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Cockburn

Will the real Kamala Harris please stand up?

In defense of body doubles

November 2, 2020

3:54 PM

2 November 2020

3:54 PM

Florida is one of the closest and most critical states of the 2020 election, so it makes perfect sense for Kamala Harris to go there to rally the 3.4 percent of Democrats enthusiastic about her becoming president. And on Sunday, that’s exactly what Harris did…or did she?

Congressional candidate and QAnon enthusiast Laura Loomer is making an unlikely bid for Palm Beach’s congressional seat. While out campaigning on Sunday, Loomer claimed she ran into a Harris imposter, whom she immediately confronted.

Real or fake? Harris was in fact in South Florida on Saturday, but on Sunday she appears to have been in Georgia and North Carolina. And at a glance, the Kamaybe does seem to have different facial features than the prospective shadow president.


Even if that is a fake Kamala, of course, it’s probably just some local huckster rather than a centrally-planned deception (this is Florida, after all). But Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was famous for his legion of body doubles, so it’s fitting that as America lurches into Iraq-style sectarian conflict its competing factions accuse each other of using the same. Rumors that a fake Melania Trump trots around the country with the President have persisted throughout the Trump administration. There were even body double theories about President Trump himself during his brief coronavirus hospitalization, as if anybody else would be capable of such an impersonation.

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Cockburn could care less whether any of these people are real or fake. Instead, he would like to go on the record as emphatically pro-body double. Presidential candidates are already social constructs often bearing no relation to reality. In 2004, George W. Bush vanquished John Kerry thanks to the perception he was more of a ‘regular guy’ you would want to have a beer with, even though Bush was a Yale-educated patrician who didn’t drink. In 2016, Ohio governor John Kasich posed as an aw-shucks Midwesterner when in real life he is so famously unpleasant that he makes Hillary Clinton seem warm.

And in 2020, Democrats are putting forth ‘Joe Biden’ as a man eager to be president, which would no doubt surprise the confused old man going by that name in Wilmington, Delaware.

So why does it really matter if somebody pretends to be Kamala Harris? Kamala Harris herself is pretending to be Kamala Harris. The cold-blooded prosecutor sending people to state prison for marijuana offenses has become the proud pot-smoking crusader for criminal justice reform. The privileged mixed-race scion of a Stanford professor and an Indian cancer researcher now poses as a devout Baptist who loves Tupac. Given Harris’s abominable polling numbers last year, it’s entirely possible that an actor will be able to play the role better than the candidate herself. In fact, the only downside to having a Kamala Harris impersonator is that it seems like a suboptimal use of resources. The campaign’s would be far better off training an army of body doubles for more popular Democrats like Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, or The Rock. The last thing the Biden campaign needs to do is remind everyone that come January she’s as likely to be president as Biden himself.


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