Though she once enjoyed a reputation as a groundbreaking political figure on the left, Vice President Kamala Harris has faltered significantly during her first year in office, and a recent report from the Washington Post outlining some of the reasons why lays bare many of the weaknesses she surely wished had remain hidden.
The Post endeavored to explore rumors of dysfunction and upheaval in Harris’ office, largely rooted in announcements over the past several weeks that several high-level staffers were on their way out the door, including communications director Ashley Etienne and senior adviser and chief spokesperson Symone Sanders.
During the outlet’s interviews with a group of 18 current and past Harris staff members, it became apparent that the difficulties really have flowed from the top, with one insider declaring, “It’s clear that you’re not working with somebody who is willing to do the prep and the work.”
The problems with Harris apparently go far beyond her seeming reluctance to delve deeply into the substance of her job, with that same staffer pointing also to a management style that some might say borders on abusive in that “with Kamala you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and her own lack of confidence. So you’re constantly sort of propping up a bully and it’s not really clear why.”
Adriana Cohen of the New York Post recently penned a scathing assessment of the dangers Harris’ leadership and management frailties truly pose, particularly given President Joe Biden’s precarious cognitive state and the fact that the vice president is a heartbeat away from the top job, noting, “At every test this year, when our country needed [Harris] to step up to the plate and solve serious problems affecting American lives…she fell short.”
In support of that contention, Cohen pointed to a series of crises in which Harris had an opportunity to step up to the plate and prove her mettle – the troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, the staggering influx of migrants at the southern border, and the COVID-19 pandemic – in which she instead shrunk from view and offered little in the way of executive initiative.
Cohen is not alone in her biting critique of the vice president’s performance thus far, with the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan – who once wrote glowingly of Harris’ supposed political acumen – stating in an opinion piece on Saturday that “her shaky standing is a danger to the country given the position she could be called on to fill.”
Noonan advises Harris to “decide to become serious – to inform and immerse herself, meet with party thinkers, study her briefing books” and laments that her “current strategy, to the extent it exists, appears to rely on her own sense of her own personal charisma – delighted laughter, attempts to connect personally, to convey zest.”
Though Noonan advises the vice president to adopt an approach of “earnestness,” it is increasingly clear to millions of Americans that such a quality is not among Harris’ prevailing characteristics, something that renders her utterly unsuitable for the role she inhabits.