Friends and peers of Kamala Harris rushed to her defence after a report held some Democrats “lost hope” in the Vice President. After a poor Presidential campaign in 2019, Harris withdrew from the race and was later picked by Joe Biden as his running mate.
But as Biden prepares to give his State of the Union address tonight, some Democrats have begun briefing against the Vice President.
Democratic fundraiser John Morgan argued Harris’ weakness in the role will be “one of the most hard-hitting arguments against Biden”.
“I can’t think of one thing she’s done except stay out of the way and stand beside him at certain ceremonies”, he added.
And a report from the New York Times revealed that “the painful reality for Ms Harris is that in private conversations over the last few months, dozens of Democrats … said she had not risen to the challenge of proving herself as a future leader of the party, much less the country”.
After the damning report came out, allies of Harris came to her aid and rubbished claims she had failed to perform as Vice President.
“There’s no shortage of people willing to throw shade anonymously and seemingly no shortage of publications willing to write it up and recycle beltway gossip,” tweeted Kirsten Allen, Harris’s press secretary.
“Those still questioning the VP’s role and impact are choosing not to see what is right in front of them.”
Symone Sanders, previously Harris’s press secretary and now an MSNBC host, suggested Harris is facing a fresh set of challenges because she is a “historic first” with “historic outside expectations, but works within the reality of the vice presidency.”
Sanders argued it was “laughable” for political sources to suggest they were unaware of Harris’s work.
“I think people should just be honest and say they have chosen not to follow her work closely,” she wrote on Twitter.
It comes after Biden was quoted in a new book by Chris Whipple, ‘The Fight of His Life’, as calling Harris a “work in progress”.
And in another book, ‘This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future’ from Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns, the President’s communications director Kate Bedingfield blamed tensions in the White House on Harris.
“In private, Bedingfield had taken to noting that the vice presidency was not the first time in Harris’s political career that she had fallen short of sky-high expectations: Her Senate office had been messy and her presidential campaign had been a fiasco”, the book said.
“Perhaps, she suggested, the problem was not the vice president’s staff.”
Bedingfield fired back: “The fact that no one working on this book bothered to call to fact check this unattributed claim tells you what you need to know,” she said.
Ron Klain, the President’s departing chief of staff, also told the New York Times those who serve as Vice President often “take grief” but go on “to prove skeptics wrong”.
He cited Harris’s outspoken support for abortion rights and her international trips.
“She has done all that operating under high expectations,” he added, noting her status as various firsts.
“She carries these expectations not as a burden but with grace and an understanding of how much her history-making role inspires others.”
According to FiveThirtyEight, which aggregates polling data, 52.5 percent of voters disapprove of Harris.
After tonight’s State of the Union address, Biden and Harris will hit the road and visit multiple swing states, with the President going to Wisconsin and the Vice President heading to Georgia.
Biden is widely expected to announce his re-election campaign for 2024, and has been tipped by US outlets to use tonight’s speech to set out his policy wins over his Presidency.
*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.