New book says Biden suspected Team Kamala of sabotaging other minority veep contenders

After earlier looks into an upcoming book focusing on President Joe Biden’s first year in office highlighted tensions between Vice President Kamala Harris, her team, and first lady Jill Biden, further context may now show where that originated.

As part of the lead-up to the May 3 release of the forthcoming book, “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future,” co-authors and New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns have been teasing snippets to entice the market. The latest content covered by the Washington Examiner claims that Biden wondered if Harris’ team was deliberately sabotaging other contenders to be his running mate.

While considering choices like Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and former national security adviser Susan Rice, they faced excessive scrutiny of which Martin and Burns wrote, “something about this seemed more deliberate, even targeted,” the Examiner reported.

“Even Joe Biden wondered aloud: Was Harris’s team driving this?” as his team sought a viable candidate who would increase his chances in the general election. As he had demonstrated with his recent appointment of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, Biden had narrowed his list to primarily black women.

As a result, the intensified attacks, the authors wrote, were “aimed at all of the most formidable Black women under consideration”

Bass had to face remarks from her past praising the Church of Scientology and answer why she had warmly embraced Cuban dictator Fidel Castro upon meeting him. Meanwhile, Rice was facing criticism for her management style, the Examiner detailed.

When Harris faced her own volley of opposition, presumably in retaliation, “Biden was startled by some of the intra-state factional attacks on Harris by her fellow Democrats, including members of the state’s large congressional delegation,” Martin and Burns explained.

Harris has since “fixated on real and perceived snubs in ways the West Wing found tedious,” according to earlier reports. While the vice president complained about people not standing for her when she entered a room as they did for the president, Jill Biden had allegedly voiced her displeasure with the decision to select Harris in the first place.

“Speaking in confidence with a close adviser to her husband’s campaign,” the authors wrote, “the future first lady posed a pointed question. There are millions of people in the United States, she began. Why, she asked, do we have to choose the one who attacked Joe?”

She wasn’t alone in that feeling as top adviser to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) David Crane promoted Bass, the then-chair of the Congressional Black Caucus: “In contrast to Kamala Harris, Karen cares about something greater than herself.”

Evidently, Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain had insisted Harris was the best choice from the onset. Of Klain, the book also reports him to be a divisive figure in the party. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was chief among his detractors.

“Not all Democrats shared Biden’s admiration for Klain; some party leaders grumbled about his hard-charging manner and expansive intellectual confidence. The Speaker of the House was one of those Democrats,” the authors wrote. “Late in the 2020 campaign, Pelosi grew openly annoyed when an adviser urged her to consult with Klain about health care legislation. What, she asked, does Ron Klain know about anything?”


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Kevin Haggerty


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