Does the Kamala Staff Exodus Signal Something Big?

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

“What the heck is going on with Kamala Harris?” asks CNN editor-at-large and Democrat cheerleader Chris Cillizza.

“First, just before Thanksgiving, news broke that Ashley Etienne, Harris’ communications director, would be leaving the vice president’s office. Then, on Wednesday night, CNN reported that Symone Sanders, Harris’ chief spokesperson and a senior adviser, is also headed out the door.”

You know things are bad when the folks at CNN can no longer deny there are problems for the VP. And Cillizza doesn’t even try. Instead, he mocks the administration’s attempt to downplay these departures as long-planned and not a reflection of the turmoil at Harris’s office. He specifically quoted White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said, “It’s natural for staffers who’ve thrown their heart and soul into a job to be ready to move on after a few years.”

Not even Cillizza is buying that garbage. “If you believe that, well, you haven’t been paying attention,” he said. “Top advisers to a vice president don’t just randomly leave less than a year into a term. One departure might be explained away by extenuating circumstances. Two? No way.”

Cillizza is rarely correct, but he’s spot-on in this case. He even dismisses the idea that questioning what’s happening in Harris’s office means she’s being “judged by an unfair standard” because she’s a minority. “Staff departures at such a senior level this soon into a term would provoke questions no matter who was in the vice president’s office because, well, they are odd and not typical,” he points out.

Another rare moment of honesty from someone at CNN.

Related: White House Scrambles to Defend Kamala’s Honor

And yes, the news is terrible at the Harris office. Sources tell Axios that Harris staffers are not only burnt out but are jumping ship to avoid being permanently branded a “Harris person.”

That’s a horrible situation for someone who is the current frontrunner for the 2024 Democratic nomination, should Joe Biden not run—and most people don’t think he will. Yet, despite her apparent advantage, Harris’s staffers clearly don’t believe in her or her ability to inherit the mantle from Biden. According to Axios, some staffers “don’t want to be aligned with Harris in the event another promising Democrat runs for president in 2024.”


Rumors have been swirling around Capitol Hill that Biden is looking for a way to rid himself of Harris. One such rumor is that he is considering nominating her to the Supreme Court if a vacancy occurs.

However, it seems unlikely that Biden would reward her with a lifetime position so that he could pick a new vice president. Nevertheless, Fox News congressional correspondent Chad Pergram reported last month that he’s been “hearing whispers suggesting there could be some new, high-profile confirmation hearings on the horizon in the House of Representatives.”

This is a big deal because the House of Representatives doesn’t confirm judicial nominees, but they do confirm vice-presidential nominees.

Do Harris staffers know that she won’t be around for long, and they want out on their own terms?

Whatever is happening is a disaster for Kamala Harris.


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