Former SF Mayor Willie Brown tells Kamala Harris to 'politely decline' VP slot to pursue AG post

The senator from California and former prosecutor reportedly is a top contender to be Joe Biden's running mate.

Published: August 10, 2020 8:14am

Updated: August 10, 2020 9:58am

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown is advising Senator Harris (D-Calif.) to turn down the vice presidency slot, should Joe Biden issue the offer. Instead, Brown says, she should ask to be considered for the attorney general position.

"Historically, the vice presidency has often ended up being a dead end. For every George H.W. Bush, who ascended from the job to the presidency, there’s an Al Gore, who never got there," wrote Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle over the weekend. 

Beyond the potentially "dead end" nature of the VP slot, Brown cited the distinction between the ephemeral quality of electoral politics and what he called the "legitimate power" of the attorney general. "From atop the Justice Department, the boss can make a real mark on everything from police reform to racial justice to prosecuting corporate misdeeds. And the attorney general gets to name every U.S. attorney in the country. That’s power," wrote Brown. 

Brown, who previously has discussed the extramarital affair he conducted with Kamala Harris at the start of her career, believes Harris's path toward the White House runs through the Department of Justice. "Being attorney general would give Harris enough distance from the White House to still be a viable candidate for the top slot in 2024 or 2028," he wrote. 

The former mayor has also written that he "influenced" Harris's early career by appointing her to two state commissions and assisting with her first race for district attorney in San Francisco. 

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