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The White House has denied that there are any issues in Vice President Kamala Harris’s office.
“Well, I would first note that I try not to speak to or engage on anonymous reports or anonymous sources,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday when questioned about anonymous complaints about the atmosphere in the VP’s office.
“I will say that the vice-president is an incredibly important partner to the president of the United States. She has a challenging job, a hard job, and she has a great supportive team of people around her. But other than that, I’m not going to have any more comments on those reports,” she added.
Press Secretary Psaki deflects on question regarding alleged “abusive environment” of Vice Presidential staffers: “I try not to speak to or engage on anonymous reports or anonymous sources.” pic.twitter.com/RELZS48D5V
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) July 2, 2021
As far as she’s concerned, everything’s on the up and up. But that sentiment isn’t shared.
According to Axios, while most Democrats expect President Joe Biden to run for reelection in 2024, they recognize that because of his age — he’ll turn 81 that year — he may not have what it takes to weather another fast-paced election cycle, let alone win reelection.
The problem, according to Axios, is that Democrats fear that Harris, who’s his heir apparent, suffers from the same liability, albeit for different reasons.
“[M]any Democrats, including some current senior administration officials, are concerned she could not defeat whomever the Republican Party puts up — even if it were Donald Trump,” Axios reported Friday.
“Some Democrats close to the White House are increasingly concerned about Harris’s handling of high-profile issues and political tone deafness, and question her ability to maintain the coalition that Biden rode to the White House,” the outlet added.
One anonymous Democrat operative bluntly said to Axios that these Democrats aren’t thinking, “Oh, no, our heir apparent is f–king up, what are we gonna do?”
Instead they’re reportedly thinking, “Oh, she’s f–king up, maybe she shouldn’t be the heir apparent.”
Part of the problem appears to be her staff picks.
Kamala Harris’s office an ‘abusive’ hellhole, ‘staff ‘treated like s–t,’ current and fmr aides tell Politico https://t.co/uXbMYAZH5S
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) July 1, 2021
As reported earlier in the week, current and former aides and administration officials have described the Office of the Vice President as an “abusive” hellhole.
They say that much of the blame goes to the VP’s chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, whom they describe as an overbearing woman who doesn’t tolerate dissenting ideas, who blames everybody else but herself when things go badly and who tries to keep the VP sheltered from reality. This, unfortunately, has produced tangible repercussions.
Axios notes, for instance, that “a no-brainer” press request from Forbes for its “50 Over 50” issue went ignored because of Flournoy’s intransigence, prompting the president’s own staff members to intervene.
“After concluding that Flournoy had been sitting on the request — a characterization that an aide to the V.P. flatly disputes, explaining that she was simply nailing down details before sharing it with a larger White House circle — ultimately the West Wing intervened to get an answer for Forbes,” according to Axios.
“The vice president ended up participating — and getting glowing treatment. But Biden advisers couldn’t understand why it had to be this hard,” Axios added.
According to Axios, several administration officials have described the vice president’s office as a “sh*tshow.”
“Some Biden officials view the Harris operation as poorly-managed and staffed with people who don’t have long-term relationships with her. They feel she’s gotten bad advice from her press and communications shop and think it’s telling that she’s already lost two advance aides and a digital director,” Axios noted.
Another part of the problem with Harris vis-a-vis 2024 appears to be her own incompetence.
After being assigned by the president to oversee resolving the border crisis, the vice president not only did nothing to actually resolve it but also stubbornly refused to even tour the border.
Questioned about why not during a sit-down with NBC’s Lester Holt early last month, Harris awkwardly tried comparing a visit to the border to a visit to Europe.
“Do you have any plans to visit the border?” Holt asked.
“At some point. We are going to the border. We’ve been to the border. This whole thing about the border, we’ve been to the border. We’ve been to the border,” Harris replied.
“You haven’t been to the border,” Holt correctly noted.
“And I haven’t been to Europe either. And I mean, I don’t understand the point you’re trying to make,” the vice president snapped.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 8, 2021
During a separate interview with Univision days later, she snapped again when pressed once more about her refusal to visit the border.
Her bizarre behavior at the time drew widespread criticism, even from her allies in the mainstream press.
Not til former President Donald Trump announced his own visit to the border did the vice president finally schedule a trip to the border — but even then, she treated the visit like a mere stopover/layover.
First, the area she visited, El Paso, wasn’t a problem area. The reason El Paso is so secure, ironically enough, is because of the border wall that was erected by Trump.
Second, she stayed at the border for just a few short hours and then rushed off for another vacation in her posh home in Los Angeles.
— Sixth Sense (@6Sense_Esport) June 29, 2021
Meanwhile, the vice president’s top honchos refuse to admit that there’s anything wrong.
“Harris’ senior adviser, Symone Sanders, and deputy chief of staff Michael Fuchs defended Harris and Flournoy,” according to Axios.
They’ve even reportedly resorted to playing the race card.
“Harris and Flournoy’s defenders … note that women in power—Black women in particular—are subjected to standards that men often don’t have to clear. A tough and demanding office environment may be seen as a virtue for one and a sign of disorder and lack of leadership acumen for another,” Politico noted in a separate report.
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