Grab the aux! Vice President Kamala Harris has released a playlist of African artists for her trip to the continent this week, in a move mimicking a trend former president Obama started in 2015. Cockburn wonders if this a sign of Kamala’s well-known ambitions to reach the highest office in the land, by channeling her inner Barack. Joe better watch out!
The list consists of songs by musicians from the three countries — Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia — where Harris is stopping during her visit.
Harris’s stated intent for her playlist is to “amplify artists and sounds from my travels around Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia.” Included in the twenty-five-song list are Moliy’s “Ghana Bop,” Chile One Mr. Zambia’s “I Love You” and Alikiba’s “Mahaba.”
The administration likely sees the cultural or people-to-people dimension as the strongest pillar of US-Africa relations — Moliy’s song, for one, definitely takes cues from US R’n’B so focusing on that is a savvy maneuver for the vice president.
Cockburn isn’t surprised to see the immensely unpopular Kamala trying to tap into the Obama magic. The former president still releases playlists for his fans around the country. And Obama’s 2022 playlist contains exactly the same number of songs on it as Harris’s Africa list. Coincidence? Cockburn thinks not.
As a popular Democratic president who comfortably won two elections, and has unparalleled popularity in the black community, it’s easy see why Harris wants to mirror the former commander-in-chief. While Biden seems unlikely to be going anywhere anytime soon, the Californian clearly has her heart set on sitting behind the Resolute Desk. Given her flameout in the 2020 contest, though, Harris will need all the help she can get if she ever hopes to do so.
Cockburn, for what it’s worth, hopes that Harris attempts yet more of Obama’s signature moves: singing, perhaps. Or podcasting. She’s certainly got the charisma for it…