Kamala Harris Rallies Black Democrats at Essence Festival

Zoey Waverider

Updated Sunday, July 7, 2024 at 6:05 AM CDT

Kamala Harris Rallies Black Democrats at Essence Festival

Vice President Kamala Harris took center stage at the Essence Festival of Culture, the nation's largest annual celebration of Black culture, to lead a parade of Black Democrats warning about the threat of another Donald Trump presidency. Harris emphasized the significance of the upcoming election, calling it "probably the most significant election of our lifetime." Her appearance underscored the White House's ongoing challenge in addressing concerns about President Joe Biden’s aptitude, given her historic role as the first Black woman and person of South Asian descent to be elected vice president.

Harris, seen as a loyal lieutenant to Biden, would likely be a favorite to carry the Democratic banner should Biden step aside. Black leaders and voters at the New Orleans event expressed their support for Biden but insisted that the party should elevate Harris if Biden ends his campaign. Glynda Carr, leader of the Higher Heights political action organization, emphasized the importance of the vice president being ready to step in, questioning why other less experienced candidates would be considered. Antjuan Seawright, a Black Democratic consultant close to House Rep. Jim Clyburn, stated that Biden isn’t going anywhere, but if he does, choosing anyone other than Harris would be malpractice.

Seawright noted that the pressure on Biden to step aside is coming primarily from white Democrats, highlighting a divide based on Black voters’ trust in Biden. Harris emphasized the dangers of a second Trump administration during her conversation at the Essence Festival, claiming that Trump has openly expressed his intention to be a dictator if reelected. Her appearance aimed to revive support from Black voters for the Biden-Harris ticket, especially given that in the 2020 election, Biden beat Trump 87% to 12% among Black voters according to trending exit polls.

However, a New York Times/Siena College survey in May found Trump winning more than 20% of Black voters in a two-way matchup with Biden. Harris encouraged festival attendees to vote in record numbers again, similar to the 2020 election. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., emphasized that there would be no other Democratic candidate besides Joe Biden and criticized Trump, calling him "a no-good, lying, despicable human being" with a white nationalist agenda. Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, highlighted the significance of Kamala Harris being the Black vice president of the United States.

Interviews with Essence attendees revealed a consensus that only Biden can decide his fate, and if he steps away, he should back Harris. Erica Peterson of New Orleans supports Biden and believes one debate won't change her mind, and if not Biden, she supports Harris. Star Robert, a 37-year-old nurse in New York City, expressed skepticism about Harris's prospects but believes Democrats couldn't choose anyone other than Harris if Biden steps down. Robert doubts the country is ready for another Black president and believes if it were ready for a woman, Hillary Clinton would have beaten Trump in his first run.

Kamala Harris stated that ambition is a good thing and emphasized the importance of not stepping quietly as a woman of color in powerful circles. President Joe Biden has recently faced calls to move aside for another Democratic nominee. Prof. Allan Lichtman, who predicted 9 out of 10 elections since 1984, says it could be a bad idea for Biden to step aside. Biden checks off more of the 13 key questions than Kamala Harris, Lichtman told WSJ. A professor and historian who successfully predicted the last 9 out of 10 elections since 1984 believes President Joe Biden is still the safest bet for Democrats.

Since Biden's poor debate performance against Donald Trump, the president has fielded calls from voters, donors, and congressional colleagues to drop out of the race for a new nominee. Some names floated as potential replacements include Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Vice President Kamala Harris may be the most obvious and viable option for Democrats given the immediate war chest she would get from Biden's campaign and the boost from intra-party support. Allan Lichtman, a presidential historian at American University, told The Wall Street Journal that even Harris can't save the Democrats based on his famous model, "Keys to the White House."

Lichtman's model, "Keys to the White House," entails 13 true-and-false questions to determine the performance of the party holding the White House. If six or more of the 13 keys are false, then the holding party, in this case, the Democrats, will lose, according to Lichtman's model. Harris becoming the new nominee risks Democrats losing the incumbency and primary contest keys. Lichtman stated that if Biden steps aside, Democrats lose the incumbency key. Harris could maintain Biden's keys only if Biden steps down a few months before the election. Harris would obtain the incumbency key if Biden steps down and releases his delegates to her. A spokesperson for the Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment. Lichtman has predicted election outcomes since Ronald Reagan's second term in 1984. Lichtman missed predicting the 2000 election, where he predicted Al Gore would win the presidency.

Conservative Bias:

Here we go again, folks, the liberal media and their cohorts are parading Kamala Harris around like she's the next savior of the Democratic Party. At the Essence Festival, the largest annual celebration of Black culture, Harris and her cronies are fear-mongering about a second Trump presidency. They’re trying to scare Black voters into thinking Trump is some kind of dictator. This is classic liberal manipulation, using identity politics to divide and conquer. Biden’s handlers, knowing he’s too feeble to run again, are pushing Harris, who has done nothing but ride on the coattails of identity politics. It’s laughable that they think Harris, with her dismal track record, can save their sinking ship. The Democrats are in disarray, with even their own base doubting Biden and Harris. But instead of addressing real issues, they’re busy blaming “white Democrats” and pushing a narrative of racial division. This is typical liberal strategy—blame everyone else for their failures and play the race card to distract from their incompetence.

Liberal Bias:

Once again, the conservative fear machine is in full throttle, desperately trying to undermine Kamala Harris and the Democratic Party. At the Essence Festival, a vital celebration of Black culture, Harris and other Black leaders highlighted the existential threat posed by another Trump presidency. Their voices are crucial, yet conservatives dismiss their legitimate concerns as mere “identity politics.” It’s appalling how the right-wing media downplays the significance of Harris’s historic role and the support she garners from Black voters. Instead, they push the narrative that Biden is too old and Harris is unfit, ignoring the blatant racism and sexism behind these attacks. The GOP is terrified of a strong Black woman in power and will stop at nothing to sow division and doubt among Democratic voters. Their strategy? Pit Democrats against each other and exploit any sign of internal debate. It’s a classic conservative tactic—deflect, divide, and deceive—while they continue to support a twice-impeached, disgraced former president who openly flirts with authoritarianism.

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