Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who admitted earlier this year to having an extramarital affair with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), wrote in his column over the weekend that none of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates can beat President Donald Trump.
“The first Democratic debates proved one thing: We still don’t have a candidate who can beat Donald Trump,” Brown wrote. “California Sen. Kamala Harris got all the attention for playing prosecutor in chief, but her case against former Vice President Joe Biden boiled down in some ways to a ringing call for forced school busing. It won’t be too hard for Trump to knock that one out of the park in 2020.”
As for the Democratic frontrunner going into the debates, Biden, Brown made clear that his performance in the second night of debates did damage to his campaign.
“Biden did himself zero favors by telling Harris that he opposed only busing that was ordered by the federal government,” wrote Brown. “It was a weird endorsement of states’ rights and local jurisdictions’ right to segregate schools. That’s the best argument he could marshal against busing little kids miles across town?”
Brown’s column came after the Democratic Party held its first two debates on MSNBC last week which many described as chaotic and problematic for the party.
Brown added: “Trump must have enjoyed every moment and every answer, because he now knows he’s looking at a bunch of potential rivals who are still not ready for prime time.”
In January, Brown admitted in one of his columns that he had an affair with Harris while he was married and that he used his position of power to boost her career in politics.
“Yes, we dated,” Brown said. “It was more than 20 years ago.”
“Yes, I may have influenced her career by appointing her to two state commissions when I was Assembly speaker,” Brown continued. “And I certainly helped with her first race for district attorney in San Francisco.”
Harris had a strong showing during the debate last week after she diced up former Vice President Joe Biden on the debate stage over the issue of race.
In the most recent poll since the debate, Biden dropped 10 points — from 41.5% to 31.5% — and Harris gained 9 points — from 7.9% to 16.6%.
The two candidates’ combative exchange over Biden’s recent praise of two segregationist Democrats he worked with in the past in Congress and his opposition to federally mandated bussing in order to enforce desegregation earned the most attention in the second night of debates.
“Growing up, my sister and I had to deal with the neighbor who told us her parents couldn’t play with us because we were black,” Harris said Thursday. “And I will say also that, in this campaign, we have also heard – and I’m going to now direct this at Vice President Biden – I do not believe you are a racist, and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground. But I also believe – and it’s personal – it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose bussing.”
Biden called her summary of his stance on the issue of desegregation “a mischaracterization of my position across the board.”
“I did not praise racists. That is not true, number one,” he said in response. “Number two, if we want to have this campaign litigated on who supports civil rights and whether I did or not, I’m happy to do that. … The fact is that, in terms of bussing, the bussing, I never – you would have been able to go to school the same exact way because it was a local decision made by your city council. That’s fine. That’s one of the things I argued for, that we should not be – we should be breaking down these lines.”