Two Cheers for Cheap Shots

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During the Democratic debates, Kamala Harris took what I and many others considered a cheap shot against Joe Biden’s opposition to forced busing many decades ago. An article in Politico suggests she has no remorse over this, but that doesn’t worry Karen Tumulty:

The article suggests that some Biden allies fear Trump may “weaponize” (in advertisements) the debate-stage clash between Harris and Biden over his record on busing, which was the most notable moment of her failed bid for the nomination. Since endorsing Biden in March, Harris has campaigned energetically on his behalf.

This reported anxiety about Harris, however, suggests a different standard for women as running mates. They are apparently supposed to be window-dressing — demure and apologetic.

It’s hard to take this fear seriously. First of all, it happens every single election cycle, and the public inevitably yawns. Second, do you remember what Donald Trump’s opponents called him in 2016? If that didn’t cause any problems, nothing will.

I don’t think it matters much who Biden chooses, but the fact that Harris is willing to take the occasional cheap shot is a point in her favor, not against her. It shows that she understands politics ain’t beanbag.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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