(CNN)When Ellen DeGeneres asked Kamala Harris on Thursday whether or not she was going to run for president in 2020, the California Democrat pretended as though the idea of running for national office had never, ever occurred to her before that exact moment.
“Right now, we are in the early months of 2018,” Harris told DeGeneres, adding that she is laser focused on the uncertain fate of DACA recipients and trying to move an assault weapons ban forward in the Senate.
“These are immediate needs,” Harris said. “These are things I’m focused on right now.”
There’s roughly a 100% chance that Harris has thought about running for president. And that people aligned with her may have even begun reaching out to early primary and caucus states to see just how fertile the ground might be.
Harris is far from alone in twisting herself into a pretzel to avoid looking as though she might potentially be interested in running for president in two years’ time. Almost everyone this side of John Delaney plays ultra-coy when asked about whether they are interested in running for president.
The problem here is the way we, the political/media establishment, treat politicians: Like robots, not people.
At some point in the past — if I could “Back to the Future” to this moment I would — conventional wisdom was established that said that any politician who says they might be interested in another office at some point in the future was some sort of craven empty vessel.
How could they think of anything but what they are doing…