Kamala Harris' road to the White House

Dan Morain 'Kamala's Way' Author, joined Yahoo Finance to discuss Vice-President elect Kamala Harris’ historic road to the White House.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: The Biden administration set to be sworn in next week. Kamala Harris is making history as the first woman and woman of color to become a vice president. We want to bring in Dan Morain. He is the author of the new book, "Kamala's Way." And Dan, congratulations on this new biography that has just been published.

You followed Kamala's career for decades. I was reading a little bit about your history and what you have done in your coverage of Kamala, but talk to us just about writing this book and give us an inside look into her world and maybe what we can expect over the next four years.

DAN MORAIN: Well, thank you for having me. She is such an interesting politician. You know, I've been a journalist in California for 40 years. I'm an old guy, and I've seen a lot of politicians come and go. You know, she may not be the smartest. She may not be the most charismatic. But she is very charismatic. She is very smart. She is very strategic in her thinking. She is a formidable individual, never one to be underestimated.

ADAM SHAPIRO: What makes her a good leader?

DAN MORAIN: Well, again, she's a really smart person. She thinks more than one step ahead. She listens to advice. She expects her staff to be prepared. She can be a very demanding boss. She can be incredibly engaging. When you talk with her in a room, it's eye contact. You're the only one in the room as far as you can tell, even though you're clearly not. She's a very good retail politician, and she thinks through things. She is, like I say, a strategic thinker.

And she's also the first. I mean, this is a big deal, I think. A big deal to America, I think. A big deal to every little girl in America, who she is, and certainly, important to people of color, to see somebody such as Kamala Harris in the position she's going to be holding.

SEANA SMITH: Dan, how do you see her experience then, specifically in the state of California, how do you think that's going to translate to the national stage?

DAN MORAIN: You know, people have whatever impressions they have of San Francisco. It can be a quaint city. It can be a city that's got a terrible homeless problem. It's sort of all of the above. It's cable cars and it's homelessness. But it's a very tough political town. You don't emerge from San Francisco if you don't have something on the ball.

This is the place she came through. She emerged with a few scrapes and scars along the way, but she made it through San Francisco. And if you can make it through San Francisco, you are already ahead of the game. This is, like I say, a very tough city. And you think about who is from San Francisco, who emerged. Nancy Pelosi came through San Francisco. That's her base. Governor Gavin Newsom is a San Franciscan.

And, as you know, California's population is in Southern California, but really, the political power is in Northern California, and it's been that way for, since, certainly the 1960s. It's kind of extraordinary when you think about it.

ADAM SHAPIRO: How would she react to this-- there's this issue over the "Vogue" cover. And she wore both outfits, and no journalistic organization ever lets the news source determine the final outcome. But there's this kerfuffle over the picture they chose, over what the Vice President-elect thought was going to be used. How would she respond to this, really?

DAN MORAIN: Well, you know, truthfully, she hasn't directly responded, at least not as near as I can tell. Her people have responded. They thought that this was an inappropriate photo to use.

You know, from where I sit, one week ago today the voters of Georgia made a momentous decision to elect an African-American and a young man who's Jewish to the United States Senate and flipped the Senate. One week ago, Wednesday, January 6, there was a coup attempt. I think that those are probably more momentous issues. Clearly, what is on the cover of "Vogue" is something to talk about, but not sure it's the most momentous issue that's before us today.

SEANA SMITH: Dan Morain, author of the new book, "Kamala's Way." Congratulations on the book. And thanks for taking the time to talk to us.

DAN MORAIN: Thank you for having me.