Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sen. Kamala Harris makes AG Jeff Sessions 'nervous'

Sen. Kamala Harris, right, questions Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

FOR THE SECOND time in less than a week California Sen. Kamala Harris was interrupted  by Republican senators as she questioned a Trump-appointed government official.

Harris, a former prosecutor, was trying to keep Jeff Sessions, Secretary of the Department of Justice, from giving a meandering B.S. response to a simple question about a supposed  DOJ rule preventing him from talking about communications with the president. That's when Sen. John McCain and Sen. Richard Burr, interrupted her aggressive questioning.

Before Sessions could answer, Harris' alloted time was up. You could almost hear the sigh of relief frm Sessions.

Even though some of her fellow senators, particularly Sen. Ron Wyden, were aggressive, only Harris was scolded. Can you say "sexism?" Republican men, it appears, might have problems with smart, aggressive women.

So it went during Harris' turn for questioning Sessions. When Sessions said he didn't recall any conversations with Russian businessmen at the 2016 Republican convention, Harris interrupted again.

“Will you let me qualify it?” he whined. “If I don't qualify it, you'll accuse me of lying. So I need to be correct as best I can. I'm not able to be rushed this fast. It (Harris' prosecutorial style of questioning) makes me nervous.”

Session's appearance before the intelligence committee was intended to disprove the allegations of his collusion with Russians impacting the 2016 elections. However, his inability to answer questions and his apparent forgetfulness of events and meetings that occurred only a year ago raises more questions about his qualifications to be the top law enforcement office in the country.

Harris' performance during the intelligence committee hearings this past week has boosted her national profile and her name continues to come up as a possible candidate for president in 2020.

Although the California senator continues to insist that she has no interest in the presidency, she presents an attractive alternative to the same old names trotted out as 2020 challengers to Donald Trump.  She checks off on a lot of issues that really makes her someone to bears watching.

She is relatively new (check) on the political scene, takes a progressive stance on immigration, the environment and fighting Wall Street was a hallmark of her time as California's Attorney General (check, check and check). Harris is a woman (check), who can claim Asian Indian and black heritage, (check and check). 

And from these hearings, the nation found out that Harris is not a demure Asian woman by her questioning of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (the first instance when she was admonished by McCain and Burr)k, former FBI director James Comey and Sessions demonstrated that she comfortable in the spotlight.

Her close association with the Obamas might help her bring back the Obama voters who came out droves  for the U.S. first African/American president but disappeared in 2016. 

"From here on out, we need to be mindful of two things: one, this is not a TV show—it is a very serious matter and must be treated that way; and two, this process should not make us forget the fact that Senate Republicans are still trying to rip health care away from millions of Americans, undo consumer protections," Harris warned in a message to her supporters.

After the past week's hearings in the Senate, a national spotlight is shining on Sen. Harris.