Policy Experts Say Kamala Harris Pivots on Criminal Justice in New Memoir

By Sameer Rao Jan 08, 2019

Though she has yet to confirm her candidacy, speculation swirls around the possibility of Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) running for president. With that hype comes critique that the African- and South Asian-American politician’s past actions as California’s attorney general and San Francisco’s district attorney—including challenging opposition to the death penaltyundercut her progressive image. In an article published today (January 8), several policy experts told The Associated Press that Harris’ new memoir, "The Truths We Hold: An American Journey," reads as an attempt to reckon with her past ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

“It’s a presidential campaign, and every aspect of a candidate’s record is going to be scrutinized, and they’re going to have to answer for it,” Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service director Mo Elleithee said. “She knows that [her criminal justice positions are] something that’s heading her way, and a good candidate is one who doesn’t wait for it to hit them. A good candidate is someone who addresses it proactively, and she appears to be doing that.”

Visit APNews.com for more takes on Harris’ new book and political shift from Elleithee, Re:store Justice policy head Kate Chatfield and Center for Policing Equity co-founder Phillip Goff.