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Branded A ‘Harris Person’ Cited As Motive For Some VP Staffers Leaving: Report
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during the virtual Washington Conference On The Americas in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. President Biden signaled that he's open to a piecemeal approach to immigration, calling on Congress to immediately pass measures where there's bipartisan support even as he pressed them to adopt his sweeping overhaul.
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According to a report, “Concern about being permanently branded a ‘Harris person’” is one of the reasons staffers are considering leaving Kamala Harris, as they don’t want to be seen as being aligned with her in case another Democratic candidate decides to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2024.

“[S]ome Harris staffers want to work on Biden’s reelection campaign, while others don’t want to be aligned with Harris in the event another promising Democrat runs for president in 2024,” Axios reported on Friday, adding, “There’s been an inordinate amount of disarray — and, now, turnover — throughout her tenure. Her allies say she has a terrific chance to reset and downplay the early stumbles. But top Biden officials privately roll their eyes at her team, and want to see smoother, more effective leadership.”

One “Democratic operative close to the vice president’s office” told Axios that the recent notices given by Harris’ chief spokesperson Symone Sanders and communications director Ashley Etienne that they were leaving puts pressure on Harris’ chief of staff, Tina Flournoy. The source purportedly told Axios, “If we mess this up, it’s going to set women back when it comes to running for higher office for years to come.”

The Daily Wire reported on Thursday, “Two more staffers are reportedly joining a growing exodus out of Vice President Kamala Harris’ office less than a year into her tenure. Peter Velz, Harris’ director of press operations, and Vince Evans, the vice president’s deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, are expected to vacate their positions in the vice president’s office soon for other positions in the Biden administration, according to The Washington Post.”

Jonathan Swan of Axios reported in August, “A group of the Democratic Party’s most influential women met for dinner at a home in the nation’s capital last month to game out how to defend Vice President Kamala Harris and her chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, against a torrent of bad press. … Harris had been hit with a series of damaging press accounts, with leaks from administration officials questioning her political judgment and describing rampant dysfunction in her office.”

On Thursday, Fox News’ Peter Doocy pressed White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki about Harris’ unpopularity, asking, “A handful of key aides have announced either that they are leaving the vice president’s office or are reportedly going to be leaving the vice president’s office soon. Is the vice president not satisfied with the staffing that she has had so far? Or do people just not want to work for her anymore?”

“I would say working on a presidential campaign — maybe covering one too, to be fair — and working in the first year of a White House is grueling and exhausting and rewarding,” Psaki replied. “I would just note there has been an announcement about Symone Sanders departing but hasn’t been official announcements about others. I would leave it to them and the vice president’s team to make any additional announcements.”

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