California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) cruised to victory last week after he managed to avoid being recalled in the state’s special recall election.
While that came as a disappointment to most conservatives, the Washington Examiner’s White House correspondent, Katherine Doyle, suggested that Newsom’s win could spell bad news for Vice President Kamala Harris.
Doyle argued in a piece published Saturday that Newsom’s win could put him on a collision course with Harris over their party’s 2024 nomination.
How will that work?
Doyle quoted California Republican operative Mike Madrid, who pointed out that both Newsom and the vice president both emerged from the “same political machine, same political family.”
That could lead to a vicious future fight, given that many observers believe President Joe Biden will not seek a second term, for a number of reasons. Biden will turn 82-years-old come election day, and already appears to suffer from some form of cognitive decline, according to some.
Doyle also quoted Gil Duran, who once worked as an aid to Harris during her time as California’s attorney general. He believes that a White House run by Harris and Newsom will lead to tough choices for those who have worked for both politicians.
“The real question is if Newsom emerges from this recall with a lot of strength and tries to start building a narrative toward a presidential run of his own, you get to a crossroads where it’s Kamala and Newsom,” Duran said. “Which client do you pick?”
It’s already happening
Those divisions may already be playing out. Doyle noted that the vice president posed for pictures following a campaign rally in San Leandro with former staff members who are now working for Newsom.
However, the author went on to cite an unnamed Democratic strategist who claimed the gesture was “all for show,” and added that there is a high level of distrust as far as Harris is concerned.
“They are persona non grata with Kamala,” the figure reportedly said. “They are not welcomed or allowed to communicate with the vice president in any meaningful way.”
The strategist further insisted that the smiling, happy photos Newsom and Harris recently posed for together were purely for public consumption, saying, “That was for Instagram.”
In the meantime, Harris has a more pressing issue to contend with: her poll numbers. The RealClearPolitics polling average gives her an average approval rating of just 41.4%, with one August survey, specifically, putting her at a dismal 35%.