Here’s the Promise I want to Hear From Kamala

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

(Editor’s Note: Joe Mathews will moderate a panel discussing “Will California Pick the Next President” in downtown Los Angeles tonight at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy. Mathews will be joined by Dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Gary Segura, vice president of the American Association of Political Consultants Rose Kapolczynski, and Latino Decisions co-founder and UCLA political scientist Matt Barreto. Details here.) 

My biggest fear about a Kamala Harris presidency doesn’t match those of her critics. They claim she lacks experience, or will blow up the budget with her expensive promises.

I worry less about those things, and more about traffic.

Harris started her campaign in Oakland and rose into politics via San Francisco and Sacramento. But her home, since her marriage earlier in the decade, has been in Los Angeles, where I live.

And for all the pride I’d take in having a Californian elected president, I’d have just as much fear of a Los Angeles president.

L.A. traffic is horrible without presidents. When recent occupants of the office visit, they shut down vast sections of the city for hours. During President Obama’s visits, I once was unable to return to my home for 4 hours, and my wife and young child were trapped by security cordons.

But having a president who is from here and would presumably spend quite a bit of time here is nothing less than a nightmare. Bad enough that I’d rather someone else win.

Senator Harris, you need to win the California primary on March 3. If you want my vote, how about a promise to not visit us for the four and eight years of our presidency? You’d miss LA and your friends would miss you, but the rest of us would have the best of both worlds: a Californian in the White House, who stays in the White House and doesn’t clog our streets.

 

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