For all her incompetence, no one doubts that Kamala Harris is ruthless and ambitious.
Even Joe Biden was taken aback by what he thought was a concerted smear campaign by Harris to sabotage her rivals for the vice presidency, the Washington Examiner reported.
Harris was known for her cutthroat methods in the 2020 Democratic primary, which led Biden’s team to question whether she was behind some of the stories spreading about her competitors to be Biden’s VP, according to a new book, This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future.
Biden himself, of course, knew very well the lengths to which Harris would go for power. During a June 2019 primary debate, Harris publicly attacked her future boss as racist on national television. The moment briefly catapulted Harris to the front of the primary field before she crashed and burned.
When it came time for Biden to choose a running mate, he made it known that he would select a black woman, and Harris was on the shortlist. Although he privately had doubts about Harris, according to the book’s authors, the media’s coverage of his veep search was overwhelmingly favorable to her.
California Rep. Karen Bass (D-Ca.) was grilled over her ties to Fidel Castro and Scientology. Former Obama aide Susan Rice was also the target of hostile press. The press was so one-sided that it caused Biden to wonder if it had all been coordinated by the Harris campaign.
“Even Joe Biden wondered aloud: Was Harris’s team driving this?” authors Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin wrote.
Biden, wife had concerns
As Harris stumbles her way through the halls of power, the shallow fanfare over her rise to the vice presidency has dissipated. Does Biden regret his choice, maybe? Perhaps he should have listened to his gut.
According to Burns and Martin, Biden — showing a bit, perhaps, of an old-fashioned sensibility that has never quite clicked with the “progressive” morals of his handlers — initially thought Harris’s pay-to-play relationship with San Francisco mayor Willie Brown was “the kind of thing that should be off limits.”
But Biden’s now-chief of staff, Ron Klain, told Biden that choosing a nominee who had attacked him so viciously in public would make him look “magnanimous and forgiving.” Maybe Klain’s political instincts aren’t the, um, sharpest.
Another adviser to Biden was quoted as saying that “white women are incredibly racist, as are white men” and that Harris, though “risky,” was the “safest of choices that we had.”