Media outlets change tune on Harris amid mounting criticism

While Vice President Kamala Harris and her supporters might believe she is in a prime position ahead of the 2024 Democratic presidential primary, some pundits and reporters are clearly beginning to have other ideas.

After months of criticism over her perceived mishandling of the border crisis, a new Politico report details the “abusive” workplace culture described by some of those closest to her.

Media shifts focus

As the vice president’s office scrambles to respond to the bombshell allegations, a number of other articles have highlighted Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s service in the current administration and even show a possible path for him to become president after President Joe Biden leaves office.

The Atlantic made the case for the former South Bend, Indiana mayor, pointing out that he won the Iowa caucuses in his 2020 presidential bid and could use his prominent position in Biden’s infrastructure project to his political advantage.

That article went on to establish his possible path to the White House, noting that Buttigieg is popular among many in the media and, as the first gay president, “there could be a first gentleman and a second gentleman” for the first time in American history.

One local news outlet in New York picked up on the narrative, describing the huge applause Buttigieg received during recent infrastructure-related remarks.

Meanwhile, Harris faces criticism for her actions as Biden’s border czar as well as the apparent dysfunction that has defined her office behind the scenes.

“A whisper campaign”

Senior Biden adviser Cedric Richmond attempted to defend the vice president, insisting that the leaks about her office amounted to “a whisper campaign designed to sabotage her.”

Some top Democratic officials, however, are openly speculating that Harris should not be Biden’s heir apparent in the next presidential election cycle.

To be sure, the first Black woman to serve as vice president might seem to be a formidable presidential candidate, but Democrats are said to be privately expressing fear that Harris is squandering her goodwill and could have trouble beating a GOP challenger.

Buttigieg, on the other hand, can also be seen as an intersectional win for the party as the first gay president and, at least for now, he is facing far fewer political headwinds.

There is still a long road to the next presidential campaign, however, and Harris is not likely to give up her “heir apparent” status without a fight.

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