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CBS, NBC Mourn for Kamala’s Failed Campaign, Skip Disgruntled Staff

The Democratic field for the 2020 nomination continued to shrink on Tuesday after self-declared top-tier candidate Senator Kamala Harris (CA) dropped out due to a lack of funds. In response, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News ran reports mourning the loss of her campaign, with one noting that the upcoming Democratic debate would only consist of white people now. But surprisingly, an ABC report singed Harris on her out by noting her staffers were not happy working for her.

The NBC report from chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell was arguably the most mournful about Harris’ departure. Mitchell reported noted that “the telegenic California Senator” was being left behind in fundraising and couldn’t connect with African Americans.

She ended the video portion of the report by gushing about how Harris was receiving “praise from other Democrats” still in the race:

JOE BIDEN: She is a first-rate intellect, a first-rate candidate, and it’s a real competitor.

SENATOR AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): Sometimes campaigns have a way of tearing people apart or breaking down friendships. For us, it’s brought us closer.

Anchor Lester Holt concluded the segment by teeing up Mitchell to hype the other Democrats Harris took “a parting shot” at. “She said, in the end, she could not compete with two billionaires, Lester. Two billionaires now in the race, Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg. They have unlimited campaign money,” she said.

Meanwhile, CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell led into the gushy segment this way: “Senator Kamala Harris is dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination. Ed O’Keefe reports tonight on what went wrong with the campaign that once seemed so promising.

 

 

After noting the “stunning fall” came following a campaign launch with 20,000 and multiple stumbling points, O’Keefe appeared to knock the rest of the field that managed to make it into the next debate:

And there’s another interesting factor. With Harris’ exit, there’s now the potential later this month when the next debate is held in her home state of California, that every candidate on stage is white, despite the historic diversity of the presidential field this year.

But O’Keefe’s complaint made little sense. Clearly, from the numbers Mitchell discussed, African Americans were supporting those white candidates.

Most of the critical reporting of Harris’s campaign came during correspondent Linsey Davis’s report on ABC’s World News Tonight. “Over the weekend, signs the campaign was unraveling. The New York Times obtaining a resignation letter from a Harris aide who said, ‘I no longer have confidence in our campaign or its leadership,’” Davis reported.

On top of that, Davis highlighted Harris’s inability to “defend her record as a prosecutor.” The example was a tough question Davis had asked Harris at the debate ABC host back in September:

DAVIS: When you had the power, why didn’t you try to effect change then?

HARRIS: So — there have been — there have been — I’m glad you asked me this question. [Transition] I made a decision that if I was going to have the ability to reform the system, I would try to do it from the inside. [Transition] Was I able to get enough done? Absolutely not.

The mismanagement and low morale caused by Harris was a major part of her campaign’s failure. An important point conveniently omitted by CBS and NBC.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
December 3, 2019
6:39:06 p.m. Eastern

(…)

LINSEY DAVIS: She shot to the top tier early, famously taking on Biden for his previous position on mandated bussing to integrate schools.

(…)

DAVIS: But Harris started to plateau in the polls, often struggling to defend her record as a prosecutor.

[Davis at ABC debate] When you had the power, why didn’t you try to effect change then?

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): So — there have been — there have been — I’m glad you asked me this question. [Transition] I made a decision that if I was going to have the ability to reform the system, I would try to do it from the inside. [Transition] Was I able to get enough done? Absolutely not.

DAVIS: Over the weekend, signs the campaign was unraveling. The New York Times obtaining a resignation letter from a Harris aide who said, “I no longer have confidence in our campaign or its leadership.”

[Cuts back to live]

DAVID MUIR: And for those at home keeping track of the numbers, the Democrats now 15 candidates, only seven had qualified for the next debate, Kamala Harris was one of them. That brings it down to six at this point. And you have learned from inside the campaign that they put their heads together, they really thought about this over the Thanksgiving holiday?

DAVIS: Senator Harris told her staff today that throughout the Thanksgiving holiday, she worked round the clock to try to figure out how they could make this work, but after doing a campaign audit, she said she simply did not have the money to move things forward. David.

MUIR: Linsey Davis, who’s covering the race for us. Linsey, thank you.

 

CBS Evening News
December 3, 2019
6:35:03 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: And there’s breaking news tonight on the campaign trail. Senator Kamala Harris is dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination. Ed O’Keefe reports tonight on what went wrong with the campaign that once seemed so promising.

[Cuts to video]

O’KEEFE: Senator Kamala Harris reviewed her campaign finances over the weekend and decide Monday night she couldn’t go on.

(…)

O’KEEFE: Another factor in Harris’ decision: Mike Bloomberg, who in less than 10 days, has spent more than twice what Harris has raised all year.

(…)

O’KEEFE: It was a stunning fall for Harris whose campaign raced out of the gate with 20,000 people cheering her on at a hometown rally in Oakland, California. She climbed into the top tier but struggled to take a firm position on the number-one issue for Democratic voters: Health care. And she couldn’t maintain the momentum she gained after attacking former Vice President Joe Biden in the first debate.

(…)

O’KEEFE: Harris recently tried to salvage her campaign way focus on winning Iowa, but seemed uncertainly of her chances when we spoke with her there last month.

(…)

[Cuts back to live]

O’DONNELL: Ed joins us now. All right, the field has narrowed a bunch in the last couple of days. What’s the practical effect?

O’KEEFE: Well, look, in our CBS News polling we have found among Harris supporters their top second choices are Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden. So they stand to benefit from this. And there’s another interesting factor. With Harris’ exit, there’s now the potential later this month when the next debate is held in her home state of California, that every candidate on stage is white, despite the historic diversity of the presidential field this year.

O’DONNELL: All right, Ed, thank you.

 

NBC Nightly News
December 3, 2019
7:07:09 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: For a time, she was a top tier of Democrats vying to replace President Trump, but Senator Kamala Harris’s campaign has been losing steam in recent months, and tonight she has called it quits. Here’s Andrea Mitchell.

[Cuts to video]

ANDREA MITCHELL: She launched her campaign with more than 20,000 supporters in Oakland, a rising Democratic star.

(…)

MITCHELL: Kamala Harris, the telegenic California Senator and former state attorney general rocketing to the top of a crowded field by taking on Joe Biden in the first debate.

(…)

MITCHELL: But months later stumbling over the costs of her health care plan.

(…)

MITCHELL: By mid-October, she was behind in the money race and failing to connect to African Americans, polling only five percent with black voters recently, compared to 43 percent for Biden, by the last debate vying for attention.

(…)

MITCHELL: Tonight, praise from other Democrats.

JOE BIDEN: She is a first-rate intellect, a first-rate candidate, and it’s a real competitor.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): Sometimes campaigns have a way of tearing people apart or breaking down friendships. For us, it’s brought us closer.

[Cuts back to live]

HOLT: Andrea joins us now. Andrea, it’s worth noting that Harris dropped out today, but not before issuing a parting shot about who’s left.

MITCHELL: Indeed. She said, in the end, she could not compete with two billionaires, Lester. Two billionaires now in the race, Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg. They have unlimited campaign money.

HOLT: Andrea Mitchell, thank you.

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