Although Vice President Kamala Harris has long struggled with sagging approval ratings, a recent dip in popularity appears to present a nagging problem for the Biden administration.
Amid accusations of incompetence on her part and infighting among her staffers, a group of female Democratic Party operatives reportedly joined forces to host a “crisis dinner” on the vice president’s behalf.
According to the Daily Caller, the apparent goal of the coalition is to counter negative media reports and narratives that could negatively impact the party’s chances of holding on to a legislative majority after next year’s midterm elections.
Democrats rush to respond
Looking two years further, Harris remains poised to be a top contender in the 2024 presidential race if President Joe Biden opts against pursuing a second term.
Jonathan Swan first reported the latest update in an article for Axios, explaining that the “crisis dinner” was organized by former Clinton adviser Kiki McClean and took place at some point last month in Washington, D.C.
Among those said to be in attendance were several other Democratic operatives, strategists, and advisers from the administrations or campaigns of Biden, former President Bill Clinton, and former President Barack Obama.
Sources cited in Swan’s report said the discussion reportedly focused on pushing back against the growing negative perception of the vice president as well as certain political missteps she has already made while in office.
“It was less about how do you sort out the infrastructure [of Harris’ operation] and it was more how can this group contribute to make sure that not only is her team making the most of this moment — as the first woman of color in the White House — but how can we help from the outside?” one source explained.
“Curb some of the gendered dynamics”
The decidedly leftist group also insisted that racism and sexism were underlying reasons for the vice president’s unpopularity.
“Many of us lived through the Clinton campaign and want to help curb some of the gendered dynamics in press coverage than impacted [Hillary Clinton],” another source told Swan. “It was like, ‘We’ve seen this before.’ It’s subtle. But when things aren’t going well for a male politician, we ask very different questions, and they’re not held to account the way a woman leader is.”
Nevertheless, Harris herself is ultimately to blame for her own stumbles, which allegedly include a history of running toxic work environments.
Whatever the reasons might be, the vice president has never achieved widespread popularity, as proven throughout a political career that included a stint as California’s attorney general, a U.S. senator, and, briefly, a presidential candidate whose campaign crashed before any primary votes had been cast.