Kamala Harris is taking the reins yet again. The vice president welcomed South Korea’s leader, Moon Jae-in, at the White House on Friday without President Joe Biden present, Fox News reported.
Harris went on to give a statement to the press alongside Moon in what Fox described as an unusual move for a vice president, given that Biden wasn’t there. According to the New York Post, Biden was set to meet with the South Korean president later in the day.
“At a time when our world faces increasing threats to our health, security, and climate, it is more important than ever that the United States and the Republic of Korea work closely together,” Harris said at the presser, according to the Post.
Has Harris gone rogue?
This isn’t the first time Harris has flown solo on the world stage. According to Fox, Harris also spoke with Jordanian King Abdullah II by phone about the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza on Thursday.
Other world leaders with whom Harris has spoken sans Biden since the pair took office earlier this year include French President Emanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Fox reported.
No doubt, Harris is speaking to these foreign leaders with the consent of or at the request of Biden and his White House. But that doesn’t mean the arrangement hasn’t raised questions, particularly among those who have expressed continued concern about Biden’s capacity to lead.
A proving ground
Having Harris take solo meetings with world leaders could also be part of a larger strategy in the Democratic Party to tee Harris up for an eventual presidential run — one that could come sooner than later. Many on both the left and right have suggested that Biden may opt not to seek a second term in the Oval Office, leaving Dems with few options for 2024.
The current vice president and failed 2020 Democratic presidential primary contender had little in the way of foreign policy experience before ascending to the White House, putting her in desperate need of a resume-booster if she is vying for the role of commander-in-chief.
Unfortunately for Democrats, Harris is far from well-liked by voters even months into her tenure as VP. One recent poll showed former President Donald Trump would come out on top over Harris in a hypothetical 2024 match-up with the support of 49% of voters surveyed, compared to 45% for Harris, according to Breitbart.
But it seems Dems may not need to convince voters to put Harris in the West Wing. Sixty-four percent of respondents to that poll said they thought Harris would become president before Biden’s first term is even over, Breitbart reported.
Maybe the vice president is just getting a head-start on the transition.