Home News VP Kamala Harris takes optimistic tone at Glencoe fundraiser

VP Kamala Harris takes optimistic tone at Glencoe fundraiser


A week after President Joe Biden’s latest campaign stop in Chicago, Vice President Kamala Harris appeared at a fundraiser in Glencoe, where she offered a message of hope for the Democratic ticket in November despite some polls that indicate otherwise.

“We are winning,” Harris said repeatedly to about 100 people gathered under a large tent in the yard of a Spanish villa-style lakefront mansion in the North Shore suburb.

“I think it’s very important for us to understand that momentum is on our side,” Harris said. “While we are so aware of the stakes, let’s know momentum is on our side. And let us understand then that in many ways, this campaign and this election is really about what I believe to be the promise of America.”

Harris said that momentum is evident by Democratic wins in the 2022 midterm election as well as the outcome of several state ballot measures that saw voters supporting abortion rights. She spoke of what she described as the “chaos” of former President Donald Trump’s administration, and the importance of having a president who leads with empathy.

“In the last several years, I think there is a certain perversion that has taken place, taken hold, that suggests that the measure of the strength of a leader is based on who you beat down — see the former president,” Harris said. “But what we all know is that the true measure of the strength of a leader is based on who you lift up.”

She said the Biden administration accomplishments including “breaking barriers” in funding infrastructure and creating jobs, as well as in investing in scientific research and clean energy initiatives.

Despite Harris’ optimism, a recent poll shows Trump leading in five of six key swing states ahead of November’s election, and Biden struggling with voters on such issues as Israel’s war in Gaza and immigration.

In a poll conducted by The New York Times, Siena College and the Philadelphia Inquirer, nearly 70% of voters said the nation’s political and economic systems need major changes or even to be torn down entirely, which is widely seen as unlikely with Biden in power.

She warned those at the fundraiser that the country’s democracy is always a tenuous proposition.

“Understanding that there’s a duality to the nature of democracy,” Harris said. “On the one hand, great strength when it is intact, what it does to protect individual liberties and freedoms, and on the other hand, its fragility. That it is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it. There is a direct connection between the promise of American and our willingness to fight for it”

Hours before Glencoe’s fundraising stop, Harris spoke at an event at the Milwaukee children’s  science museum Discovery World as part of her Economic Opportunity Tour promoting the Biden administration’s efforts to support community development.

With several White House officials, politicians and about 300 Black business owners in attendance, Harris was questioned onstage by comedian, radio host and author D.L. Hughley, who kicked off the conversation by joking, “it is so nice to be here with elected officials who are not under indictment.”

Harris acknowledged racial disparities in economic empowerment in communities such as  Milwaukee, calling out the ‘bootstrap theory’ of pulling oneself out of financial ruin “frankly facetious and wrong.”

“Not everyone has access to the information, but when they do have access — there’s no lack of ambition, ideas, work ethic — there’s no lack of that,” she said. “And that’s why I’m doing this tour.”

Chicago Tribune’s Rick Pearson contributed.

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