We are less than a year into the Biden Adm-… ahem, Biden-Harris Administration, and we are already having to witness the attempted rehabilitation of the sitting Vice President of the United States, who has shockingly been an even more gaffe-prone politician than the current President, who himself was hilariously gaffe-prone when he was Vice President.
Yesterday, there was much talk over a CNN deep dive into the backrooms of the White House. The piece is written sympathetically to Harris, who is struggling in the position, but there are plenty of dropped hints that the Biden team is not happy with her and the dysfunction in her office, as we pointed out yesterday. From the CNN piece:
Suspicion has sprouted out of the bitterness. Last month, White House aides leapt to the defense of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who was being hammered with outrage by Fox News host Tucker Carlson and like-minded online pundits for taking paternity leave after the adoption of his twins in September. Harris loyalists tell CNN they see in that yet another example of an unfair standard at play, wondering why she didn’t get similar cover any of the times she’s been attacked by the right.
“It’s hard to miss the specific energy that the White House brings to defend a White man, knowing that Kamala Harris has spent almost a year taking a lot of the hits that the West Wing didn’t want to take themselves,” said a former Harris aide, reflecting conversations last month among several former aides and current allies.
A lot of the defense of Harris comes with accusations of sexism and racism, including from the writers of the piece itself, and not really with any objective look at her performance. In fact, what is most striking about the piece isn’t so much the devastating claims against the inefficiency of her office, but the fact that the writers go out of their way to defend her. They describe things like the “undeniable structural issues of race and gender” and constantly prop up her defense in the face of the accusations from anonymous West Wing/Biden staffers.
And despite the multiple defenses the piece brings up for Harris, she still comes across as unable to run that office, much less be anywhere close to ready for the Presidency.
Normally, if this were just a hit piece, there would be very little response. But the Press Secretary for the President had to actually tweet out a defense of Harris, meaning that something about this story hit home.
For anyone who needs to hear it. @VP is not only a vital partner to @POTUS but a bold leader who has taken on key, important challenges facing the country—from voting rights to addressing root causes of migration to expanding broadband.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) November 15, 2021
This isn’t normal, by really any standard. Harris has been an absolute failure from the start, and at less than a year in, she is in dire need of an image/reputation rehab and is currently being passed over for key jobs, skipping out on the jobs she’s been given, and crying racism and sexism in an effort to defend herself. That’s not making for a winning candidate in either 2024 or 2028, but more importantly, this is all becoming a big distraction for the Biden team, which itself is barely keeping its head above water (except in the polls, where it is deep underwater).
This isn’t just a matter of whether or not Biden’s team will endorse a Harris candidacy in the future. It’s whether or not he’ll keep her on the ticket in 2024 if he decides to run again. And if these are the stories we’ll continue to see coming out of the Biden White House, then it’s looking more and more unlikely that they’ll be working together in another term.
This explains a lot of the turmoil within the Democratic Party ahead of not just 2024, but 2022 as well. If the Democrats take a major hit, as they are expected to, then this isn’t just about the presidency. It’s about the party’s bench as a whole. There isn’t really any new shining star coming out of the state political offices, and the biggest names in the federal offices are either so progressive voters will be turned off immediately or they are seen as the people holding up the party’s progress. There is no unified Democratic Party structure right now.
That makes 2022 a must-win for Republicans. They can obliterate a lot of the opposition and leave Democrats in an absolute panic state come 2024.
Or, they can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Wouldn’t be too out of character for them.