Now’s the time prospective presidential candidates start taking the subtle but crucial behind-the-scenes steps that get them noticed by the political intelligentsia, and Sen. Kamala Harris is quietly following the script.

She’s making speeches to key national constituencies. She’s due for an appearance at a Washington think-tank panel full of chattering-class presidential favorites that the national media will be reporting and analyzing, probably for days. She’s been fundraising for colleagues and making sure that she is forming relationships with key national reporters.

They’re all boxes that prospective presidential candidates routinely check. It’s a chance to ultimately convince insiders they’ve got the gravitas and the fundraising chops to be taken seriously.

The California Democrat, sworn into office four months ago, insists she’s not thinking about a run for president. Her inner circle forcefully tries to tamp down 2020 speculation – after all, there is no upside to being seen as a new senator focused more on national political ambition than on California.

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