U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California sent a subtle signal to the old guard of Democratic politics that every era has its end.
At an Atlanta church service dedicated to youth Sunday, the presidential candidate compared leadership to a relay race in which each generation must ask themselves “what do we do during that period of time when we carry that baton.”
Then she added with a smile that for “the older leaders, it also becomes a question of let’s also know when to pass the baton.”
The 54-year-old senator — one of the younger contenders for the White House in 2020 — did not mention any other presidential hopeful or tie her remarks to the Democratic presidential scramble. Her spokeswoman said she only wanted to encourage the youth at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Her commentary to the congregation once led by Martin Luther King Jr. comes as former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, considers whether to join a field that already includes Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is 77. Both men have run for president before and fallen short.
Biden and Sanders are seen as strong contenders for the Democratic nomination, though other candidates and some voters have emphasized the need for a more youthful approach to try and beat President Donald Trump in the general election. Several other candidates in the race, including two governors, are also in their late 60s.
Harris noted Sunday that King was 26 when he led the Montgomery Bus Boycotts that pushed him to the forefront of the civil rights movement.
Later Sunday, Harris told a rally at Morehouse College in Atlanta that Attorney General William Barr should testify under oath on Capitol Hill, rather than just submit the written summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation.
The Justice Department said Sunday that Mueller’s team did not find evidence that Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. Mueller also investigated whether Trump obstructed justice but did not come to a definitive answer.