Kamala Harris was hosting a town hall in her hometown of Oakland, Calif., two years ago when she made an announcement that set off a mad scramble in the U.S. Senate.

“Here, I’ll break some news,” Harris told hundreds of people packed into the sanctuary at Beebe Memorial Church on Aug. 30. “I intend to co-sponsor the ‘Medicaid for All’ bill because it’s just the right thing to do,” she said, flubbing the name of the proposal.

“Somebody should tell my staff,” Harris, who had joined the Senate eight months earlier and was already generating buzz as a potential 2020 candidate, laughed as soon as she said it.

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