As primary election season began earlier in the year, congressional Democrats quietly made it clear they did not want the endorsement of President Joe Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris. Over the last year, their approval ratings have cratered into the high 30s or low 40s. Some may believe backing from either could empower their challenger.
In one race in California, however, a campaign is embracing the Biden-Harris seal of support. Los Angeles Democratic mayoral candidate Karen Bass faces tough prospects against a former Republican turned Democrat in one of America’s bluest cities. Many wonder if the White House endorsement will help or hurt her. Challenger Rick Caruso may use establishment rhetoric to show she’s just more of the same in a city embracing change.
Campaign Gleefully Embraces Biden and Harris
Bass currently serves in Congress in an LA congressional district where she’s been for nearly a decade. Over that time, she’s become part of the Democratic establishment in Washington, DC, and is the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
In a statement, Biden and Harris said the congresswoman was a good friend who earned their respect as a legislator. They noted the candidate fought for crime prevention, fair policing, and the welfare of families and children.
Bass stated the endorsement was a “true honor” and looked forward to working with the administration. She also received affirmation from Hillary Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and numerous other elected officials on the Left.
At one point during the 2020 presidential election, Biden considered her as his running mate but ultimately chose Kamala Harris.
Could a Presidential Endorsement Hurt?
Bass’ challenger, Rick Caruso, has a complicated relationship with the Democratic Party. In January, he changed his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. Anyone that has an “R” behind one’s name in the City of Angels isn’t likely to win a mayoral race.
After Biden and Harris announced their support, Caruso came out firing on all cylinders. He tweeted that the endorsement couldn’t hide Bass’ record of failure.
He went on to say Bass has proven unable to solve the homeless problem, crime, and corruption. Caruso stated the president’s injection into the local campaign had nothing to do with the choice before voters, which is about a positive change.
Some believe the election results will come down to a single question: Who can fix the mess in LA?
While establishment Democrats support Bass, Caruso is backed by celebrities such as Snoop Dog, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katy Perry, former Mayor Richard Riordan, business groups, police associations, tech billionaire Elon Musk, and more. Some argue her endorsements show she’s more of the same, and the challenger hopes to show voters she won’t change a thing in one of America’s largest cities.
Neither the former mayor nor California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) have chimed in on the race.