A new book set to come out about the Biden Administration has some unflattering anecdotes about Vice President Kamala Harris, portrayals that paint a messy behind-the-scenes portrait of a veep that in recent months has occupied a more elevated position in public.
This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future drops May 3, and while the focus isn’t solely on Harris’ relationship with the broader administration, it contains some details that portray a not-always-harmonious relationship between Biden’s office and Harris’. Politico excerpted parts of the book on Wednesday and it details a relationship fraught with some interesting tensions from the very beginning.
In the two weeks before Inauguration day, Harris dispatched aides to address the upcoming issue of Vogue…The leaked cover photo, which featured Harris in Converse and skinny pants, was an “approachable but less than grand depiction of the incoming vice president,” the reporters wrote.
“Harris was wounded. She felt belittled by the magazine, asking aides: Would Vogue depict another world leader this way?” the duo reported.
Harris’ incoming press secretary SYMONE SANDERS, who declined to comment, reached Vogue editor ANNA WINTOUR to convey Harris’ frustration. Wintour, who did not respond to a request for comment, protested that she had chosen the picture personally because it made Harris “relatable,” according to Martin and Burns.
Incoming chief of staff TINA FLOURNOY was caught “off-guard by the anger in Harris’ circle” and contacted a senior Biden campaign official. Given the country’s myriad crises and the recent January 6th riot at the Capitol, “[t]he Biden adviser told Flournoy that this was not the time to be going to war with Vogue over a comparatively trivial aesthetic issue. Tina, the adviser said, these are first-world problems,” according to the excerpt.
It was an early indication that members of the Biden-Harris teams were on different pages with different priorities. The dynamic didn’t improve from there.
Other tales include that Biden’s communications director allegedly spoke ill of the vice president in private and that Harris found it disrespectful when White House staffers didn’t stand as she entered a room for meetings.
It all comes as Harris has actually taken a bigger public role on important issues facing the administration. She’s been to Europe twice in the past month to speak with heads of state and security officials about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and was the first in the administration to publicly call for a war crimes investigation into Russian President Vladamir Putin. She announced a round of federal grants to HBCUs for security after a series of bomb threats.
She worked with Director of Domestic Policy Council Susan Rice on the administration’s “PAVE” initiative, which this morning announced a series of policies aimed at reducing the impact of institutional racism in home appraisals.
Former U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, who served as the “sherpa” for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, told The Root last week that Harris, herself a former Senator and California attorney general, was very involved in the vetting potential nominees to the Supreme Court.
Confirmation hearings are underway this week. With the Senate split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, Harris could be in position to cast a historic, tiebreaking vote to confirm the first Black woman Supreme Court justice.