The Truths We Hold: An American Journey is more of a campaign ploy than a biography, NPR concluded in its review of Sen. Kamala Harris's (D-CA) new book. It may have been promoted as the latter, but it was clear to NPR's Danielle Kurtzleben what the author's goal was: to prove to Americans that she's qualified to be president.
"If a great book is a sumptuous meal, the campaign book is a bottle of Soylent," Kurtzleben writes.
At first read it may seem like Harris is just reliving her childhood and adult years, but every chapter has an ulterior motive, Kurtzleben explains.
Her childhood shows us the values that she received from her mother. The section about her time as a district attorney and then as California's attorney general allows her to tout her accomplishments and lay out her policy positions. Talking about her time in the Senate allows her to further expound upon her positions — and also to contrast herself with President Trump, whom she presumably hopes to face in a general election.
The NPR reviewer goes on to observe how Harris only mentions President Obama when it's beneficial. For instance, she "approvingly name-checks" him certain parts of the book, but when she sounds off on the 2014 immigration policy that forced immigrant families back, she fails to note that it was Obama who presided over that policy.
Kurtzleben picks out other lines from Harris's book that could be easily used as campaign slogans, such as, "Kamala Harris, for the people." Yet, Sen. Harris has yet to announce her 2020 plans. She did say on "The View," however, that America is "absolutely" ready for a woman of color to step into the Oval Office.
There's one other issue with The Truths We Told. Pictured in the book is Harris's former, and now disgraced aide Larry Wallace. Wallace resigned over sexual harassment allegations in December. He and his accuser agreed to a $400,000 settlement. Still, in the book, Harris praises Wallace for his "leadership."
Recently when asked about the controversy, Harris said she wasn't aware of the allegations against Wallace, noting that she was trying to run a staff of 5,000 people. However, she takes "full responsibility" for it.