Kamala Harris is Worse Than We Thought

Harris was the wrong choice for VP


The Harris paralysis is a big problem for Biden’s presidential bid and it’s only getting worse.

Democratic political observers have two opinions of Vice President Kamala Harris:  She is ineffective and needs to be replaced, or she should continue as VP in the upcoming Biden-Harris presidential ticket.

Either choice is not very attractive.  A recent CNN article on Vice President Harris doesn’t do much to explain this dilemma or convince people that Harris is an effective candidate in the upcoming election who will add the needed horsepower to the Biden ticket.

In this CNN article, Edward-Issac Devore says, “More than two dozen sources tell CNN that Harris has been gathering information to help her penetrate what she sometimes refers to as the “bubble” of Biden campaign thinking, telling people she’s aiming to use that intelligence to push for changes in strategy and tactics that she hopes will put the ticket in better shape to win.”

But Devore fails to explain the need for a “bubble” of Biden’s presidential advisory group’s thinking.  Why is there a “bubble” in the first place?  Does this mean that Harris is outside the “bubble”?  If so, why is she excluded?  Is it correct to read that the “bubble” is a barrier?

The article does not explain any of this.  Instead, we get some feedback from people who have attended meetings with Harris saying that after hearing complaints and disaster predictions from fellow Democrats, Harris is “now [seen] as a more integral and complementary part of the reelection effort.“

But let’s pause here.  As of February 2024, Harris has been Vice President since January 20, 2021, so what has she been doing for the past 38 months?

People feel Harris is an anchor to the Biden presidential bid because, after 38 months in office, she has never made any impact on the public.  While the traditional role of a vice president is to serve as a ceremonial post, this role changes because Biden is the oldest person to run for president (he is 82 years old now), so Harris’ age (she is 60) could have been a great counterbalance to questions about Biden being too old for the job.

This is common sense to most Democratic voters, but average Dems have no input into the White House clique.  Instead, the Biden advisors have kept Harris in the dark, or she has voluntarily put herself in the dark.  In either case, she has made it easy for many concerned Democrats to see her as an empty pantssuit.

Harris has no particular credibility in any issue, nor has she proven to be a good speaker who can inform and motivate.  Even Saturday Night Live has a parody of her speaking style, and it’s not flattering.

Most importantly for a vice president, Harris has no authority when she speaks.  She has recently adopted the abortion issue, but this is a very recent assignment for her.  Similarly, Harris has not championed voting rights, racial equity, environmental issues, or even gone on the attack against ineffective MAGA Republicans in Congress.  Harris is a placeholder who has no impact.  Her husband, Douglas Emhoff, has more authority when he lights the Hanukkah candles at the White House than when Harris makes a speech.

In the CNN article, Devore says Harris “tends to end the often strung-out conversations” with more questions about what concerned Dem leaders think should be done to resurrect the campaign.  This shows two of Harris’ fatal shortcomings: by “strung-out conversations,” Devore must mean that she talks too much.  This is true.  But then, the article says, she asks for more input from governors, pollsters, and others about what to do.

Dysfunction in Harris’ VP office is not new.  A CNN article from November 2021 found 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.” Shortly after she started, about a dozen high-level people left amid charges of being in a toxic work environment overseen by a temperamental Harris who was not prepared for her job.

The Harris Paralysis

So, after 38 months in office and knowing she is the VP on the upcoming ticket, Harris is still floundering for answers.  She has never seemed like a woman of action, and the CNN article shows that she remains inert, asking for opinions, polling results, and more meetings.  Meanwhile, asking what Biden is doing about his weak link is appropriate.

One columnist at The Hill suggested that Harris could resign and be replaced by the energetic and young California Governor Gavin Newsom, and then Biden later could resign for health reasons.  It sounds like a complex chess game, but the Dems themselves have created this problem and let the Harris paralysis go on for almost three years.

The Biden team fell into the same pit that plagued then-Republican presidential hopeful   John McCain when he picked the combative and acidic Sarah Palin as vice president.  This choice was so wrong that it warranted a movie, Game Change (2012), to document the odd choice of Palin as someone who was unprepared for the role but did have energy and “star appeal.” This sounds a lot like Harris selection as VP, and it again shows that intelligent people can make big mistakes at the highest level.

Unfortunately, Harris is prepared for her role on paper but has no “star appeal.”  When she speaks, she is stiff, tentative, and rambling.  We get the impression that people clap when she stops talking, not because of what she said but because her speech is finally over.

If Republican presidential hopeful Nickey Haley says the upcoming election could be between Harris and herself, we will see some of the weakest candidates in modern history.  Haley is an election denier who stated she would pardon Trump and apparently cannot say that slavery was the cause of the Civil War.

As for Harris, the most we can say is that if she becomes the presidential candidate for whatever reason, her term will be a heyday for neoliberal lobbyists who can inject themselves into a White House that has no core values, no leadership, and is open to input from all of the established Beltway lobbyists.  If we are not careful, it could resemble a Bill Clinton White House replay.

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Chuck Epstein has managed marketing communications and public relations departments for major global financial institutions and participated in the launch of industry-changing financial products. He also has written by-lined articles for over 50 publications, five books and served as editor and publisher of nation’s first newsletter on the topic of using the PC for personal investing and trading. (“Investing Online, 1994-1999). He also is a marketing consultant, writer and speaker on topics related to investor protection and opportunities in the very dynamic cannabis industry. He has held senior-level marketing, PR and communications positions at the New York Futures Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Lind-Waldock, Zacks Investment Research, Russell Investments and Principal Financial. He has won national awards from the Mutual Fund Education Alliance (MFEA) and his web site, www.mutualfundreform.com, was named best small blog in 2009 by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW).


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