Vice President Kamala Harris got more media attention last week than she has in months, and not all of it was appreciated by her staff and supporters.
CNN ran an in-depth look at the political challenges Harris and her team face less than a year into the Biden administration, contextualizing the country’s first Black and woman veep as caught in a cycle of trying to be effective in her role while managing her staff’s relationship with a White House struggling to keep its legislative agenda afloat.
The piece even reads slightly sympathetic in some places, acknowledging that Harris occupies a space that no other American politician ever has.
It’s a conundrum unique to her. People are expecting their historic vice president to make history every day when in fact she’s trying to carry the duties of a secondary role. Harris is being judged not just by how she’s doing in the traditional duties of a vice president, said Minyon Moore, a longtime Democratic operative who has become Harris’ most important outside adviser. “It’s a little more subliminal, but it’s real,” Moore said. “’What is her playbook in history?’”
But the story also gave voice to some criticism, including the idea that Harris is aloof about helping Biden push his agenda forward, while at the same time prematurely positioning herself for a possible 2024 run. Although CNN’s story reported what sources inside the Biden Administration had to say about Harris, her supporters aren’t hearing it.
Meanwhile, debate raged on Twitter—where everybody goes for reasonable discussion—over a Bloomberg reporter’s tweet about the vice president’s recent trip to France. Fun times.