Krystal Ball explains what went wrong with Harris's 2020 campaign

Opinion by: Krystal Ball 

If you've been watching Rising you've long known about Kamala’s spectacular drop out of top-tier status into single-digit obscurity. She's even had to watch as her tormenter Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process 125 lawmakers urge Trump administration to support National Guard troops amid pandemic MORE who she famously dissed as irrelevant and unworthy of a response surpasses her in any number of polls. Well, the elite media has finally caught up with our analysis. Over the break, both the New York Times and the Washington Post published well-reported and devastatingly brutal pieces about exactly how Kamala’s campaign came apart.

The Times even went so far as to call into question whether she would ultimately make it to Iowa, writing:

"After beginning her candidacy with a speech before 20,000 people in Oakland, some of Ms. Harris's longtime supporters believe she should consider dropping out in late December -- the deadline for taking her name off the California primary ballot -- if she does not show political momentum."

So there you have it. Don't be surprised if Kamala is out of the race before the new year. A stunning fall for a candidate who the media celebrated in the beginning and seemed to have a credible path to being the nominee with California voting early this time. By the way, when you see these pieces beginning to appear with regularity, what it means is that various internal factions, advisors, consultants, etc. are all trying to throw each other under the bus and pass the campaign's failure off on whoever they happen to hate the most. It's a surefire sign of a team that knows it will lose badly. The only thing left to fight for is the patina of dignity that comes from being able to claim that everything would have gone much better if only they had listened to you.

Kamala's state operations director went so far as to quit all together issuing a blistering resignation letter in which she stated in part: "...because we have refused to confront our mistakes, foster an environment of critical thinking and honest feedback, or trust the expertise of talented staff, we find ourselves making the same unforced errors over and over."

And what are those same unforced errors? Well, we can only guess at what exactly this staffer was referencing but what we can say for certain is that you can't have a conference call to figure out what your core values are. If you don't know why you're running and what case you want to make to voters, if you don't actually know what you want to fight for, then no consultant or donor or advisor is going to be able to tell you. Instead, you'll end up like Kamala did. Moving in one aide’s words from "'speak truth' spring" to "'3 a.m.' summer" to the current "'justice winter" and all voters will see is someone who wants to be president for their own sake, not for the sake of the country.

Of course, Kamala's Medicare-for-All mess has been particularly instructive. You will recall that Kamala wrapped herself around Bernie’s Medicare-for-All bill going so far as to co-sponsor it in the Senate. Not only that, she actually built a portion of her initial list using Facebook ads expressing her pride in being the first senator to support Bernie's Medicare-for-All bill. Then she apparently got some polling back and got the consultant advice and heard from the donors that this whole notion of getting everyone healthcare was just a little too radical. Soon she was telling a room full of donors in the Hamptons that she had "not been comfortable with Bernie's plan" which she chucked in favor of whatever incomprehensible medicare for the justice winter plan or whatever she's got now.

No surprise that while in June a not too shabby 10% of voters said they trusted Kamala most on healthcare, now only 3% say the same. The leader on this metric, of course, is the guy who wrote the damn bill followed closely by Joe BidenJoe BidenPresidents and 'presidents' Biden to blast Trump's church photo op in Philadelphia speech Rudy Giuliani calls on Cuomo to remove Bill de Blasio MORE actually who has been unwavering in his support of a more limited ACA expansion. What's the lesson here? Knowing what you stand for and articulating it clearly and appearing ready to fight for it is more important than finding precisely the right poll-tested place to be on any particular issue. Voters may not be health care experts but they can sure smell BS a mile away.

Kamala's downfall is also a warning to Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenGeorge Floyd's death ramps up the pressure on Biden for a black VP Judd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Vogue's Anna Wintour urges Biden to pick woman of color for VP MORE because she has also, of course, made major missteps on the issue that voters consistently tell pollsters is there number one concern. You all know the sequence here. First, she's with Bernie, then she says Medicare-for-All is a framework, then she agonizes for weeks over how to avoid saying the words middle-class taxes, finally releasing a "transition plan" that exposed once and for all her fundamental unseriousness on the issue.

Unlike Kamala, Warren does actually have a core. At her core she is a smart and serious technocrat with a passion for consumer protection and banking reform but rather than embrace that core, she's faltered trying to be all things to all people. She wants to be the revolutionary talking about class warfare and a strain of militant unionism that she has frankly never been part of.

But she also wants to be the girl power feminist with her all-female campaign co-chairs and by focusing only on the women who struggled in that labor movement that again she was never part of. All the while, she also wants to be a team player who can position herself as exciting like Bernie but without being scary. Let me just spoil the ending here and tell you that you can't be a revolutionary who is non-threatening to the Establishment. It just doesn’t work. In the end, you will just be unsatisfying to all.

If you want to know how quickly the wheels can come off, just ask Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris: Trump 'just tear-gassed peaceful protesters for a photo op' Harris, Jeffries question why Manafort, Cohen released while others remain in prison George Floyd's death ramps up the pressure on Biden for a black VP MORE. After all, she may have some extra time coming up here in the new year.