The Democrats' Uncomfortable Second-Guessing Over Kamala Harris Begins

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

In November 2022, after nearly two years of bumbles, stumbles, word salads galore, high staff turnover, and surprising intermittent waves of bad press, Operation Rehab Kamala Harris’ Reputation was in full effect in the media.


“News” outlets like Politico began declaring that she’d finally “found her footing” – coincidentally just a few months after Harris strategists were said to be pow-wowing in Washington, D.C. on a strategy designed to turn things around for the struggling veep.

Two months later, the same outlet – which in the past has been criticized by the left for allegedly being too tough on Harris – wrote about how Kamala World was feeling a “sense of optimism” after the 2022 midterms, which to another writer at the outlet suggested that “Kamala Harris’ bad luck is turning.”

Whether Harris’ luck is “turning” is a matter of opinion, but all of a sudden in a matter of a week’s time we’re getting a smattering of stories that hint at how a growing number of Democrat movers and shakers are feeling increasingly doubtful that Kamala Harris has what it takes to take it to the next level – the presidency.

For instance, the Washington Post ran a story on Monday which detailed how, at “a pivotal point in Biden’s term, many party activists are not sure the vice president has shown she is up to winning the top job”:

Many Democrats, [Cobb County, Georgia Democrats leader Jacquelyn] Bettadapur said, “don’t know enough about what she’s doing” — and, she added, “it doesn’t help that she’s not [that] adept as a communicator.”

Such concerns about Harris’s political strength were repeated often by more than a dozen Democratic leaders in key states interviewed for this story, some speaking on the condition of anonymity to convey candid thoughts. Harris’s tenure has been underwhelming, they said, marked by struggles as a communicator and at times near-invisibility, leaving many rank-and-file Democrats unpersuaded that she has the force, charisma and skill to mount a winning presidential campaign.


Harris’s critics also question her basic political skills on the national stage. In 2016, she won her Senate seat against weak opposition, they say. In 2019, her presidential run ended before a single ballot was cast, doomed by an uneven performance on the campaign trail, weak support, faltering resources and turmoil among her advisers.


In other words, Democrats are worried that Harris – who they gushed was the first woman/person of color vice president – can’t go the distance in a presidential campaign (in 2024 or 2028) primarily because a) she failed badly the first time she tried it, b) she had virtually no competition during her Senate run in 2016 – so she’s not really battled-tested, and c) she’s not very good at much of what she does, especially when it comes to communicating with Average Janes and Joes who are most critical to the success of any political campaign.

There’s also another component to all of this, and that is the fact that there are other prominent Democrats who are waiting in the wings in the hope that Joe Biden decides he’d rather have someone else run alongside him. Case in point, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s comments during a recent interview where she expressed support for a Joe Biden 2024 run but refused to commit to supporting Harris as his running mate:

“I really want to defer to what makes Biden comfortable on his team,” she said. “I’ve known Kamala for a long time. I like Kamala. I knew her back when she was an attorney general and I was still teaching and we worked on the housing crisis together, so we go way back. But they need — they have to be a team, and my sense is they are — I don’t mean that by suggesting I think there are any problems. I think they are.”


As I noted in response, this was Warren sending smoke signals as only a fake Native American can to Biden that she was ready, willing, and able to take Kamala Harris’ place if he was interested. Warren, remember, is still very bitter about how the 2020 Democratic presidential primary – where her candidacy also failed to gain traction – went down. Despite claiming in 2020 that she and Harris were old pals, Warren’s just like a lot of other entrenched, power-hungry politicos in Washington, D.C., willing to throw their supposed friends under the bus if it gets them ahead politically.

In any event, only time will tell if the concerns of Harris’ doubters on the left bear out. But if Harris continues to embarrass herself and this administration on a national stage – as she did Monday during a stop in Raleigh, NC, that timeframe for telling will be considerably short – because as I’ve said before, Harris has and always will be her own worst enemy.

Related –>> Report: Joe Biden Realized His Mistake With Kamala Harris Very Early On


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