Hollywood Backs Harris as Cooley Pulls Away
Why ugly and grumpy Steve was beating smart and beautiful Kamala
October 21, 2010, L.A. Weekly:
At this point in the campaign for California Attorney General, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, the Democrats’ nominee, was supposed to be choosing a designer to make over her new Sacramento office following her sure win in November. Instead, every reliable poll has her far behind Steve Cooley, Los Angeles County’s top prosecutor and her Republican opponent.
How this reversal occurred in one of the bluest of blue states is a case study in the real nature of California’s electorate.
Many political consultants and media wags had seen Harris as the perfect candidate for statewide office in California: a smart and youthful 46, who could stand in as the prom queen for Barack Obama’s new post-racial America.
What voters are going for instead, the polls and consultants are saying, is pragmatics over ideology — but not if startled Hollywood has anything to say about it.
Harris’ physician-researcher mother, a Tamil immigrant from India, and her Stanford economics-professor father, an Afro-Caribbean from Jamaica, met as student activists at Berkeley. She was elected San Francisco D.A. seven years ago and has since been re-elected without opposition. Never married, Harris lives in a chic loft in San Francisco’s trendy South of Market neighborhood, where — as she recently told an interviewer — she’s happily working her way through Alice Waters’ latest cookbook.
Cooley, stocky and stolid at 63, is virtually a caricature of a grumpy old white guy. He looks rumpled even when well-dressed and wears a wry expression that somehow suggests that what he’d really like is another drink.