Does Joe Biden want Kamala Harris to be his vice president anymore?
There are rumors that he doesn’t.
“Joe Biden’s relationship with Kamala Harris is in crisis, with her staff furious that she is being ‘sidelined,’ while the president’s team are increasingly frustrated by how she is playing with American public,” reports the Daily Mail. “Harris’ approval rating has plunged even further than Biden’s in recent months, with rumors swirling that the president is considering appointing her to the Supreme Court as a backdoor method of selecting a new VP.”
Wait, what? Really?
Something doesn’t smell right here. The Daily Mail’s source for this “rumor” is the now notorious CNN story exposing the dysfunction behind the scenes of the Biden-Harris administration. Here’s what it says:
Defenders and people who care for Harris are getting frantic. When they’re annoyed, some pass around a recent Onion story mocking her lack of more substantive work, one with the headline, “White House Urges Kamala Harris To Sit At Computer All Day In Case Emails Come Through.” When they’re depressed, they bat down the Aaron Sorkin-style rumor that Biden might try to replace her by nominating her to a Supreme Court vacancy. That chatter has already reached top levels of the Biden orbit, according to one person who’s heard it.
Aaron Sorkin, of course, is the creator of the hit show “The West Wing,” which ran from 1999 to 2006. This rumor certainly would make for a hell of a plot for a political television drama. However, it doesn’t seem likely—not in this reality of the multiverse. If there’s friction between Biden and Kamala Harris, why would he want to reward her with a lifetime appointment?
It just doesn’t make sense. But there’s more.
If Biden were looking to replace Kamala Harris by nominating her to the Supreme Court, that would mean he’d have to hope for a vacancy before the 2022 midterms. Even if that happens, the 50-50 split in the chamber means that he’d have to get at least one Republican to vote with all the Democrats, and that is assuming that she’d have the support of moderate Democrats like Manchin and Sinema. As a hyperpartisan San Francisco liberal, it seems unlikely that either would risk voting for her confirmation to the Supreme Court over an actual jurist with experience on the bench.
A vacancy after the midterms would be even more problematic. The current political climate suggests that the 2022 midterms will be very good for the GOP. Thus, should a Supreme Court vacancy occur after the 2022 midterms, Biden will likely face a GOP majority. Mitch McConnell has already promised to block Biden from filling a vacancy if the GOP wins the Senate. Still, even if he goes back on that, it seems unlikely that Kamala Harris would get Republican support, thus dooming her nomination.
Further, given her low approval ratings as vice president, it’s hard to imagine Biden getting the public to support her nomination, even if it means him getting to pick a new vice president.
It is possible that Biden could demand her resignation. It won’t happen. He couldn’t ask for the resignation of the first woman and minority vice president. He’d get slaughtered by the media and the left. But, even if he could, her replacement would have to be confirmed by a majority vote in both the House and Senate, per Section 2 of the 25th Amendment. Do you remember how difficult it was for Biden to get the progressive and moderate wings of the House Democrats to vote for the infrastructure bill? What person could Biden pick who would please all sides?
And that might all be a moot point after the 2022 midterms.
Biden may want to get rid of her. But he’s stuck with her.