MSNBC's Chris Matthews questions whether Sen. Kamala Harris is “seen as African-American”

From the January 21 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:

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CHRIS MATTHEWS (HOST): According to Politico, “[Sen. Kamala] Harris' announcement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day was steeped in symbolism: Her aides said the red-and-yellow color scheme," by the way, “for Harris' campaign logo was inspired by former Rep. Shirley Chisholm of New York, whose 1972 run for president was the first by a black woman from a major political party. Harris' video,” by the way, "outlines the theme of the career prosecutor's candidacy: 'For the people.'” Ruth, let's talk about this -- let me go to Jamal, I've got to go to Jamal on this, for obvious reasons. But I get the feeling that she's going to set up her headquarters in Baltimore, largely African-American town. She's -- 

JAMAL SIMMONS (DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST): Yeah. I don't understand that. 

MATTHEWS: Oh, explain. 

SIMMONS: I don't, I don't understand why she's in Baltimore. She's from Oakland so she should be in Oakland. I think -- 

MATTHEWS: Well, she wants to win the South Carolina primary that's what --

SIMMONS: Yeah, so put a headquarters in South Carolina. I think that -- listen, I think that she's got a lot of strengths here. She's got a bio, she's got a record, she's a prosecutor with a heart. She's has a lot to deal with, keeping people out of recidivism. 

MATTHEWS: Is she seen as African-American? Is she seen as African-American?  

SIMMONS: But what we've gotta see next is the organization that she pulls up. Yes, I think she’s seen as African-American. The fact that she was at Howard University today, one of the oldest -- they call themselves the oldest, I went to Morehouse, I think we're a little bit older --  but when she's at Howard University today, when she did her announcement, press conference. She's going to South Carolina in the first week.


SIMMONS: She’s really planting her feet in the African-American community. I think she's going to be a very strong candidate. 


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