President Joe Biden formally launched his 2024 re-election campaign this past week and made it clear that Vice President Kamala Harris would continue to be his running mate in the upcoming election, despite her being widely viewed as more of a liability than an asset for his bid for a second term.
The decision to retain Harris could ultimately prove ruinous to Biden's campaign, though, if the open attacks from Republicans and quiet critiques from unnamed Democrats are effective in dissuading voters from supporting their re-election, according to USA Today.
That is due at least in part to the fact that Harris is even more deeply unpopular with the American people than Biden is, and is broadly and bipartisanly perceived as both inauthentic and incapable of competently governing the nation if the elderly Biden is re-elected but unable to fully serve out another four years in office.
"I think we can be all clear and say, with a matter of fact, that if you vote for Joe Biden, you really are counting on a President Harris," Republican candidate Nikki Haley said in an interview on Wednesday, according to USA Today. "Because the idea that he would make it until 86 years old is not something that I think is likely."
The outlet noted that Republicans have made it clear that they will key in on how unpopular and ineffective Harris has proven herself to be in conjunction with similar complaints about Biden that are compounded by his advanced age and increasingly apparent decline of his physical and mental health.
Emma Vaughn, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, told USA Today having both Biden and Harris "at the top of the Democrat ticket is a gift to every Republican running for office, from school board to the top of the ticket."
Fox News similarly reported this week that VP Harris could prove to be the "most consequential" vice presidential candidate in modern history, albeit not in a good way, in that her clearly perceived weakness among most Republicans and many Democrats could actually drag down and doom President Biden's effort to convince voters to re-elect him.
Former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii, now an independent, told the outlet that "Kamala Harris is clearly unqualified to be the Commander-in-Chief," which should be a "major issue" for voters even as she lamented that the media would work to cover for her shortcomings and keep them hidden from the public as much as possible.
"The Biden Administration has already brought our country to the brink of nuclear war with Russia and the new cold war with China is heating up quickly," the former congresswoman added. "The consequences of President Kamala Harris at the helm would be dangerous and catastrophic for the American people and our nation."
Likewise, Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe asserted that "Kamala Harris hurts Joe Biden." She said, "If anything happens to Biden, does anyone want Harris? She is personally unlikable and inarticulate," and added, "She dropped out of the 2020 Democrat primary before Iowa. Her own party didn't want her. She was a diversity, equity, and inclusion hire."
Immediately after President Biden announced his re-election bid with VP Harris remaining by his side, Axios reported that the White House had launched its own effort to try and rehabilitate and bolster the vice president's flagging popularity by focusing on issues with broad appeal among Democrats, such as abortion and infrastructure, while avoiding the issues where she has been decidedly ineffective, such as dealing with the migration crisis at the southern border or legislatively expanding voting rights.
They will also undoubtedly ramp up their reliance upon accusations of racism and sexism to counter any and all criticism of her, whether from the GOP or her own fellow Democrats, but after more than two years of that same tired retort to legitimate critiques, it no longer carries the same sting it once inflicted.
That was alluded to by GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway in a statement to Fox News about how the choice of Harris as Biden's running mate was arguably among the president's "worst" decisions ever made.
"No inspiration. No aspiration. No preparation. No way to get Kamala off the re-election ticket, either. Most Democratic candidates did not invite her to campaign with them in 2022," Conway said. "It will be harder to hide her -- and Biden -- when her name is on the ballot in 2024. She has not been an asset. There is little confidence in her competence. That popular assessment is not racism or sexism. It is eyesight and hearing."