Speed Reads

So long

2 theories on why Kamala Harris dropped out now

That Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) suspended her Democratic presidential campaign Tuesday wasn't entirely unexpected — she had plummeted in the polls and didn't look like she would be able to climb out of the hole. But the timing felt a bit sudden.

Harris had qualified for the December debate, and her campaign seemed determined to at least try to hang on until the Iowa caucus. So, why now?

The obvious answer is the one Harris gave in her announcement — she didn't have the resources to continue. But some pundits have noted that now might actually be a particularly strategic time.

For starters, Harris can now avoid being on the ballot in her home state of California. She only had a few days to avoid her name showing up in February, and a bad showing there might have caused problems down the road in her efforts to hold on to her Senate seat.

Then there's the theory about another job opening. The eventual nominee will need a running mate, and, although it's nothing but speculation at this point, Harris might be a popular pick for any of the contenders. By getting out before things got too messy, Harris may have set herself up well to be on the ticket. Tim O'Donnell