition 8, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court; and as a Fox News writer for the 2016 U.S. presidential debates.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.