Published August, 10, 2018.
Aminatou: Welcome to Call Your Girlfriend. Ann: A podcast for long-distance besties everywhere. Aminatou: I'm Aminatou Sow. Ann: And I'm Ann Friedman. Aminatou: Whew, child, today on the podcast we have a very special guest. I'm going to let her introduce herself. Kamala: My name is Kamala Harris and I am a United States senator from California and there you go. Aminatou: Woo! [Theme Song] (1:50) Ann: Does it ever get old saying that? Kamala: My name? Yeah, I mean . . . [Laughter] Ann: I was going to say "And I'm the United States senator . . ." Kamala: I've been saying my name for years. It does get old. Aminatou: Does it drive you crazy that people say your name wrong? Kamala: Yeah, it does sometimes. You know what I actually think? I'm sure there's a study that's been done for those of us who have names that are frequently mispronounced. I'm sure there is something in character development about having an experience over and over again of this: do I correct that person or not? [Laughter] Right? And there are some times when I don't and some times when I do. And I think it's interesting how one's character might actually be influenced by having a lifelong experience with being in that situation where you're having potentially a very intimate conversation with someone who is continually mispronouncing your name. [Laughs] Ann: Right. Or something that they might perceive as confrontational when you're really just like these are the facts. Kamala: And that's the other point, and especially as a woman, right? Because we have that example in so many things. Do we correct? Is it going to be interpreted as challegning someone as opposed to just kind of expecting that we will be honest and not have somebody assume that that's an attack? Ann: Right, right. The reason I asked if it ever gets old to say that, and "I'm a United States senator," is in the grand scheme of the senate you are relatively new to the job. Kamala: Yes, yeah. 18 months. Ann: Yeah! And we're wondering maybe if you can talk about what at this point you consider your biggest win or the thing that when you're like wow, when I look back at those 18 months, this is the thing that I want top of the resume. Kamala: I'll tell you, one of the things I think for me is most important is the role that I serve on the various committees that I'm on which are oversight committees. Like let's be clear, those committees exist to watch and question what is going on with our government, with the United States government. So I'm on senate intelligence. I'm on homeland security. I'm on judiciary. And the accomplishment then for me is a function of what I think my role should be, and often especially in the last 18 months it has been to try and get at the truth. (4:12) And so the accomplishment and the goal is to always make sure that we are being -- and the system is being as transparent as possible, and frankly that the American public has the answers and that we're being told the truth. And when that happens I feel a sense of accomplishment and when it doesn't happen I feel a sense of frustration. [Laughs] Ann: So how have you been feeling lately? [Laughs] Kamala: Yeah, it's so funny. So there is this well -- okay, so to get into the capitol where we vote you get off the train and there's this well. A couple yards away is the escalator to go up to the capitol. In that well is a swarm or whatever the word is, gaggle or whatever the word is for a lot of press people. [Laughter] And so they're there with cameras and notepads and recorders. So you go through that well and they constantly ask questions almost every day. And a friend of mine said "Kamala, you know, I watch you in these interviews and you just keep using some version of the word troubled." [Laughter] So I'm troubled. It's troubling. It was a troubling moment. It's trouble, trouble, trouble. And he said to me "Why don't you just tell them what you tell me? It's a hot mess." [Laughter] Aminatou: Why don't you though? Ann: Yeah. Kamala: I have started to say that, or some version of that, which is also troubled or troubling. Aminatou: I'm so glad that you brought that up because the worst thing about me is how much cable TV news I watch every day. Kamala: Yeah, you've got to slow that down a little. Aminatou: It's just bad news. You know, I'm two weeks sober. It's fine. Ann: It's only because I'm in town. Aminatou: It's true. Ann is sleeping where my television is so I have no access to it. But you know there is something for those of us who are home and are -- just the mess is very hot. Things are bad. Objectively things are very, very, very bad. It's like when I think about the family separation issues. Kamala: Yep. Aminatou: And just the onslaught of news that we're having, to sit at home and hear all of our elected representatives go up there and say "I'm troubled, this is disappointing," it is almost maddening for us at home. I'm like I am calling my friends and I'm screaming and I'm angry, and it is an onslaught. It's like there's too much. There's too much incoming so I understand that making that triage is hard. But I do wonder if that's something you think about in your job because we're calling the offices constantly. We're doing all the things we're supposed to be doing and we're looking for adults in the room in some regards. Kamala: Yeah. Aminatou: And to hear our elected representatives just have these tepid feelings about things is something that, you know, that's troubling to me. [Laughs] (7:05) Kamala: Yeah, that's right. So here's the thing: part of what I would say is I see things that they're not necessarily depicted every day on cable news but are also things that give me a great deal of excitement and optimism and hope. I see thousands of dreamers, since the beginning of last year, who have descended on the United States capitol. They are traveling by car, by train, by bus. God knows how they're affording. I'm sure they're sleeping at that point ten deep on somebody's living room floor. Who have been traveling to the United States capitol because they truly believe if they walk those halls and are able to tell those stories and be seen that it will matter. They believe in our democracy. (7:55) I have seen the same with the thousands of Parkland kids which now is not only the kids from Florida but from Chicago and Compton and all over the country descending, activating, to make sure they are heard and to make our democracy actually do its thing which is to let all voices be heard. The number of parents with children, many of whom were severely disabled, who you know, went through incredible effort to travel to go to the United States capitol around the fight on the Affordable Care Act . . . so I have seen really beautiful moments that represent who I believe we really and truly are as a country which is a country of people 1) that will stand up and fight for the best of who we are and who are activated and are not dispirited and are optimistic. Because after all if you're going to be in a fight you have to be optimistic that you can win. And so there is a version of the fight that is also about optimism, and I am optimistic. I do believe that we are facing challenges like we have never seen before. We are seeing some of the worst of behavior. I do see and know that it is clear that we have powerful voices that are trying to sow hate and division among us but I see also people who have been activated and turned on and they're not going to turn off. They're going to stay involved. And that's going to be what ends up prevailing I do believe, and it's going to take some time but I believe that. Ann: Are you even an optimist when it comes . . . like when I think about the things that I feel most despairing about, it's stuff like are you optimistic about blocking Kavanaugh? That's one of those things where it feels like post-carding into the void. [Laughs] (9:45) Kamala: Yeah, but you know, go back to the fight on the Affordable Care Act. From the very beginning, first of all seven years under the Obama administration, there were those who tried to obstruct and stop it at every step of the way because it was his administration that pushing it. Even though it was one of the most significant public policy initiatives that we'd seen since social security. You know, it's not without its flaws but it was pivotal in terms of making sure that many more people would have access to healthcare. Women would not have to deal with preexisting conditions as being the barrier to getting insurance and getting coverage. And so they tried, they tried, they failed. It passed. And then this administration came in and made it their number one priority and for almost nine months made it their number one priority. And what happened? People took to the streets. They also made the point that so many of these issues are not even bipartisan, they're nonpartisan like healthcare, right? Aminatou: Only the [0:10:38] healthcare, sorry. That's what we're told. Kamala: Exactly, right? And what ended up happening? From the very beginning everyone said there's no way. When we don't control the House, we don't control the Senate, we don't control the White House there's no way we can win this. And we won. We have to remember the victories in order to also recognize that this is doable but it's not going to be without effort. Aminatou: Remembering the victims I'm like they seem so few and far between sometimes. [Laughs] And some of the defeats are huge. It's like I still remember when Gorsuch got -- he flew through his nomination it seemed like. Ann: Troubling. Kamala: Deeply troubling. Aminatou: Very troubling. And thinking the arc of that nomination, starting with Merrick Garland and how in my imagination I was like that was actually when we should've taken to the street. I'm optimistic about a lot of things. I'm not optimistic about them maybe in my lifetime. But it does feel to me like a lot of times we also do not learn from the mistakes that we have made as progressives and from a lot of the inertia that we've had. And so I wonder if that's something that you think about when you're making your -- in the strategies and the work that you're doing. (11:58) Kamala: Yeah, so I want to say another thing about optimism. I don't think that our optimism is about denial. Our optimism is -- we are very clear-eyed with what's not working, right? And we know we are better than this. And that is optimism as far as I'm concerned. We know we're better than this and so we need to fight for that and for who we are. Optimism. Born out of the reality of knowing that the vast majority of us have so much more in common than what separates us in spite of these forces that are trying to sell hate and division. I reject that. People say we're divided. I'm not going to buy into that because I know that for the vast majority of us when we wake up in the middle of the night with that thing that has been weighing on us, that worry at 3:00 in the morning, waking up with a cold sweat, when we are waking up with that thought it is never through the lens of the party with which we're registered to vote. It is never through the lens of some demographic a pollster put us in. And for the vast majority of us that thought has to do with one of just a very few things: our personal health; the health of our parents or our children; can I get a job, keep a job, pay the bills by the end of the month, retired with dignity and pay off our student loans? The vast majority of us have so much more in common than what separates us. And some people would say that is an optimistic thought. I think it is. But it is also the truth. And so we're just going to have to . . . I think to your point about being fatigued we've got to be in this for the long haul and in order for this to be a sustainable movement we have to understand that we are fighting for something and not against something. So it's about perspective but with eyes clear -- clear eyes and open eyes and being honest and speaking truths. So truths, right? Let's speak truths. If Charlottesville didn't make it clear -- if it wasn't clear before Charlottesville makes it clear, racism is real in this country. Sexism is real in this country. Homophobia is real in this country. Antisemitism is real in this country. Let's speak those truths so we can deal with it. Let's speak truth. Sexual harassment in the workplace is real in this country. Let's speak truth. We are a nation of immigrants and so to suggest that we are going to have border security by ripping babies from their mothers is ridiculous and antithetical to who we are. Let's speak these truths, right? (14:35) And this is part of this fight: speaking truths even if they make people uncomfortable but doing it with the optimism of knowing that when we speak truth we will . . . we will create trust in a way that doesn't exist right now and trust is a step towards a much healthier environment. Ann: I definitely agree with all of that. [Laughs] And I think where I get hung up is I think that things that are no-brainer, you know, positives for the kind of middle of the night concerns that you described are in fact when you take them -- put them in the form of legislation and take them to Capitol Hill are in fact very controversial or deeply partisan. And I'm wondering where you are feeling like some strategic momentum to take that a step further policy-wise? Kamala: Yeah. I've got a couple of examples. One is on the issue of the cash bail system in the United States. So I have long been an advocate for what we need to do to reform the criminal justice system. I was an elected district attorney of San Francisco. I was the attorney general of California. We need to reform the criminal justice system in this country. There are huge inequities based on race, often based on gender, and certainly based on income. (15:52) So cash bail. Basically we have a system in this country that once you've been charged with a crime, while you're waiting to go to trial for the facts to be presented, if you have money you can pay bail and you get out waiting to go to trial for what can be weeks, months, even years. If you don't have money you don't get out. That's not fair. That's basically saying if you are a poor person you're going to sit in jail and if you're a rich person you're going to get out. And that's not about justice being blind, right? So it's completely and obviously unfair. It's not only a criminal justice issue; it's an economic justice issue. So I created a bill a year ago, presented it, saying let's reform the system and get rid of the cash bail system by replacing it with a risk assessment system. You know who my co-sponsor is? Aminatou: Rand Paul. Kamala: Rand Paul. Ann: We read that op-ed. Aminatou: We read the op-ed. [Laughter] Kamala: So let me tell you we did the op-ed in the New York Times, right? The op-ed drops and I think okay, well Rand Paul's constituency is very different than my constituency and I wonder how Rand Paul is doing now that his constituency knows. I was like I need to call up the old boy and see how he's doing right? [Laughter] And I got in touch with him and I said "Hey Rand, you good? You doing good? How you doing?" And you know what he said to me? He said "Kamala, Appalachia loves this." Because again we have much more in common than what separates us. His constituents know that this is an unfair system, that this is an economic justice issue. So that's one example. (17:25) Another example, I've got a bill that is basically saying 1) that we have an affordable housing crisis in this country and for people who are renting it is -- you know, we have rising costs for housing and stagnant wages and the fact is in America today in 99% of the counties in America if you are a minimum wage worker working 40 hours a week, in 99% of the counties in America today, you cannot afford a one bedroom apartment that's at market rate. Whoa. So my bill is saying if your work plus utilities is more than 30% of your income you get a tax credit. That's a red/blue issue. That is an issue that crosses every demographic and I suspect that there's going to be bipartisan support for that. So these are the kinds of examples where we reject the notion that we are divided because on some of the most fundamental issues we have much more in common than what separates us. The guy who is waking up in you name your red state and all of the stereotypes that come with that demographic, who's waking up in the middle of the night, that guy and the woman who's waking up in you name your blue state and whatever that stereotype is of that demographic, when they wake up in the middle of the night they're having the same thought. Ann: So I'm curious about then . . . so go back to the bail reform bill for example. Kamala: Yeah. Ann: Rand loves it. Rand's people loves it. What's the prognosis throughout the rest of the Senate? Kamala: We're going to have to keep pushing it and we're looking to get bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats and we're actively working on that. And I expect that if folks are going to really look at what their constituents want instead of looking at it through a lens that's about partisan obstructionism we're going to get a good level of support for it, for something that is so basically and obviously a flaw in our system. And it is a flaw that is targeted against working people, against poor people, and the equities just don't enforce the need to continue to have a cash bail system in this country. And that's why I'm leading on that. Aminatou: Wow, Rand Paul. (19:45) Ann: I know. Did not expect to talk so much about him today. Aminatou: Okay gang, we're going to take a break and BRB with Senator Kamala Harris. [Ads and Music] (22:45) Ann: I'm going to ask one more policy-type question but this one is hard because when we think about the positions you've taken publicly and your record we're like yes, yes, yes, pounding that like button. Aminatou: Yes, yes, yes. [Laughter] Ann: And a recent example of something where we did not understand your position was your vote on SESTA and FOSTA, the legislation that shut down online sex work platforms including Backpage. And much of the public conversation was about sex trafficking and your statement was like "I don't like sex trafficking, definitely 100," and you also expressed something . . . Aminatou: Like a first amendment issue. Ann: Which you acknowledged. But I think for us we saw that as largely a labor issue, you know? Kamala: Tell me what you mean by labor issue. Ann: Basically that it was a platform for sex workers to safely do their jobs, or with more control. And what I think we were reading and hearing from people in that profession is that was going to make their lives more difficult and more dangerous. Aminatou: And more dangerous, yeah. Ann: And I'm curious if some of that feedback has reached you and if so how you've responded. (23:55) Kamala: Well first of all I've spent a large part of my career -- in fact the majority of my career -- working on issues that are crimes against women and children. A vast majority of those as it relates to sexual assault and to domestic violence and human trafficking. So that's been part of my life's work and I'm very, very familiar with the issues and I have personally sat down with I can't tell you how many victims of those kinds of crimes. And the issue with Backpage, I actually have history with Backpage. I have been advocating for years that Backpage needs to shut down and they wouldn't because they were incredibly arrogant. And they had a business model that was about in particular -- and this was the reason that I called for them to shut down -- they were trafficking off of selling children, minors. So yeah, I want them to shut down and I'm glad they had to and I'm glad those guys are being prosecuted and I'm never going to defend their content. Never. Now the idea of protecting sex workers is absolutely something I care about as well. Absolutely. And I can tell you countless cases where I have sat down with also sex workers who have been the victims of crime and survivors of crime because they were not protected, because we relegated them to some kind of moral classification that suggested they're not worthy of or deserving of protection and dignity. And I reject those kinds of policies as well. But on that particular issue that was as much as anything for me an issue about protecting vulnerable people and looking at in the case of Backpage folks who were profiting off the exploitation of girls and boys. Ann: So that feedback in terms of the perspective of sex workers, basically the labor issue as we see it, has reached you? (26:00) Kamala: Yeah, and that's legitimate. That's a legitimate issue and it's been around for a while and I support that. I support the need for those women, and there are men also who are sex workers, and the need that they rightly have for protection and support and dignity as workers who are voluntarily and not being the subject of any kind of coercion or trafficking, I totally protect the right they have to have safety in their workplace. Yeah. Aminatou: I want to talk about something a little different. So you are the daughter of two immigrants. You grew up in Oakland. You go to Howard. You rise through the ranks of the Democratic Party. What do you think that it means, particularly after the last election, that one of the main takeaways is in order to get back to the center people are supposed to dial back their identity? Because that's a thing obviously we talk a lot about here and you can already see me roll my eyes. Even just saying that, dial back your identity, is something I truly do not understand. So I'm curious how you navigate that. Kamala: Well I reject it, and I agree with you. I reject it. When we're talking about identity . . . it's a pejorative, identity politics. It really is. It's an attempt by some to marginalize certain issues. But let's be clear, back to the point of the cash bail system or the issue of rent, it equally impacts poor people. [Laughs] And then yeah, so let's look at . . . certainly then let's also talk about the fact that when you look for example at incomes and you compare a woman, a woman of color, an African-American woman or a Latina, to a white man, we have huge disparities in this country. We need to deal with that. You call that identity politics? I would say that's an American issue. [Laughs] That's not any one identity issue. It's our issue of identifying as Americans. That's an issue. That's a problem. (28:10) So I reject that motion. I think it is an attempt to marginalize conversations that are about inequities based on gender and based on race. And if we're ever going to deal with these realities we have to dispense with notions that it is an issue that is only of concern to someone of a specific background. It should be of concern to everybody. I'll put this in another context that is not often discussed: the hacking by the Russians of the United States election. So okay, Kamala shows the math on that. That was a big leap. [Laughter] Ann: I know, I was doing the Julia Roberts math . . . Kamala: Okay, so let me show you the connection: it is a matter of public reporting and it is public conversation. First of all it is a fact, despite those who would challenge it, Russia interfered with the election of the president of the United States of America. It is a fact. Unanimous finding by the intelligence community of the United States. So what is also a non-disputed fact was the intention was to create a disharmony in the American public around our democracy, to create distrust in our democracy as a way to cripple us so that we can no longer be the power that we otherwise were perceived to be. Okay? So it was an intentional attempt to make us weak, to so distrust among Americans. (29:45) So what is also known is that then -- so that was the goal. What was the method? How do you do that? Well they tried out a number of different things but the thing that caught fire was the issue of race. Aminatou: I wonder why. [Laughs] Kamala: No, no, but the point is . . . Aminatou: Tell me. Kamala: I want you to think about the issue of race as being unaddressed. The racial disharmony, the racial inequities, as being unaddressed and so we think about it in the context of what is fair and what justice will look like. But think about it also in the context of national security, that an adversary figured out that one of the biggest vulnerabilities in the United States of America is its still un-dealt with issue of race. And so on the basis of that knowledge, that that was our vulnerability. Not the variety of other things that could be perceived to be our vulnerability. That was our vulnerability. They attacked us based on that. Think that through. Aminatou: I mean I'm thinking it through, but I know that. It doesn't surprise me. It doesn't surprise me in the sense where people who are not American see that clearly that race is a huge . . . Kamala: Of course. Oh yeah, no. Aminatou: It's a huge liability. It is a serious blind spot. The way that I would return that question to you is then what is our government going to do about that? Kamala: But before we get to answer that question, because that is the question, I would ask you you are aware of that. Do you think that the vast majority of Americans are aware of that? Aminatou: No, I do not believe the vast majority of Americans are aware of that. Kamala: Right. And that's the issue also, right? There is a huge hole in our game in terms of Americans understanding that that is a vulnerability on the issue of national security. And so even if you don't . . . Aminatou: Do you think that your colleagues understand that? Kamala: I think some do and I think some don't and that scares me. And I think not enough of them do know it in a way that they're prepared to do something about it which is let's eliminate our vulnerability. Let's deal with consequence and accountability in terms of what Russia did but let's also deal with the prevention piece of it, right? I have always said in terms of my perspective on criminal justice, you know, the failure of criminal justice policy in this country is that we have been reactive instead of understanding prevention is actually more effective at creating safe communities. You know, so deal with things like education. Deal with things like access to job training. Deal with poverty and those things that actually cause people to get in a cycle that may result in a threat to public safety, right? Let's deal with prevention instead of reaction. Aminatou: Yeah. (32:45) Kamala: So on that theory, right? It's the public health theory. The public health model taught us well. You want to deal with an economic, crime or health, the smartest, most effective, and cheapest way to deal with it is prevention first. If you're dealing with it in the emergency room or the prison system, too late. Too expensive. Prevention. So on that point national security, Russia, hacking. Vulnerability, race. So if we want to erase the vulnerability we need to deal with the issue of race in this country and at least take that off the table as part of our vulnerability that allows us to be attacked in such a crude and obvious way. Ann: So I have so many other questions to ask you but I want to come back to that point of how does that translate to policy? Like essentially the tools at our and at your disposal. This is a thing that trips a lot of people up. It's like okay, even if you can agree as all of us in this room do that this is a core vulnerability and core -- the root of so many problems in America, what on a policy level will address that meaningfully? (33:45) Kamala: You start with not saying there are good people on both sides of Charlottesville. Let's start there. Ann: Listen . . . Aminatou: Listen . . . [Laughter] Kamala: There are some places to start. You know, then it is about dealing with issues like disparities and acknowledging them. You can't deal with a problem if you fail to acknowledge its existence and that gets back to what prompted this discussion, this label of identity politics. That's a way of trying to shut people up on the issue of race or gender. That is an attempt to shut people up. And so my point is I'm not shutting up. And so you can use whatever names you want to put on it but I know what that is an attempt to do: it's an attempt to take that off the table for discussion and it's an attempt to take it off the table to first of all acknowledge that it exists. Aminatou: Speaking of shutting up I think one of the core moments, like reaction moments that a lot of people listen to us, that we've all seen, was the way that some of your colleagues treated you when you were asking -- you know, you were doing your job. You were doing your committee job by questioning witnesses and they tried to really minimize your voice and your role in that. I wondered if you could speak to . . . especially, you know, we have like a younger kind of audience that listens too and that's an issue that never goes away. It's like men telling you to shut up even though, you know, I want to jump into the TV because I'm like are you kidding? We send our best champion all the time. You people -- meaning the men -- I'm like some of you send your bozos to Congress a lot of times. So to me the visual of the only black female senator, that is not lost on me. It's 2018 and there is one black woman. Kamala: And I'm only the second in the history of the United States. Aminatou: Thank you California, sending women to the Senate. But that visual is not lost on me. Kamala: Yeah. Aminatou: And then watching . . . you know, I'm like you are also . . . these people might not know but she's a lawyer. [Laughs] This is what she does. There are a few other people here. How do you deal with that? Do you go back in private and be like don't ever do that again? What is the . . . like what is the way you navigate those office politics? Because you still work in an office. (36:05) Kamala: So I have two points there. One is in terms of my personal experience my role as I perceive it to be is to get to the truth. And I'm acutely aware there are those who do not want us to speak the truth or know the truth. So that experience for me was not about somebody trying to shut me up; it was about trying to shut down the truth. So that was how I experienced it and frankly having been a courtroom lawyer it was part of actually my everyday experience that people would object. I mean this is what happens actually, objection. [Laughter] Ann: Literal. Kamala: Literal, like literally. So it's actually something that I'm really used to and then you just keep going. But the second point I'll make is this, which is the second point that you're raising: for so many of us we are throughout our careers and our lifetimes, have been and will be the only one like us in that room. And it will be in that boardroom or that meeting room or that courtroom and we will be for many of us the only one like us based on our gender, based on our race, based on our life experience. And the thing I always try to remind everyone is this: you remember when you are in that room and it feels like you are the only one like you there all of us are in that room with you. You come from people. You are not alone. And we're all in that room with you, like it's really important to remember that. Don't ever let people make you feel small. Don't let me -- make people have you think that you're the only one like you. You know, that's why sometimes I have a real kind of reaction to people saying "Oh, don't bite when people tell you you're unique." Because there is something about that that is also saying to you that you're a unicorn, that there's nobody else like you. Aminatou: That you have to be exceptional to be where you are. (38:15) Kamala: But not only that you have to be exceptional, there's another nuance there which is also saying to you you're the only one like you. And that's another way of saying you're alone. Aminatou: Yeah. Kamala: No, you come with people. You come from people who are always going to be in that room with you. So when you're having that experience it's something really important to remember so that you hopefully will be able to endure the experience in a way that is chin up, shoulders back knowing you're not the only one one like you and you're speaking for all the people who can't be in that room and you've got people and we've got your back. Aminatou: You've got people. I like that. Ann: I love that. Okay, there are things we kind of ask everyone who is on the show. Kamala: Okay. Aminatou: Right. Will you tell us about your besties? We know that you brought a friend today also so maybe you might want to talk about them and how you met them. Kamala: Well, you know, I have -- one of my closest friends was my best friend in kindergarten and we are still very close. Another one of my best friends fixed me up on a blind date with my husband and I often refer to her as being my chosen sister. So I have my sister that my mother gave me and my sister who I love to her core, my sister-sister, then I have my chosen sister. Aminatou: Your sister who gave you your mister. [Laughter] Kamala: Then I have my sister -- that's so good. That's so good. Then we were talking about it offline there is something that is very special about the relationships you have with your girlfriends that is . . . it's about a chosen relationship. It's about a lifelong relationship and a commitment to that in many ways. They're very special relationships. I know that I would not have been able to accomplish what I have accomplished so far without my besties. Aminatou: I love that. (40:10) Ann: I do too. Okay, so we are big readers. We talk a lot about books on the podcast and we're wondering if there's a book that you have repeatedly given as a gift or that you're always recommending. It doesn't have to be like your favorite but something you . . . Kamala: Oh, there's so many. I mean one of the books is the book I wrote Smart on Crime. [Laughter] Ann: Yes. Kamala: That was a shameless plug. Ann: We're here for that. We're here for that. Kamala: You know, there are so many. A book that actually I just recently referred to a couple of people that I'm reading, Americana, that is really just so fantastic. Ann: Oh yeah. Kamala: It depends on what I'm reading and just kind of sharing what I'm reading at the moment. Yeah. Aminatou: What's your favorite snack? Kamala: My favorite snack is classic nacho Doritos. Aminatou: Wow. Ann: We got a tip about this. [Laughter] Kamala: Honestly? Yes! This is so -- and I have to take the train later today. They gave me a big old family-sized bag of Doritos. This is so fantastic. Thank you. Ann: This is also a top favorite snack of mine and now I feel a kinship with you. Kamala: Really? Right? Ann: Listen, it's chemically-engineered perfect. Kamala: It's literally some of the best food and you just cannot eat one. Yeah. Aminatou: So you two are the same when it comes to snacks. I heard it and was like oh yeah, this is an Ann situation. Ann: This is why we got you the family size because I always want the family size. Kamala: Oh my god, literally, I have to get on the train and figure out lunch later. This is great. [Laughter] Aminatou: You've got it. You've got it. Thank you so much for joining us today. Kamala: Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do. This is -- it's such an important . . . I mean what you guys are doing, that's exactly what is about besties and about . . . you know, you can be accomplished and you can achieve success and the outside world can applaud you for all that. But to achieve a real kind of sense of being full and complete your relationships with your girlfriends are so important. You know, I mentor a lot of people and I always tell them in addition to all of the stuff I will advise about what you do in terms of your professional careers surround yourself with people who love you and will root you on and encourage you and challenge you and be honest with you and not sell you a bunch of BS. Ann: You can say shit on our podcast. [Laughs] (42:40) Kamala: Yeah, you know, bullshit right? But it's really important. Thank you for highlighting that and acknowledging it in this podcast and what you do. It's good stuff. Keep doing it. Ann: Okay, I am not shook; I am actually still shaking. Like I can't use the past tense. It's still in process. Aminatou: Shooketh. Ann: Shooketh? Shaketh? Shaking ith? [Laughs] Aminatou: That was great. Come back any time Senator Harris. Ann: Ugh. Kamala: I'm Kamala Harris and I will see you on the Internet. Aminatou: You can find us many places on the Internet, on our website callyourgirlfriend.com, you can download the show anywhere you listen to your favs, or on Apple Podcasts where we would love it if you left us a review. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at @callyrgf. You can even leave us a short and sweet voicemail at 714-681-2943. That's 714-681-CYGF. Our theme song is by Robyn, original music is composed by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs, our logos are by Kenesha Sneed, our associate producer is Destry Maria Sibley. This podcast is produced by Gina Delvac. I'll see you later baby. At home. [Laughter] Ann: See you on your sofa. Aminatou: That's right.