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Who Is Kamala Harris? "Not a Woman to be Underestimated," Journalist Dan Morain Reports in New Bio

The first biography of Senator Kamala Harris will publish a week before she's sworn in as the nation's 49th Vice President next month, reported and written by a veteran California political journalist who's followed her career for 25 years.

Dan Morain, the former longtime Editorial Page Editor of the Sacramento Bee and staff reporter for the L.A. Times, joined Newsmakers on Wednesday to talk about "Kamala's Way: An American Life," a Simon & Schuster book due out January 12.

"People have underestimated her" throughout Harris's quarter century rise up the political ladder, Morain told us. "She's not a woman to be underestimated."

With the Democratic ticket's defeat of Donald Trump, Harris instantly became an iconic American political figure - shattering barriers as the first woman, the first African-American and the first Indian-American elected to the office a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Her sudden global celebrity and status as a role model for girls and people of color was forged in a long and challenging career of controversy, conflicts and struggle as a local, state and federal office-holder, however.

Morain tells the full story in a project that came about serendipitously, as the result of a freelance op-ed he wrote about her for the Washington Post in August, shortly after Joe Biden picked her as his running mate.

He wasn't planning on doing a book on Harris, but was well positioned to pull it off on a tough turnaround deadline when the offer came, having closely covered her years as state Attorney General and election to the U.S. Senate as a Sacramento-based editorialist and columnist.

He spent the past three months hustling to fill in gaps in his knowledge about her years amid the political brawls of San Francisco, her childhood and family in the Bay Area and her personal life and friendships, reporting that he says gave him appreciation for a warm and compassionate side of her character that does not always shine through when she's in the media spotlight.

Soon to be established as the go-to guy on Kamala for cable news, Morain remains one of the smartest and most experienced chroniclers of California's political scene. In our conversation, he also offers his view on whom Gov. Gavin Newsom may appoint to replace Harris in the Senate, as well as his take on how Prince Gavin is weathering the scandal of violating his own Covid safety rules at a celebratory dinner for one of Sacramento's leading lobbyists at one of the nation's most exclusive and pricey restaurants.

If you're on the blog, watch our conversation with Dan Morain via YouTube below; if you're reading our email newsletter, click through on this link and...the podcast version is here. Morain's book is available for pre-order on Amazon here.


Images: Cover of "Kamala's Way: An American Life."; Dan Morain.

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