Last time I checked, the job of the vice president of the United States was to do all the goofy press events that the president didn’t have time to do. Need an elected official to come to your school for career day? Send the VP. Need someone to come to your auto plant to promote the passing of an auto factory work bill? The VP is on the way. Healthy lunches in schools? Great, here is a photo of the VP eating some broccoli. No offense to Kamala Harris and those who’ve come before her, but there is a reason that the VP job is considered the “most insignificant office.”
Harris’s job is not to do anything that would disgrace the office, break tie votes in the Senate, not to get impeached and to stay alive should anything happen to the president—and yet, every day, the news is dragging Harris’ name through the mud as if she’s the president.
She. Is. Not. Full stop.
In the past week, these are the pieces that have been written about the VP:
And it started back in June with a Politico hit piece on Harris’ office, alleging that the working environment was “rife with dissent.”
When Vice President Kamala Harris finally made the decision to visit the Mexico border last week, people inside her own office were blindsided by the news.
For days, aides and outside allies had been calling and texting with each other about the political fallout that a potential trip would entail. But when it became known that she was going to El Paso, it left many scrambling, including officials who were responsible for making travel arrangements and others outside the VP’s office charged with crafting the messaging across the administration.
The backstory on this is that Republicans were pressing the VP, not the president, to visit the border, claiming that Harris not visiting meant she didn’t care about the “border crisis,” which, when coming out of the mouths of Republicans, sounded as if the dam had broken and Texas and other Southern states were being flooded with immigrants. This was not the case but Republicans love theatrics. So Harris folded to the pressure and made a visit (which was still deemed a failure). But the bigger question that no one answered was why did anyone give AF if Harris made the visit and not Biden?
I guess it should be a compliment that Harris is being held in such high regard. This is what happens when the GOP are so scared of a Black woman who is this close to the top office that they have to try and tear her to pieces before she can make a run for the White House. While I get it as a political strategy, I’m a bit thrown off by journalism’s push to follow suit, especially since they know that the VP role is akin to winning the Miss America title; I mean it’s exciting when it happens but what is it they do with that title?
It’s time to settle down, America. Yes, Harris is a Black woman and I understand the desire for her to fix racism, the chaos in Afghanistan, and look good while doing so—Black women have truly spoiled us in this way. But that’s not in her job description. Her job is to sit in the back seat during the State of the Union address and applaud Biden’s speech. Her job is to break the tie vote in the Senate. Her job is to take photos, kiss babies and literally not to die. If we want to make this about the work of her position then show me anywhere in the history of America where anyone has ever given a shit about what the VP thinks about anything.
And for the record, I’m not calling the vice presidency “the most insignificant office,” that was America’s first VP, John Adams, who told his wife that the position was “the most insignificant office that ever the Invention of Man contrived or his Imagination conceived.”
And it was Thomas Marshall, Woodrow Wilson’s VP, who once noted after retiring: “I don’t want to work … [but] I wouldn’t mind being Vice President again.”