On the eve of the important vice-presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Kamala Harris, the New York Times is once again fiercely defending Joe Biden’s left-wing choice for running mate by throwing around “racist and sexist” smears.
Tuesday’s front-page story by Sydney Ember and Lisa Lerer, “Harris Prepares for Debate Night As Stakes and Expectations Rise,” allowed the Democrats to manage expectations for Harris on Wednesday night, while the paper once again scorched Fox News and other “conservative media outlets” who dare criticize her liberal politics.
Now, as she prepares to face off against Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday and to play a starring role in the upcoming Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Ms. Harris will be tested as a national leader and a voice of the party unlike ever before. It is a singular challenge for Ms. Harris, who arrived in Washington as a senator in 2017: Can she best her opponents and make the case for Democrats while walking the tightrope of unique expectations that American voters still have for women in power?
Ms. Harris, who is the first woman of color on a major party’s national ticket, has tried to downplay expectations for herself in the vice-presidential debate, reflecting concerns quietly raised by some aides and allies that the standard for her success on Wednesday has grown impossible to meet.
“I’m so concerned,” she said with a laugh at a fund-raiser last month. “I can only disappoint.”
While President Trump spent months waging relentless attacks on former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s mental acuity, lowering the bar for his opponent, Democrats have, by contrast, heralded Ms. Harris as a star prosecutor and talented debater, which carries its own set of risks…
The reporters unwittingly revealed that Democrats count on the mainstream press to act as a tag-team against Republicans.
As Mr. Biden did before his first debate with Mr. Trump, Ms. Harris has suggested she does not want to fact-check Mr. Pence in real time, hoping instead that the moderator, Susan Page, the Washington bureau chief for USA Today, fills some of that role.
Then the Times got nasty.
For all Ms. Harris’s meticulous work, her team is deeply cognizant of the unique challenges facing her as the first Black woman ever to win a place on a presidential ticket. While many Democrats view Ms. Harris as a barrier-breaking hero, Fox News hosts and conservative media outlets have mounted racist and sexist assaults on her reputation, painting her as a radical leftist.
Research has found that it is much harder for female candidates to be rated as “likable” than men -- and that they are disproportionately punished for traits voters accept in male politicians, including ambition and aggression. At the same time, voters view their credentials more skeptically and question their toughness, a precarious situation that is so universal for women seeking leadership roles that it is known as the “double bind.”
How on Earth is it "racist and sexist" to paint her as leftist? She has an ACU rating of 3 percent!
Ember and Lerer concluded triumphantly:
“She’s really speaking to, and represents, millions of us,” said Aimee Allison, the founder of She the People, a national network that advocates on behalf of women of color in politics. “She’s speaking directly to the voters who will put the Biden-Harris ticket over the top.”
Also on Tuesday, Dan Bilefsky provided a hard-hitting profile dateline Montreal, headlined: “As Cool Teen in Canada, Harris Yearned for Home.” The text box was a quote with news you could use: “‘Kamala could hold her own on the dance floor.’”
That’s not exactly how Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was treated by the Times in 2016 after Trump picked him as running mate.