President Joe Biden promised on the campaign trail that he’d work closely with his vice president, Kamala Harris, on everything from public health to prison reform. Now, it appears the two are even living in close proximity.
The Washington Examiner reported earlier this month that Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, had moved into the Blair House, a residence meant to be a guesthouse for the president that is said to be located “steps away from the White House.”
The second couple will reportedly be staying there while renovations are done on the U.S. Naval Observatory, where they will officially reside.
An oddly close relationship
The arrangement marked just one of many signs that the Biden–Harris ticket would be running the country “as if physically joined by a hyphen,” in the words of the Examiner‘s Rob Crilly.
“It is clear President Biden views Vice President Harris as a close partner in governing,” Northeastern University political science professor Costas Panagopoulos told Crilly.
“It appears he is modeling his partnership after his own role in the Obama administration, but he also brings to the relationship his own perspective having served as vice president for eight years,” Panagopoulos added of Biden.
Crilly also cited remarks Harris made to CNN late last year in which she characterized Biden and herself as “full partners.”
“The president-elect has been, since the first day he asked me to join him on the ticket, very clear with me that he wants me to be the first and the last in the room,” she reportedly remarked.
A short-lived bond?
Biden himself also raised eyebrows when he told CNN’s Jake Tapper in December that if he and Harris disagreed “on moral principle,” he’d be forced to step down.
“Like I told [then-President] Barack [Obama], if I reach something where there’s a fundamental disagreement we have based on a moral principle, I’ll develop some disease and say I have to resign,” Biden said of Harris, according to the Daily Caller.
But it might not be all sunshine and rainbows for the pair forever: in his Sunday report, Crilly also pointed to the assessment of presidential historian Craig Shirley, who argued that the apparently tight relationship between Biden and Harris “won’t last.”
“It never does. The vice president always has their own political ax to grind,” Shirley explained. “They all want the top job… They watch stories about the president’s health and go to funerals. That’s what they do.”