That Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) suspended her Democratic presidential campaign Tuesday wasn't entirely unexpected — she had plummeted in the polls and didn't look like she would be able to climb out of the hole. But the timing felt a bit sudden.
Harris had qualified for the December debate, and her campaign seemed determined to at least try to hang on until the Iowa caucus. So, why now?
The obvious answer is the one Harris gave in her announcement — she didn't have the resources to continue. But some pundits have noted that now might actually be a particularly strategic time.
For starters, Harris can now avoid being on the ballot in her home state of California. She only had a few days to avoid her name showing up in February, and a bad showing there might have caused problems down the road in her efforts to hold on to her Senate seat.
Some context: Harris only had a few days to get out before her name would appear on the California ballot, which gets mailed to voters in early February. Getting crushed in California would have been devastating, and set her up for a challenge in 2022 for her reelection.
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) December 3, 2019
Then there's the theory about another job opening. The eventual nominee will need a running mate, and, although it's nothing but speculation at this point, Harris might be a popular pick for any of the contenders. By getting out before things got too messy, Harris may have set herself up well to be on the ticket.
Just thinking out loud but I do think Harris is a rather plausible VP selection for pretty much all of the leading contenders, and withdrawing now rather than after, say, a 6th place finish in Iowa or a 4th place finish in California probably helps preserve her reputation a bit.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 3, 2019
More stories from theweek.com
Rudy Giuliani is literally in Ukraine right now
Trump's pathological obsession with being laughed at
Impeachment witness Pamela Karlan unloads on GOP Rep. Doug Collins in opening statement: 'I'm insulted'