Biden and his team reportedly will not replace the vice president because of the appearance of admitting Biden made a mistake with his vice-presidential pick. Instead, the White House is strategizing how to bring up Harris’ approval rating, according to Axios.
Biden officially announced his re-election bid on Tuesday with a short, pre-recorded message. The president is currently holding one of the lowest approval ratings of any president at this time during their tenure.
Harris’ approval rating is even lower. The Biden administration has fumbled on a series of foreign and domestic policy issues, and Harris has been at the front of some of those disappointments. While Biden’s approval sits barely in the 40s, Harris’ is several points lower in the high 30s.
Harris has overseen several high-profile setbacks for Biden, arguably the most significant being the U.S. southern border. The southern border has seen unprecedented illegal immigration since Biden was elected, and the flood of migration has fueled several crises: worsening humanitarian conditions at the border, hundreds of migrant children employed in illegal jobs in the U.S. to pay back traffickers, and others.
The West Wing’s increasing interest in making Harris look good is a departure from how the White House has operated since Biden took office. The relationship between the presidential and vice-presidential staffers has been strained by mistrust. For example, when former White House communications director Kate Bedingfield was reported to have criticized Harris, Harris’ staff made Bedingfield wait two weeks before she could meet with the vice president to apologize.
Bedingfield publicly denied the reporting.
Harris’ office has also been notoriously dysfunctional in Biden’s first term and plagued by high turnover.
One of Harris’ chief impediments to her image continues to be her public appearances, however. The vice president is often ridiculed for making elementary or confusing remarks, the latest of which came in a Tuesday speech in support of abortion.
“I think it’s very important, as you have heard from so many incredible leaders, for us at every moment in time and certainly this one, to see the moment in time in which we exist and are present and to be able to contextualize it — to understand where we exist in the history and in the moment — as it relates not only to the past but the future,” Harris said in one clip that earned mockery online.
VP HARRIS: "I think it's very important […] for us at every moment in time & certainly this one, to see the moment in time in which we exist & are present & to be able to contextualize it — to understand where we exist in the history and in the moment — as it relates not only… pic.twitter.com/rGukASSxgc
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 26, 2023
“When your speech writer uses ChatGPT,” responded The Daily Signal.
“Given the advanced age of the president, the VP should be judged against the standard set for the top of the ticket,” Hudson Institute senior fellow Rebeccah Heinrichs said.