When then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden chose then-Sen. Kamala Harris to be his vice presidential running mate in August 2020, it was hailed by the Usual Suspects as an important turning point in American politics, one which demonstrated that no matter your background if you work hard enough and stay devoted enough to The Cause™ that eventually you will be rewarded.
Left out of those glowing commentaries on the supposed importance of naming a woman (and a woman of color at that) to be your running mate were two key things: How Harris advanced her career in California – which was by way of having an affair with a much older, politically well-connected, powerful Democrat “leader” in the state who also happened to be married, and how Joe Biden chose her to run with him specifically because he was pressured intensely by woke Democrats to choose a black female.
Though it was obvious well before she was sworn into office that Harris wasn’t fit for the job, the first 20 months or so of her time as Biden’s second in command have been filled with failure upon failure, waves of bad press, and word salads galore, so much so that even so-called comedians who had previously hailed Harris as the greatest thing since the invention of sliced bread couldn’t help but take notice.
Throughout it all has been persistent speculation about whether Joe Biden will run again in 2024, and Harris obviously fits prominently into those discussions. There have also been rampant reports of infighting between the Biden and Harris camps, and even some growing tensions between Biden and Harris directly.
But with the Democratic ticket on the ropes and a political red wave projected to place Tuesday during the midterm elections, a new narrative log is being tossed onto the fire to heat things up at a very convenient time for Harris, namely that she has – at long last – finally found “her footing”:
This piece makes complete sense if you believe, as I do, that shortly after the midterms Biden will announce he's not running for reelection. pic.twitter.com/Wzhgd06auj
— Tom Bevan (@TomBevanRCP) November 3, 2022
From the “report“:
Harris’ growing comfort amid the steady beat of political activity marks a period of relative stability. There has been a perceptible absence of negative noise hanging over her every movement — to the point that the VP’s allies now don’t so much vent about Beltway coverage as they do a lack of it.
Karen Finney, a Democratic strategist who has sat in on events with Harris, contended the VP has proven helpful for Democrats “in talking about reproductive freedom and also stumping for candidates to help build enthusiasm and rally the Democratic base.” But Finney acknowledged, “part of the nature of the job of vice president is if you’re doing a good job, we don’t hear much about you. That is a challenge in and of itself, because then people don’t know as much about what you’re doing.”
It all adds up to something of a page turn for Harris. The hiccups are still there, magnified by critics on Twitter, though they come less frequently. The struggles to gain broader popularity exist, but there’s less chaos swirling. People around her feel like she’s been able to exert more independence and has started in earnest to dig out from the painful early months marked by uneven performances and staffing troubles.
Though doubts persist about her future, Harris’ last year has provided her with some political benefits, mainly, firmer connections with the party’s core constituencies.
Take a minute if you need to unwind and decompress from that impressive level of spin.
And spin is indeed what it is. The Harris of today who has allegedly “found her footing” is the same Harris from yesterday who has little depth to her beyond what she’s told to say and think by her handlers, a documented fact for anyone interested in learning more.
None of us have any idea who the Democratic nominee for 2024 will be. But one thing is for certain, Kamala Harris wants it and wants it badly, which is why we can expect to be gaslit over again with glowing media profiles on how she’s “grown” as a leader during her time as vice president while rattling off a list of supposed accomplishments (including on how she’s perfected Venn diagrams) that might sound good on paper but in the end mean absolutely nothing.
Meanwhile, potential opponents like Harris ally and California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are waiting in the wings for an announcement from Joe on whether he will or won’t run. So stock up on the popcorn and maybe a couple of bottles of Tylenol, because I have a feeling that not long after next week’s election, things are going to get interesting like really quickly.