When you’re a historically unpopular vice president, tasked with keeping the border crisis under control in a historically incompetent administration, and you’re failing miserably at it, you don’t have a lot going for you.
That’s the situation Kamala Harris was in.
It’s likely that when she agreed to be Joe Biden’s running mate she saw the opportunity as a stepping stone to the presidency, if not a back door. It’s no secret that the public has been groomed to accept Kamala’s eventual ascension to the presidency. From the very beginning, there’s been a sort of co-presidency vibe from this administration. Signage at the Biden inauguration read “Biden-Harris Inauguration.” Even the official White House Twitter account’s bio reads, “Welcome to the Biden-Harris White House!” And, back in March, it was revealed that federal agencies had been instructed by the White House “to reference the current administration as the ‘Biden-Harris Administration’ in official public communications.”
The White House has made it very clear they see Kamala Harris as the heir apparent to Joe Biden. But if Biden decides to not run for a second term, she won’t have an easy time topping the ticket to get back into the White House. Like Biden, she’s polling underwater right now and is the only vice president who has polled underwater at this stage. Mike Pence, Joe Biden, Dick Cheney, Al Gore, Dan Quayle, George H.W. Bush, and even Walter Mondale had higher ratings.
So if she thinks she’ll be the Democrats’ next presidential candidate, she’s got some serious damage control to take care of before it’s too late, and it looks like that’s what she’s after right now. According to a report from the Washington Post, Harris has made two new hires to her “strategic communications” team: Lorraine Voles and Adam Frankel. Their job is “to focus on organizational development, strategic communications, and long-term planning.” In other words, they’ve been brought to repair her public relations problems… of which she has many.
Both Voles and Frankel served on Kamala’s staff during the transition, and according to the report, they are only expected to serve in these new roles temporarily, though it is not known for how long. Frankel, a former speechwriter for Barack Obama, is White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s brother-in-law.
“The hires come amid a sense of anxiety among some Democrats about Harris’s first year as vice president,” reports the Washington Post. “Many in the party view Harris, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for president, as a leading candidate to take the mantle from the 78-year-old President Biden either in 2024, should he choose not to run for reelection, or in 2028.”
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Many Americans don’t expect Biden to serve out his full term, let alone run again in 2024, making Kamala Harris the presumptive Democratic nominee. This means Voles and Frankel certainly have their work cut out for them. Currently, neither Joe Biden nor Kamala Harris would beat Trump in a hypothetical 2024 match-up. Against Biden, Trump would win 51 percent to 41 percent, with Trump winning over independent voters by 20 points. Kamala Harris, however, performs worse, with Trump beating her in a hypothetical matchup, 52 percent to 39 percent. “While Trump would get 84% support from Republican voters in a hypothetical rematch with Biden, only 75% of Democratic voters say they’d vote to elect Biden again,” a recent Rasmussen survey found. “This problem would be even worse for Democrats in a Trump-Harris 2024 matchup, with just 71% of Democratic voters saying they’d pick Harris over Trump.”
As the sitting vice president, Kamala is arguably best positioned to represent the Democratic Party in the next election if Biden is not a part of it, and yet, she is about as likable as a bedsore. She also doesn’t exactly exude competence, considering how completely uninterested she is in solving the crisis at our southern border.
I don’t envy anyone charged with improving her image. It’s a losing battle.