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President Joe Biden isn’t sure his vice president can beat a Republican in the 2024 presidential election, which one source says is a “factor” in whether he runs for re-election.
Democratic sources told Reuters News Agency that the president is frustrated about the manner in which Kamala Harris does her job.
“A point of tension in their relationship is that I don’t think that the president sees her as somebody who takes anything off of his plate” due to a “fear of messing up,” one former White House official told Reuters.
That has led to his view that Harris can’t win. Biden is “also convinced that neither Harris nor any other Democratic hopefuls would be able to beat former President Donald Trump if he is the Republican nominee, a factor that has influenced Biden’s inclination to run again,” one former White House official told Reuters.
“If he did not think she was capable, he would not have picked her. But it is a question of consistently rising to the occasion,” that former official said. “I think his running for re-election is less about her and more about him, but I do think that she and the Democratic bench [are] a factor.”
Others have chronicled how Biden is “annoyed” with Harris.
In his book “The Fight of His Life,” author Chris Whipple, an expert on West Wing staffing, said Biden thinks of Harris as a “work in progress.”
Whipple said Biden complained to a friend about Harris in 2021 after he heard her husband, Douglas Emhoff, was whining about tasks assigned to her, including being charged with handling the U.S. southern border and shepherding a federal voting-rights law through Congress.
“Biden was annoyed,” Whipple wrote. “He hadn’t asked Harris to do anything he hadn’t done as vice president — and she’d begged him for the voting rights assignment.”
Harris herself doesn’t seem to know exactly what her job is. She seemed confused during a friendly interview last week with “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert, who asked her point blank what she does.
“I know you love ‘Veep,’” Harris said, laughing.
“I do! I love ‘Veep.’ Is it accurate?” Colbert asked.
“There are bits of it that are actually quite accurate,” Harris said, who then told a story about how one of her staffers filled her veep office with smoke by lighting a fire in the fireplace without opening the flue.
But Colbert really wanted to know. “One of the themes of the show is that her character, Selina Meyer, is frustrated by the sometimes vague duties of the role. It’s a high constitutional office but does not describe what you’re supposed to be doing. Does that ring true? Like, what’s the actual role on a daily basis as you have found it?” Colbert asked.
“Well, I have the great privilege of serving with Joe Biden, who is the President of the United States … and was vice president,” Harris said.
“Does he understand what it’s like to be vice president?” Colbert then asked.
“He does, he does,” Harris said. “He really is a true partner and he understands that job. And remember, we came in during the height of the pandemic. And so much of the work was about, OK, we’ve got to cover a lot of bases and let’s figure out between us how we can do it. But he’s an extraordinary leader and I wish people could see what I see because there’s only one person who sits behind that Resolute Desk. And the decisions that person has to make are the decisions that nobody else in the country can make. And he’s an extraordinary leader. He really is.”
Colbert wouldn’t let Harris off the hook. “That’s an excellent answer and, uh, the question was what’s the job of the vice president,” Colbert said as Harris cackled. “And your answer is part of the job, I’m guessing.”
As vice president, Harris has a 39% favorability rating, according to an average by polling aggregator RealClearPolitics, below Biden’s 42.3%.
You don’t win the White House with those numbers. So maybe ol’ slow Joe is on to something.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.