We’ve seen much ink (many keystrokes?) expended on how Joe Biden needed Kamala Harris to keep afloat his chances of ascending to the White House. Writers and pundits have debated whether Biden choosing Harris was a crass political move or whether he genuinely wanted to rely on her expertise — whatever that might have been.
But the most fascinating story is what has happened since the election. Standing out on the sinking ship that is the Biden administration are Vice President Harris’s tanking approval ratings. She’s been known as much for her gaffes as she has for anything serious she’s done.
Now reports are surfacing that Harris is facing continued isolation from the White House and other Democrats. The New York Times published an article on Thursday that posed the question of whether Harris is actually an afterthought to her party.
The piece begins with an account of President Biden meeting with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Biden called on Harris not to provide advice or insight, but simply to pop in, say hello, and leave.
“While most presidents promise their vice presidents access and influence, at the end of the day, power and responsibility are not shared equally, and Mr. Biden does not always feel a need for input from Ms. Harris as he navigates some of his most important relationships,” writers Katie Rogers and Zolan Kanno-Youngs note.
One of the most telling anecdotes in the article concerns the administration’s tasking of Harris with the border crisis. Of course, we know the story: how she wasted valuable time before visiting our southern border, even snidely telling NBC’s Lester Holt that not going to the border didn’t matter because she hadn’t visited Europe, either.
“And I mean, I don’t understand the point that you’re making. I’m not discounting the importance of the border,” she dismissively told Holt.
But the inaction by Harris on the border has gotten the attention of Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a moderate from the vice president’s own party. He told the Times that when Harris was finally visiting the border in June, he called to offer his support and assistance. He never heard from the vice president or her team.
“I say this very respectfully to her: I moved on,” Mr. Cuellar said. “She was tasked with that job, it doesn’t look like she’s very interested in this, so we are going to move on to other folks that work on this issue.”
In the future, Mr. Cuellar said he would go straight to the West Wing with his concerns on migration rather than the vice president’s office.
Of the White House, Mr. Cuellar said, “at least they talk to you.”
The article also mentions that Harris has repeatedly offered to help spearhead a “voting rights” initiative, holding meetings and engaging in hours of prep work to help ensure that
Democrats remained entrenched in power the right to vote remains sacrosanct, yet the White House hasn’t asked her to tackle that thorny topic.
Harris’ cheerleaders, like Rep. Karen Bass (D-Scientology), point out the vice president’s achievements, such as “promoting the president’s domestic agenda, and her mark is on the final infrastructure bill on issues like clean water policy, broadband access and investments to combat wildfires.” The article also mentions her work on a student loan repayment moratorium.
But at the end of the day, Rogers and Kanno-Youngs note that “Ms. Harris is facing questions about where she fits into the White House’s biggest priorities.” The Harris team has gone out of its way at least once to let the media know that she was involved in meetings when the Biden camp doesn’t mention her.
Of course, there are some explanations for this, if you want to believe Bass. One is that Harris is a woman, and the other is that she’s a minority — naturally. My PJ Media colleague Robert Spencer pointed these assertions out in another terrific piece.
“This is exactly the explanation that will fly with much of the vice president’s base, who see themselves as perpetually victimized in this inveterately ‘white supremacist’ country,” he said.
Whether you believe that hype about Harris, one thing’s clear: the White House is avoiding her to some extent, and regardless of the reason, it’s not a good look for her.
As Robert Spencer astutely noted, “When even that indefatigable cheerleader for the hard Left, the New York Times, admits that a Leftist politician is in trouble, you can be sure that the trouble is very deep.