On Sunday, CNN dropped an explosive report about strained relations between Vice President Kamala Harris and the White House as well as her own supporters’ growing frustration that she’s done little of merit since taking office alongside President Joe Biden.
This major hit to Harris’ already suffering public image was not helped when, the following day, the announcer at the White House infrastructure bill signing event almost completely skipped Harris when it was her turn to speak at the podium.
As Harris prepared to give remarks on Monday, the announcer told the crowd to “Please welcome Heather Kurtenbach,” who is the director of Seattle’s Iron Workers Local 86 and was going to speak after Harris.
The vice president, as is her custom nearly every time she’s faced with anything remotely uncomfortable in public, cackled loudly in response.
“In a moment,” she said to generous laughter from the crowd.
Announcer: “Please welcome Heather Kurtenbach”
Kamala Harris: “In a moment.” pic.twitter.com/oLo2R4NArY
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) November 15, 2021
Harris presence at the event celebrating the signing of Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill was significant as it came after the noteworthy CNN story; so this announcer gaffe suggesting that the White House perhaps hadn’t even had Harris on the schedule only served to highlight that this was all a rather forced attempt to present a united front between Biden and Harris to the American people.
Less than 24 hours prior, CNN reported that “Harris is struggling with a rocky relationship with some parts of the White House, while long-time supporters feel abandoned and see no coherent public sense of what she’s done or been trying to do as vice president.”
Although the outlet quoted Harris supporters that thought she was a “leader” who was not being given a chance to spread her wings, Harris hasn’t exactly been rocking the opportunities she has been given to do so.
When she and Biden were first sworn into office, the Biden administration worked hard to rebrand as the Biden-Harris administration, with Harris going as far as to make calls with world leaders on the president’s behalf.
She was also put in charge of the border crisis, easily one of the most urgent issues the administration has had to face, and has so far done virtually nothing about it — much less actually visiting the border herself for any substantial amount of time.
And while Harris has made history as the first woman and the first woman of color to assume the office of vice president, she’s also earned herself some historically low approval ratings.
Things just keep getting weirder and more cringeworthy, too, and it’s certainly not because she’s not being given the chance to lead.
Last week, while visiting France to try to patch things up between our two nations after our longtime allies were snubbed by a U.S.-Australia nuclear submarine manufacturing deal that left them in the lurch, the vice president inexplicably assumed a French accent that was far from flattering to her French audience.
Kamala using a fake French accent to talk to French people.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 10, 2021
She’s also spent an inordinate amount of time messing around with NASA — tackling the big issues, obviously — first filming an enormously awkward YouTube series with hired child actors, then asking during a visit to the Goddard Space Flight Center if it was possible for the space agency to “track trees” in neighborhoods by race for “environmental justice.”
NEW – Kamala Harris asks NASA if they are able to "track trees" by race as part of "environmental justice."pic.twitter.com/zFMayeTbhJ
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) November 6, 2021
Even with the reported tension between the White House and Harris, they made what we now know could have been perhaps an overzealous attempt at celebrating her birthday last month.
She rather ruined it, however, by shouting “Surprise!” at her own surprise party in a moment that rather typified her performance in the administration as a whole.
.@VP shouts “Surprise!” upon arriving at her own surprise birthday celebration pic.twitter.com/j9jMGqoOsH
— Katherine Doyle (@katiadoyl) October 20, 2021
It always confounded me that Biden’s camp thought that then-junior California Sen. Harris would be a good choice for vice-president.
I mean, she already tried for president, and no one liked her — she was one of the least popular of the plethora of candidates the desperate Democrats had to offer in the 2020 primary season, despite her one, brief, shining moment in which she called Biden out for opposing desegregation efforts in the 1970s.
Not only was it weird that Biden went with a woman who had all but called him a vehement, pro-segregation racist on the debate stage, but also a woman who seemed to have little appeal beyond her ethnic heritage and gender.
Of course, the Democrats were pretty forthcoming about the fact that ethnicity and gender were pretty much his only criteria when selecting a running mate.
So maybe they’re getting what they bargained for by selecting a vice president on such superficial qualities.
Whatever the case may be, neither the White House nor Vice President Harris herself is doing a very good job at convincing anyone that she’s doing a good job. That much is clear.