A new report from CNN suggests that the relationship between President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris may be falling apart.
The outlet titled its report: “Exasperation and dysfunction: Inside Kamala Harris’ frustrating start as vice president.”
The inside information
Based on the contents of CNN report, Biden and his people are having problems with Harris and her people, and vice versa.
Regarding the former, the outlet writes:
Worn out by what they see as entrenched dysfunction and lack of focus, key West Wing aides have largely thrown up their hands at Vice President Kamala Harris and her staff — deciding there simply isn’t time to deal with them right now.
And, one of the problems that Harris and her people have with Biden is that he has, more or less, “sidelined” her. The reader may remember Biden saying that he and Harris would essentially be on equal footing. But, that hasn’t happened.
The outlet reports:
Many in the vice president’s circle fume that she’s not being adequately prepared or positioned, and instead is being sidelined. The vice president herself has told several confidants she feels constrained in what she’s able to do politically.
CNN goes on to report that Harris and her people also believe that the Biden White House has not done enough to counter attacks on Harris from conservatives. And, here, a former Harris aide is reported as suggesting that race may be playing a role, pointing to how the White House has vigorously defended Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“It’s hard to miss the specific energy that the White House brings to defend a White man, knowing that Kamala Harris has spent almost a year taking a lot of the hits that the West Wing didn’t want to take themselves,” the source is quoted as saying.
The White House responds
Within hours of CNN’s report being published, the White House began circling the wagons. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki posted a tweet that read:
For anyone who needs to hear it. @VP is not only a vital partner to @POTUS but a bold leader who has taken on key, important challenges facing the country—from voting rights to addressing root causes of migration to expanding broadband.
Psaki followed this up with a statement to CNN, in which she said:
I will say that the vice president is an incredibly important partner to the President of the United States. She has a challenging job, a hard job, and she has a great supportive team of people around her. But other than that, I’m not going to have any more comments on those reports,
And, Sabrina Singh, Harris’s Deputy Press Secretary, released a statement of her own, saying:
The Vice President and her office are focused on the Biden-Harris Administration’s agenda to build an economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down, to making sure racial equity is at the core of everything the Administration does, to combatting the existential threat of climate change, and to continue protecting the American people from the Covid-19 pandemic,
The bottom line, though, appears to be that there is some definite friction between Biden and Harris. We’ll have to see how this one plays out. But, for now, it appears that the White House is working overtime to keep this stuff under wraps, probably recognizing that none of this bodes well for the Democratic Party’s future.