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Friday, April 15, 2011

Kamala Harris Dishes on 'Big-Girl Panties' with Bush White House Flack Dana Perino

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge And on fashion
  • And on fashion

California Attorney General Kamala Harris didn't enjoy the coziest relationship with local press outlets during her final days as San Francisco's District Attorney. Through various scandals stemming from her handling of problems at the San Francisco Police Department crime lab, Harris ran a less-than-transparent office, and refrained from speaking to reporters outside of press conferences.

But there's another side to Harris: open, welcoming, and willing to discuss fashion. This we learned from an interview published in Harper's Bazaar, in which Harris, a Democrat who was among President Barack Obama's early supporters, sits down to chat with former Bush White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. Perhaps it's easier to feel at ease when discussing tailors, shoes, food

-- and, of course, "big-girl panties."

Here are a few highlights from

the interview:

DP: I remember when I was acting press secretary; I took over for [the late] Tony Stone [in 2007] when he was sick. Margaret Spellings, who was then the secretary of education, called me and asked, "How you doing?" and I said, "Not very good. I'm so nervous." And she said, "Well, put your big-girl panties on and deal with it." Has there been anything like that for you?

KH: In high school, I was slacking off and not taking studying very seriously, and I remember my mom saying, "You need to start taking things seriously." [I liked to cook] and she said, "If you want to cook, we will figure out a way to send you to Le Cordon Bleu, but don't do anything half-assed." That was her point. Don't do anything half-assed.

Not only is Harris transparent -- she's also apparently a punster. Big-girl panties? Half-assed? Clever, Madame Attorney General.

DP: So, any chance of running for higher political office in the future, or is this it?

KH: I'm going to take this and focus on it. Hopefully the tasks at hand will be accomplished well, and then we'll see what comes next. But I am very focused on what's right in front of me -- and there's a lot that's right in front of me. I really want to do this job. I am in this.

As Hamlet's mom said, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Eventually, the talk turns to fashion. Harris discusses her predilection for Manolos and Donald Deal suits. But we found this revelation most interesting:

HB: Do you have a favorite bag?

KH: I do. It's the Chanel Executive bag. It has a compartment where I keep my files.

No wonder our requests for public records were ignored.

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Peter Jamison


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