Democrats fear Kamala Harris cant beat any GOPer in 2024, including Trump: report – New York Post
Democrats are increasingly fearful Vice President Kamala Harris’ missteps will open the door for Republicans to regain the White House, a new report said Friday.
Dems, including senior White House officials, fear that Harris will lose to any Republican she faces — including former President Donald Trump — if President Biden does not seek reelection in 2024, Axios reported.
At 56, Harris is more than two decades Biden’s junior — and has been considered the heir apparent to the 46th president since he selected her to be his running mate last year.
While Harris will still be the presumptive nominee if Biden becomes the first president since Lyndon Johnson to not seek a second full term, Axios reports that a series of blunders have left officials and operatives concerned.
Right now, one operative told Axios, the feeling among Democrats isn’t “‘Oh, no, our heir apparent is f—ing up, what are we gonna do?’ It’s more that people think, ‘Oh, she’s f—ing up, maybe she shouldn’t be the heir apparent.’”
Harris has repeatedly been criticized for her handling of the illegal immigration crisis along the US-Mexico border, a problem Biden dumped in her lap in March by tasking her to deal with the “root causes” of the issue.
The vice president initially ignored calls for her to visit the area, instead traveling to Guatemala and Mexico last month. While there, she shrugged off more questions about when she would visit the border, telling NBC’s Lester Holt that “I haven’t been to Europe” before adding, “I don’t understand the point that you’re making.”
That moment, which at least one commentator described as worthy of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character on the HBO show “Veep,” was followed last week by Harris traveling to El Paso, a perfunctory visit that took her hundreds of miles from the epicenter of the border crisis. Then, earlier this week, Politico dropped a bombshell report that described Harris’ office as “chaotic” with a “tense and at times dour” atmosphere.
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” one of Politico’s nearly two dozen sources told the outlet. “It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like sh–t.”
According to Axios, several White House officials have also described Harris’ office as a “sh—tshow,” poorly managed, and staffed with people who don’t know the vice president well.
Much of the blame has landed at the door of Harris Chief of Staff Tina Flournoy, who is depicted as so controlling and overly protective of the VP that requests for meetings and friendly interviews languish unanswered for weeks. Flournoy has also been accused of dismissing or ignoring staff ideas and refusing to delegate responsibility.
The Democratic officials who spoke to Axios said that in addition to Harris’ “handling of high-profile issues and political tone deafness,” they fear she’s been given bad advice by her press and communications people.
Harris still has her defenders, including senior adviser and chief spokesperson Symone Sanders, as well as White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond, who accused unnamed people of carrying out “a whisper campaign designed to sabotage her.”
“At some point it just becomes, one person says something long enough and it becomes an urban legend. It doesn’t have to be credible. It doesn’t have to be real. Someone says something and it can just snowball,” Richmond told Axios, later adding: “You’d just hope if there’s a legitimate criticism they’d put their name next to it.”
Meanwhile, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain offered unreserved praise for Harris, telling Axios she was “off to the fastest and strongest start of any Vice President I have seen.”
At a news conference Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki called Harris “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,” Psaki added, “I’m not going to have any more comments on those reports.”