Democrat Vice President Kamala Harris raised eyebrows this week after a report from The New York Times said that she has sought to fix her abysmal approval ratings by turning to two-time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to “help plot a path forward.”
The report outlined the numerous struggles that Harris has had during her first year as vice president in the Biden administration, where she has earned an embarrassingly low 28% approval rating in a USA Today/Suffolk poll, which Business Insider described as “unprecedented.”
“Faced with declining approval ratings, a series of staff departures and a drumbeat of criticism from Republicans and the conservative news media, she has turned to powerful confidantes, including Hillary Clinton, to help plot a path forward,” The New York Times reported. “Ms. Harris has privately told her allies that the news coverage of her would be different if she were any of her 48 predecessors, whom she has described as all white and male. She also has confided in them about the difficulties she is facing with the intractable issues in her portfolio, such as voting rights and the root causes of migration.”
Harris and Clinton reportedly talk every couple of months, and Clinton visited the White House last month to visit Harris.
“There is a double standard; it’s sadly alive and well,” Clinton claimed without evidence in an interview with The New York Times. “A lot of what is being used to judge her, just like it was to judge me, or the women who ran in 2020, or everybody else, is really colored by that.”
The report highlighted numerous issues that Harris has had with completing her job while not irking fellow Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX).
Cuellar reached out to Harris to discuss Biden’s border crisis as she was planning on visiting the region over the summer, and he never heard back from her.
“I say this very respectfully to her: I moved on,” Cuellar said. “She was tasked with that job, it doesn’t look like she’s very interested in this, so we are going to move on to other folks that work on this issue.”
Cuellar told the newspaper that he would take his further concerns to Biden officials and not Harris officials because “at least they talk to you.”
The New York Times highlighted a purported example from Harris’ past of how she allegedly treats people:
Gil Duran, who worked for Ms. Harris when she was California attorney general in 2013, said she could be insulting and unprofessional. Mr. Duran said he quit after five months on the job when Ms. Harris declined to attend a briefing before a news conference, but then berated a staff member to the point of tears when she felt unprepared.
“A lot of us would still be with her if she was the Kamala Harris we thought she would be,” Mr. Duran said.
Harris recently appeared to admit that the administration did not anticipate a rise in new coronavirus variants and thus was unprepared to respond.
“We didn’t see Delta coming. I think most scientists did not — upon whose advice and direction we have relied — didn’t see Delta coming,” Harris told the Los Angeles Times in an interview. “We didn’t see Omicron coming. And that’s the nature of what this, this awful virus has been, which as it turns out, has mutations and variants.”
The Los Angeles Times reported:
President Biden celebrated “independence” from the virus in an upbeat July 4 speech, saying, “While the virus hasn’t been vanquished, we know this: It no longer controls our lives. It no longer paralyzes our nation. And it’s within our power to make sure it never does again.”
At the time, some public health experts warned that his optimism was premature, given that the Delta variant was already a significant threat. Harris denied that the administration declared victory prematurely, or ever.
“We have not been victorious over it,” Harris added. “I don’t think that in any regard anyone can claim victory when, you know, there are 800,000 people who are dead because of this virus.”