With President Joe Biden’s approval numbers continuing their recent free fall, the noticeable gulf between the commander in chief and Vice President Kamala Harris appears to be widening, as evidenced by the startling lack of joint appearances over the last several months, as the New York Post notes.
Amid a number of controversies that continue to engulf the White House, including the supply chain crisis and the ongoing migrant influx at the southern border, the top two officials in the executive branch have been seen publicly as a pair much less often than during the earlier stages of Biden’s term.
Observers have suggested that the lack of togetherness is intentional on Harris’ part given the precipitous drop in Biden’s poll numbers in recent weeks. According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, the president received just 28% approval from independent voters and notched 37% approval from the electorate as a whole, as The Hill reported, results likely to be causing sleepless nights at the White House.
A former Harris advisor reportedly told the Los Angeles Times that the nation’s second in command is irritated by the fact that “she hasn’t been given any all-star portfolio” and that distrust is rife between the two leaders and their respective staffs.
In response to the claim, the White House attempted to defuse reports of tensions, telling the Daily Mail that the absence of scheduled joint appearances is not indicative of the true relationship between Biden and Harris.
Asserting that the president and vice president often convene for meetings that do not appear on official daily guidance, the White House also noted that the duo meets weekly over lunch. Sabrina Singh, a spokesperson for Harris explained, “The vice president keeps a busy schedule doing the work of the administration and always in support of the president. Sometimes those events are together, other times apart… .”
With her eye always on the next rung on the political ladder, however, it may well be that Harris has been rattled by the swift decline in popularity Biden is currently suffering and now feels that creating a bit of distance from what she may see as a sinking ship is the way to go.
Biden’s advanced age and apparent cognitive decline have thrown the possibility of a second term into real doubt among Democrats, despite his own assurances that a 2024 campaign is indeed on the cards, saying earlier this year, “My answer is yes. I plan on running for reelection. That’s my expectation.”
However, with many wondering whether Biden will make it through this first term, let alone seek a second one, it would not be at all surprising for Harris – whose own shaky performance on the job reportedly has Democrat Party leaders on edge – to start cutting her losses and doing what she can to loosen ties to a president whose downward slide shows no sign of slowing.