If you showed up at Sisters Chapel at Atlanta’s Spelman College last Friday hoping to divine some sort of 2020-themed meaning from Kamala Harris’s address, you were amply rewarded. The potential presidential aspirant planned to ruminate on four words from the school’s hymn — “undaunted by the fight” — she told the audience at the historically black women’s college, proceeding to outline why she believes “we are at an inflection point in the history of our country;” why she thinks “if something is worth fighting for, it is a fight worth having;” how “in this moment, a big fight worth having is a fight for the best of who we are as Americans;” and, finally, why “being undaunted by the fight means identifying the fight worth having, and — this is important — not asking permission to solve it.” When the first-term California senator initially decided to run for district attorney in San Francisco, she said, “You can imagine what I was told. It’s what you will be told many times in your life: ‘It’s not your turn, it’s not your time, there is nobody like you who has done that before, it’s going to be a lot of work.’ God forbid we want to work hard. And I didn’t listen, and part of my advice to you is: You don’t listen, either. You do not listen when people tell you that. In fact, I like to say, I eat ‘No’ for breakfast. And so, I decided to run.”

The most revealing piece of her swing through the state, however, was not Harris’s hinting about her political future. Rather, it was the emphasis she placed on another message laced throughout her comments, nowhere more explicitly than when she explained, “My mother used to tell me, ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things. Make sure you are not the last.’”


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