WASHINGTON — On a sunny Sunday afternoon in late March, just after she had spoken from the pulpit at Martin Luther King Jr.’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Sen. Kamala Harris made her way to a 6,500-square-foot mansion in a decidedly upscale neighborhood called Peachtree Battle.
As a few dozen of the city’s power elite ate salmon and salad, Harris ducked into the library. There, she gripped and grinned for photos with a line of donors, pausing the session briefly to speak French with a 4-year-old girl who is learning the language. And when the picture parade was done, Harris, a California Democrat who is running for president, headed to the living room for a question-and-answer round with the guests and their host, Laura Turner Seydel, a daughter of billionaire Ted Turner.
By the time Harris left town — after another fundraiser at a private club called The Gathering Spot and a rally at Morehouse College — she had banked more than $200,000, according to a campaign official.
A month later, at the home of Dr. Susan Stephens, a spinal surgeon, in a suburb east of Cleveland, Harris fielded questions about impeachment and restoring voting rights to ex-cons, as doctors, lawyers, business owners and local politicians sipped water and nibbled on tenderloin sliders. At Stephens’ house, there was no minimum donation required.