Living in Society

Fixing the Leak, Kamala Harris is Out

Kamala Harris in Iowa. Photo Credit – Clay Masters, Iowa Public Radio.

A plumber arrived yesterday at our home to repair the leaking water heater. I asked for permission to watch him work.

He removed the cover panel, turned the water back on ever so slightly, and a pinhole in the copper tubing feeding the household showed itself. He turned the water back off.

The model and serial number of our water heater is printed on its side, with a phone number to the manufacturer. He called them and sadly, the replacement part, a heat exchanger, is no longer being manufactured. The technician on the telephone suggested some parts houses who might have one in stock and identified a newer model with the same footprint as our current unit. He provided pricing and an estimate of the time to replace the heat exchanger if one could be found in a parts house.

Next the plumber called a recommended parts supplier and asked them to see if a part could be found. If they can’t find one, we’ll install the new unit, what else would we do? He patched the leak with a section of high pressure water hose and buttoned things up. The whole process took less than an hour.

While he worked I told him I work at the home, farm and auto supply store the next couple of days and Friday would be best to schedule the repair or replacement. It turns out his boss’s spouse works there part time as well. He is the plumber the store manager calls to make minor repairs. It is a small world.

Yesterday Kamala Harris suspended her presidential campaign. I received an email within the hour of news hitting the internet that included this:

I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life.

My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.

I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.

In good faith, I can’t tell you, my supporters and volunteers, that I have a path forward if I don’t believe I do.

During Harris’ first trips to Iowa, I felt she could win it all. Her campaign had such organizational strength and energy. She appeared to be doing the right things to secure the nomination and then roll easily toward victory in the general election. Others have opinions of why her campaign failed to gain sufficient traction, I do not.

Elizabeth Warren commented about the presence of billionaires in the Democratic nominating process in an email which arrived eight hours later:

Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand — two women senators who, together, won more than 11.5 million votes in their last elections — have been forced out of this race, while billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg have been allowed to buy their way in.

Our party and our democracy deserve better.

While I didn’t hear Kamala Harris in person, her strength as a U.S. Senator, history as an attorney, and ability to attract some of the best political organizing talent in the state made her a contender. We all realize it takes money to run a presidential campaign. The competition for the nomination is the less for her exit.