Kamala Harris: Democrat ends bid for US presidency

Democratic White House hopeful Kamala Harris is dropping out of the presidential race.

The California senator's campaign seemed full of promise when it launched in January, but she struggled to make headway in a crowded field.

In November her cash-strapped bid laid off staff at its Baltimore HQ and in New Hampshire and her home state.

The 55-year-old, a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, was once seen as a rising star within the party.

But she could not cement her fleeting position in the top tier of candidates alongside Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

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Ms Harris entered the race as a leading contender, launching her bid to a crowd of 22,000 in Oakland, California, at the beginning of the year.

She reached double digits in the polls after attacking Mr Biden on the issue of race during a live TV debate in June, but she began to lag in recent months.

Skip Twitter post by @KamalaHarris

To my supporters, it is with deep regret—but also with deep gratitude—that I am suspending my campaign today.

But I want to be clear with you: I will keep fighting every day for what this campaign has been about. Justice for the People. All the people.https://t.co/92Hk7DHHbR

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 3, 2019

End of Twitter post by @KamalaHarris

"I've taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life," Ms Harris said in an email to supporters on Tuesday.

"My campaign for president simply doesn't have the financial resources we need to continue.

"I'm not a billionaire. I can't fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it's become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete."

She held a conference call with staff earlier in the day to inform them of her decision.

Her husband, Douglas Emhoff, tweeted a message of support to her.

Campaigning in Mason City, Iowa, Mr Biden paid tribute to his former rival.

He said: "My reaction is she is a first-rate intellect, a first-rate candidate."

He added: "I have mixed emotions about it because she is really a solid, solid person, and loaded with talent.

"I'm sure she's not dropping out on wanting to make the changes she cares about."

Other candidates were also quick to pay tribute.

Skip Twitter post by @AndrewYang

I am stunned that Kamala Harris is suspending her campaign. She is one of my favorite people to share time with on the trail. So warm, smart, fiery and a true public servant. She offered my family help and guidance when she didnt need to. Kamala I will see you soon.

— Andrew Yang? (@AndrewYang) December 3, 2019

End of Twitter post by @AndrewYang

Skip Twitter post by @amyklobuchar

Kamala is a good friend and incredibly strong public servant. Sometimes campaigns can tear friendships apart but we have grown closer. Her good work will continue.

— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) December 3, 2019

End of Twitter post by @amyklobuchar

Ms Harris, a former San Francisco attorney general, had already qualified for the next round of Democratic debates, to be held later this month in her home state.

But polling showed her in the single digits in national surveys as well as those conducted in early-voting states.

After initially raising $12m in the first three months of her campaign, she failed to harness momentum.

Lofty expectations lead to dashed hopes

January's launch event in Oakland felt like the beginning of something big – a presidential campaign with money, national organisation and a young, charismatic candidate whose background was as diverse as the party she wanted to lead.

The former state attorney general and prosecutor from nearby San Francisco gave a speech full of lofty rhetoric, saying that the 2020 presidential election would be about the "right to moral leadership" of the entire planet.

Now her campaign won't be around to see 2020, let alone the November general election.

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