Reports of tensions between Kamala Harris and Joe Biden have abounded over the past year. Recently we learned that Biden embarrassed his affirmative action vice president in front of Republicans during a meeting last year, and it’s no secret that Kamala isn’t happy with the role she’s been asked to play in the administration. Her allies have even accused the White House of racism.
Well, the trouble in paradise continues.
According to a report from Politico, in early April, Kamala’s office “began collaborating with the White House on a social media video to promote the administration’s extension of its pause on federal student loan payments,” but ultimately decided against it.
“Privately, Harris has advocated for additional loan forgiveness. One White House source said her office seemed initially eager to participate in the administration’s public dialogue around student loans,” the report says. “But conscious of progressives pushing Biden to unilaterally cancel tens of thousands of dollars in student debt and that Biden is resisting such lobbying, the vice president has been increasingly wary of becoming part of the public face of the administration’s response.”
“The delicate politics reflects the broader divisions within the administration over student debt relief, a debate that goes all the way to the top,” Politico observes.
So, on top of all of his other problems, Joe Biden has essentially lost control of his own vice president. Vice presidents typically don’t contradict the policies of the administration, regardless of their personal policy preferences.
Of course, this is no ordinary situation. From the very beginning, this administration has presented a co-presidency vibe, branding itself as the “Biden-Harris administration.” Kamala Harris has apparently learned that it is only the Biden-Harris administration on paper, while in practice, it’s just the Biden administration, or maybe the Biden-Klain administration. Her response to this seems to be to separate herself from Biden by running further to the left than what the administration is pushing as part of a broader strategy for 2024.
Call me crazy, but moving further left than Biden doesn’t seem like the greatest plan, especially since she’s already the least popular vice president in history.