“I think, frankly, it’s not a bad calculation. ... She needs time to ramp up and know all the issues. She definitely doesn’t want a 'Katie Couric-Sarah Palin’ moment,” Levinson said, referring to the disastrous interview when Palin was a vice presidential candidate in 2008.
“There’s a big difference between being an attorney general and a U.S. senator,” and answers to the complex questions ahead may require a lot of in-depth preparation, Levinson said. That’s especially true in the age of social media, where answers live forever on YouTube and other sites.
Levinson said there’s no danger that Harris will be put in the same camp as Meg Whitman, the 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate who famously sidestepped reporters’ questions, literally running away from them at one point.
Harris “has seen the microphone before and seems to enjoy it,” Levinson said. “I don’t think she will implode, but she has kicked off her campaign much earlier than other candidates and she is someone who wants finessed answers.”
Harris may also be betting that it is “more harmful for her to have a fairly substantive mistake than it is not to invite the press” to a fundraiser, though she added that in the future, media access will be vital to her perception as a credible candidate.
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