Topics : Joe Biden’s selection of Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate provides a brand-new target for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign that has struggled to find an effective line of attack against his Democratic rival.But going after Harris comes with its own risks and challenges.Within minutes of Biden’s announcement on Tuesday, Trump had called Harris “nasty,” “horrible” and “disrespectful,” while his campaign painted her as an extremist who would yank the moderate Biden to the left. “If he wants to use misogynistic tropes against Kamala Harris, I think that is deeply challenging for him,” said Neera Tanden, a top aide to Clinton during her presidential bid. “He has no room for error with suburban women.”According to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, Biden had an advantage of 10 percentage points among women and a 6-point lead among those who live in the suburbs. Overall, Biden leads Trump by 11 points, less than three months to go before the Nov. 3 vote.Sarah Longwell, a Republican pollster, said Trump’s advisers would likely want the president, known for fiery and bombastic rhetoric against his political rivals, to be more cautious about attacking Harris unless they had reason to believe suburban women distrusted or disliked her.”But there’s no evidence yet that they do dislike or distrust her,” Longwell said. “In fact, my guess is that she’ll play pretty well with suburban women.”Looking for an edgeTrump’s standing with the public has faded badly amid the coronavirus pandemic, the economic downturn and nationwide protests over police brutality and racial injustice.Scrambling for something to alter the trajectory of the race, Trump and his Republican allies quickly launched a fusillade of attacks at Harris moments after the pick was announced.The campaign hosted a conference call with reporters to assail her early stances during her own White House bid, when she supported progressive policy proposals such as the Green New Deal, a sweeping clean energy plan, and Medicare for All, a single-payer, government sponsored healthcare plan. Biden has not backed either proposal.Harris shifted several of her policy stances in the course of the campaign in a bid to move toward the center. But the Trump campaign made clear it will attempt to paint her as an unrepentant leftist, while suggesting that the 77-year-old Biden could soon be out of office and replaced by her.At the same time, the campaign said it will also seek to highlight criticism of Harris from the African-American community over her criminal justice record, hoping to drive a wedge between her and the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituency.Privately, however, Trump’s aides acknowledged Harris would be a formidable adversary. One senior White House official said that the Harris pick means Vice President Mike Pence would have a tough debate in October.Trump, in his White House news conference, acknowledged Harris’ aggressive questioning of then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at his 2018 confirmation hearing.”She was nasty to a level that was just a horrible thing the way she treated now-Justice Kavanaugh, and I won’t forget that soon,” Trump said.Harris and Biden’s immediate challenge, in fact, will be to stamp out any brush fires among progressives who had urged Biden to choose a more overtly progressive candidate, such Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democratic activists say.During her presidential bid, Harris was fiercely criticized by progressives who viewed her prosecutorial record as overly supportive of law enforcement. She has since become a vocal supporter of progressive criminal-justice reforms.Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, an advocacy group that has worked with Harris on police reform efforts, said the nominee will have to engage her progressive critics to win them over.“These are questions she has to answer head-on,” Robinson said. “She has to answer questions about her evolution. Talk about the challenges that she has and talk about where she has moved.” But there is little evidence at the moment that suggests that the public views Harris, a former California prosecutor and attorney general with strong ties to the Democratic establishment, as a radical.In fact, she’s more liked by Republicans than Biden, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted on Aug. 10-11, just before she was announced as Biden’s pick. The poll showed 21% of registered Republican voters have a favorable impression of Harris, compared with 13% who had a similarly favorable view of Biden.More concerning for Trump: Attacks that could appear sexist or racist against the first Black woman on a major party ticket in US history could complicate his campaign’s effort to shore up his standing among suburban women, a critical voting bloc he must win back in order to get re-elected, strategists on both sides say.Already, leading Democratic women warned against a replay of Trump’s match-up in 2016 with then Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who was subject to gender-based critiques as the first female presidential candidate. Trump has also called Clinton “nasty” and accused her of playing the “woman’s card.”
Houston-based offshore driller Rowan Companies has extended its liquidity runway by entering into a new unsecured five-year credit facility with its banking group. According to its statement on Tuesday, Rowan has amended the agreement governing its existing revolving credit facility and entered into a new agreement providing for an additional senior unsecured revolving credit facility.The facilities will provide for initial total borrowing capacity of approximately $1.266 billion, further enhancing Rowan’s financial flexibility, the company explained.The new five-year facility will provide borrowing capacity of $955 million. Rowan will continue to have access to its existing credit facility, which has been amended to provide for availability of approximately $311 million, with step-downs to occur over the next two years.The company added that maturity of the existing credit facility is unchanged at January 2021, while the new credit facility will mature in May 2023. The new facility includes additional guarantees from certain Rowan entities and includes certain additional restrictions on Rowan and its subsidiaries.Rowan’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Stephen Butz, commented, “We are grateful to our banking group for the confidence they have shown in Rowan and for their strong support throughout this process.“We remain committed to maintaining an attractive credit profile and a solid balance sheet and are pleased with these agreements, which will further enhance the company’s already strong liquidity position providing additional liquidity on an unsecured basis into mid-2023.”Earlier this month, Rowan posted a net loss of $112.3 million for the first quarter of 2018 compared to net income of $10.3 million in the first quarter of 2017.The company’s revenues for the first quarter of this year totaled $211.2 million compared to $374.3 million in the same period of 2017.The company’s long-term debt at the end of March 2018 was $2.5 billion.