The White House is apparently working to improve Vice President Kamala Harris’ image, as officials fear her profound unpopularity may hamper President Joe Biden’s re-election bid.
Biden and his staff are allegedly unwilling to swap out the vice president due to the appearance of Biden making a mistake with his vice-presidential selection. According to Axios, the White House is instead planning ways to boost Harris’ popularity rating.
Biden made his re-election candidacy official this week with a brief, pre-recorded speech. The president has one of the lowest approval ratings of any sitting president at this point in their career.
Harris has a lower approval rating. The Biden administration has made mistakes on a number of global and domestic policy matters, and Harris has been at the forefront of several of them. While Biden’s approval rating is just in the 40s, Harris’ is in the high 30s.
Harris has presided over many high-profile losses for Biden, the most prominent of which is the US-Mexico border. Since Biden’s election, the southern border has witnessed increasing illegal immigration, fueling a number of issues, including worsening humanitarian circumstances at the border, hundreds of migrant minors working illegally in the United States to repay traffickers, and others.
The West Wing’s growing interest in making Harris appear nice represents a shift in how the White House has worked since Biden entered office. Mistrust has affected the relationship between presidential and vice-presidential personnel. For example, when it was reported that former White House communications director Kate Bedingfield had attacked Harris, Harris’ team had Bedingfield wait for two weeks before meeting with the vice president to apologize.
Bedingfield has openly refuted the allegations.
Harris’s office has likewise been famously disorganized and beset by high turnover throughout Biden’s first term.
However, one of Harris’ main hurdles to her image is her public appearances. The vice president is frequently mocked for making simple or ambiguous statements, the most recent of which occurred in a pro-abortion address this week.
“I believe it is extremely crucial, as you have been hearing from so many incredible leaders, for us at every point in time, and definitely this one, to observe the moment in time in that we exist and also are present and to be capable to contextualize it — to comprehend where we are in history and in the moment — how it relates not just to the past but also to the future,” Harris said in a particular clip that drew mockery online.
“When your scriptwriter uses ChatGPT,” The Daily Signal commented.
“Given the president’s advanced age, the VP ought to be judged by the standard established for the highest position of the ticket,” said Hudson Institute senior scholar Rebeccah Heinrichs.