CLEAR LAKE, Iowa-- When Kamala Harris emerged from Clear Lake's Surf Ballroom after delivering her remarks at the Wing Ding Democratic fundraiser, the candidate was immediately swarmed by supporters. Her security detail had their work cut out for them, trying to get Harris from the mobbed parking lot into the safety of her tour bus as fans chanted in loud, stentorian voices, "Kamala, Kamala, Kamala."
We waited patiently in that crowd as former Obama campaign director-turned CNN personality David Axelrod interviewed Harris first, Even after his camera crew had exited the bus, Axelrod continued to huddle with the candidate, speaking in hushed tones about the unusual political time we are in. Eventually, though, Axelrod relinquished his seat and allowed us to interview Harris.
"Why is Kamala Harris the person to take on Donald Trump?" I asked the candidate as I sat across from her.
"Well, listen," Harris said firmly as she looked me in the eye. "i'm a fighter and there's no question we need someone who can prosecute the case against four more years of Donald Trump and when I look at it, there's a long rap sheet. It includes a tax bill that benefits the top one percent of major corporations. It includes trade policy that has resulted in farmers in Iowa looking at bankruptcy and soybeans rotting in bins and auto workers by the end of the year that will probably be out of a job.
The former prosecutor doesn't think the 2020 Presidential race will be defined by party or by the overused labels "conservative" or "liberal."
"When people wake up thinking about their worries, it is never through the lens of the party through which they're registered to vote," Harris said without hesitation. "It is never through the lens of some simplistic demographic some pollster put them in. What wakes people up in the middle of the night, it usually has to do with a few things that we all have in common and we need leadership and I intend to be a President that speaks to those issues."
Days after her appearance in Clear Lake, Harris continues to keep her campaign front and center. Wednesday she laid out a gun control plan that focuses on domestic terrorism, proposing action to add online gun sellers to background check requirements.