Though rumors of staff unrest have been plaguing Vice President Kamala Harris in recent weeks, it has emerged that similar discontent has made its way to those working for President Joe Biden, with a significant number of disgruntled employees reportedly “eyeing the exits” for new jobs in 2022, as Politico reports.
According to that outlet’s West Wing Playbook, there appears to be an increase in frustration among White House staffers, with a noticeable lack of unity and camaraderie frequently cited by those looking to leave.
The problem has reportedly become so substantial that there could be a high volume of turnover among the ranks of Biden staff once the new years arrives.
One of the main issues raised by insiders who spoke to Politico was the insular nature of those closest to the president and their unwillingness to broaden their circle, with the phrase “no new friends in Biden world” used to characterize the prevailing feeling in the West Wing.
In addition to what was described as ineffective leadership among top Biden advisers, discontented staff sources complained that they have been deprived of one of the best perks of the kind of work they do – the ability to attend holiday events and public ceremonies at the White House.
Grumbling that admission to a number of high-profile events has been distributed in recent months through a lottery system, one staffer lamented that “No one expects business as usual during the pandemic, but it’s beyond demoralizing, it’s insulting,” and said that the appearance of “D.C. randos” at such functions only rubs salt in the wound.
Going public with these grievances was done, according to Politico, as a last-ditch attempt to prompt a course correction by those in charge, but it seems that a noteworthy number of staff members have already resigned themselves to conditions remaining the same and are thus “eyeing the exits” for an imminent departure.
Expressing disappointment that “a president whose brand is built on empathy and family has staff policies that fly in the face of that brand,” one of the staffers who spoke to the outlet indicated it was simply “emblematic of how this place runs.”
It is certainly an open question whether the words “empathy” and “family” are things that most Americans closely associated with Biden, but the fact that these kinds of stories continue to emerge not just about his staff but also that of his vice president shows just how much turmoil is bubbling under the surface of this administration.