Vice President Kamala Harris has suffered a steady exodus out of her office amid reports that she is a bully and runs a dysfunctional operation.
It must be contagious, because now staffers are pouring out of the White House, too.
“A spate of resignations by high-profile aides to President Joe Biden has left the remaining White House staff frustrated as they toil with a crumbling domestic agenda, sky-high inflation, the war in Ukraine, and dimming prospects for Democrats in the November elections,” The Washington Times reported.
“The high turnover at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, critics say, is a sign that those surrounding Mr. Biden are increasingly worried about a Democratic bloodbath at the polls and the prospects of Republican majorities in the House and Senate. A GOP takeover on Capitol Hill would be the death knell for the Biden‘s already stalled agenda and guarantee an onslaught of congressional investigations of the administration,” the Times said.
Among the latest changes is former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms being called in to replace Cedric Richmond, one of Biden’s most senior aides, Axios reported.
“As director of the White House Office of Public Engagement beginning in the coming weeks, Bottoms will immediately have access to some of the most high-level planning and strategy sessions in the West Wing — and to the president himself,” the website said.
There was an all-out staff shakeup in the White House Communications Office as former White House press secretary Jen Psaki departed for MSNBC. And while staffers usually serve just two to three years in the high-pressure job, it’s unusual for so many to be leaving so soon — a sign of bad things on the horizon, one GOP analyst said.
“It’s a mass exodus before midterms,” Jimmy Keady, a Republican strategist, told the Times. “Someone will be to blame and it’s not going to be Joe Biden‘s terrible policies. Heads will roll after the midterms and in politics, responsibility runs downhill. No one wants to be holding the bag at the end.”
The exodus from the veep’s office followed a spate of bad press for Harris, with some staffers saying her office is dysfunctional and she is a “bully” who levels “soul-destroying criticism.” One report said the two top elected officials in the country are not on the friendliest of terms, prompting a desperate Harris to defend her position, slamming the media for “gossip.”
The reports about a dysfunctional office emerged first on CNN. “Many current and former West Wing aides say that Vice President Kamala Harris is not being adequately prepared or positioned, and instead is being sidelined, causing frustration among staffers,” CNN wrote.
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.