Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who was born in Oakland, California, and grew up in Berkeley, broke into her campaign-trail southern accent for just one question during Wednesday’s 2020 Democrat presidential debate in Atlanta, Georgia.
The odd moment occurred as Harris, who is polling in single digits nationally, explained how she would unite the “Obama coalition” to win the White House.
“Look, there’s a lot at stake in this election and I’ve said many times that justice is on the ballot in 2020,” Harris began. “It’s about economic justice, it’s about justice for children, it’s about justice for our teachers.”
“This issue is not, ‘what is the fight?’” Harris continued, before deploying the accent: “The issue is: ‘how we gonna win?”
“To win, we have to build a coalition to rebuild the Obama coalition. I’ve been referring to that because that’s the last time we won,” she added.
Of course, Harris is not the first White House contender to attempt a folksy accent. Failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used a southern drawl during her May 2015 speech before the South Carolina Democratic Women’s Council on Wednesday. In a 2007 speech to an African-American church in Selma, Alabama, Clinton’s also broke into a southern accent during her remarks: “I don’t feel no ways tired. I come too far… from where I started from.”