This is Round 23, and I’m Molly Roberts, taking up Christine Emba’s millennial mantle to bring generational justice to our rankings. You’re welcome, Pete Buttigieg.

The Commentary

Who in the world is Kamala Harris?

She’s a California senator, of course. She’s a former prosecutor. She’s a mother (kids, meet Momala). And, most important for our purposes, she’s a top-tier candidate, with poll after poll solidifying her claim.

But who Harris really is, on the level of values and deeply held beliefs and all the other stubborn things that make a person a person, is much harder to pin down. On an end to private insurance, she has flipped and flopped and flipped again. She slammed Joe Biden for his stance on school busing in the ’70s, but then, asked about her own position, she flipped and flopped some more before ending up somewhere awfully near her disgraced rival. Harris even seems to have trouble deciding how she feels about her prosecutor years: liability, or boon for someone who has pledged herself to taking down the country’s predator in chief?

Then again, unabashedly being who you are might be overrated. Just look at “big f-ing deal” Biden, who recently laid himself bare in an impromptu interview when he declared his strategy is to “beat them, without changing the system.” This was only slightly more flattering than his nostalgic reminiscences of working with segregationists.

Sticking to deeply held beliefs can backfire, too. Elizabeth Warren promised not to host high-dollar fundraisers during the primaries — and she hasn’t. But she’s earning some flak for headlining a big-ticket Democratic National Committee event to support the eventual nominee. Never hold yourself to a lofty standard, or others will raise it to infinity.

Mostly, Harris can take comfort in this: It’s much better for people not to know who you really are than not know who you are at all. America bid a halfhearted goodbye this week to someone named Eric Swalwell, and just like that, there was one fewer straight white guy in the game … for a full 21 hours. Hello to Tom Steyer, and congrats to the Democrats on increasing the diversity of the field by one billionaire. Just fodder for another food fight for Momala to shut down in the next debate.

— Molly Roberts

The Ranking

Position
Challenger
Change Over Last Ranking
1.
Joe Biden
UP 2
2.
Kamala D. Harris
DOWN 1
3.
Elizabeth Warren
DOWN 1
4.
Bernie Sanders
5.
Pete Buttigieg
6.
Cory Booker
7.
Amy Klobuchar
UP 1
8.
Beto O’Rourke
UP 2
9.
Julián Castro
UP 2
10.
Michael Bennet
DOWN 1
11.
Tim Ryan
UP 1
12.
Seth Moulton
RETURNS TO RANKING
13. (TIE)
Stacey Abrams
RETURNS TO RANKING
13. (TIE)
Tulsi Gabbard
ADDS TO RANKING
13. (TIE)
Jay Inslee
RETURNS TO RANKING

Falls off ranking: John Delaney, Bill de Blasio, Kirsten Gillibrand, Marianne Williamson

Also receiving votes: Steve Bullock, Delaney, Williamson, Andrew Yang

No votes, but let’s comment anyway: Tom Steyer, Eric Swalwell

Don’t forget to click on the yellow highlighted text above to expand the Ranking Committee’s annotations. Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments. We’ll see you for the next ranking. Until then, know thyself. You might be the only person who does.

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