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Douglas Andrews / July 1, 2021

The President’s Error Apparent

Kamala Harris is neither competent nor likable, and Joe Biden should’ve known better.

Remember how long it took Joe Biden to announce Kamala Harris as his running mate? That should’ve tipped us off. She checked off all the complementary boxes: female to Biden’s male, young to Biden’s old, West Coast to Biden’s East Coast, multiracial to Biden’s racist, normal to Biden’s creepy, sniffable to Biden’s sniffy.

Given all this, she should’ve been a shoe-in. And yet he kept delaying his decision. Part of the problem was that he painted himself into a corner, having vowed to pick a female VP. From there, Senator Amy Klobuchar narrowed his choices even further by “helpfully” suggesting that his running mate should be a woman of color. That left a few relative lightweights, and Harris.

If there was ever a doubt as to why Biden couldn’t pull the trigger on Harris, last month’s less-than-fawning Atlantic piece gave us a glimpse, and yesterday’s damning Politico piece removed all doubt: The more the American people see of Kamala Harris, the less they like her. Indeed, she launched her run for the presidency in 2019 before 22,000 adoring Oaklanders, and it’s been downhill ever since. As Politico reports:

The handling of the border visit was the latest chaotic moment for a staff that’s quickly become mired in them, Harris’ team is experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication and diminished trust among aides and senior officials. Much of the frustration internally is directed at Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff, a veteran of Democratic politics who began working for her earlier this year.

If nothing else, Politico did its homework, interviewing 22 current and former vice presidential aides, administration officials, and associates of Harris and Biden. It’s safe to say that at least one of them, whom Politico says has direct knowledge of how Harris’s office is run, is rather disgruntled: “People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment. It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s—.”

When we wrote about Harris last month, we noted her ineptitude as Joe Biden’s border czar. She was charged by Biden to stem the migrant surge at our southern border — a surge whose numbers are already the most since 2006, according to preliminary Customs and Border Protection data. So far, she’s failed miserably and predictably, and her trip to El Paso, some 800 miles away from the actual crisis in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, did nothing to change anyone’s mind.

Clearly, though, this isn’t just about bungled border czardom.

It’d be one thing if Kamala Harris were either competent or likable — either a brilliant surgeon or an affable doc with a great bedside manner. Unfortunately for Joe Biden, and for his party’s national political fortunes, she’s neither. And the strife on her team is raising concerns at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. As Politico continues:

The dysfunction in the VP’s ranks threatens to complicate the White House’s carefully crafted image as a place staffed by a close-knit group of professionals working in concert to advance the president’s agenda. It’s pronounced enough that members of the president’s own team have taken notice and are concerned about the way Harris’ staffers are treated.

Carefully crafted? Not hardly. There’s a reason why Kamala Harris was polling in the low single-digits, right along with gimmicky Marianne Williamson, when she dropped out of the race just before the Iowa Caucuses. There’s a reason why a former Harris senior staffer said in a scathing resignation letter, “This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly.” Yes, there’s a reason, and it somehow escaped Joe Biden and his handlers. Either that, or they chose to ignore it.

It’s said that the first test of presidential leadership is his choice of a vice president. Joe Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris tells us all we need to know – about her, and especially about him.

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