Democrat President Joe Biden is unhappy with Kamala Harris’s performance as VP, according to current and former White House officials.
The officials and some Democrat strategists told Reuters that Biden will keep her on the ticket because he has no choice and that he will run again because he doesn’t think Harris can beat Trump.
“If he did not think she was capable, he would not have picked her. But it is a question of consistently rising to the occasion,” said a former official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I think his running for re-election is less about her and more about him, but I do think that she and the Democratic bench are a factor.”
“A point of tension in their relationship is that I don’t think that the president sees her as somebody who takes anything off of his plate,” a second former White House official said because she “fears messing up.”
The National Border Patrol Council grilled Harris for failing on the border earlier:
“If you were given a job 2 years ago with the explicit goal of reducing illegal immigration, and then you sit around and do nothing while illegal immigration explodes to levels never seen before, you should be fired and replaced. Period.”
“She, I think, is smart. She does not see this as a political win for her. Because it’s not. It’s a really hard issue,” one current administration official said of her debacle at the southern border.
“I think this is actually one of the fundamental strategic challenges for Biden how to navigate this,” said one Democrat close to the White House.
“It’s almost impossible for them to make a change.”
“You cannot replace your first Black woman vice president and think that Black people and women are going to just vote for you,” a former White House official said. “He needs her.”
“The re-election could be her moment to shine,” said Democratic strategist Lis Smith.
“She is at her best when she gets back to her prosecutorial roots and when she can really make a case, and Democrats are going to need to make one hell of a case to win in 2024.”
“The vice president’s job really is to make sure that you carry the mission of the administration forward and she has done that very successfully around the country. Unfortunately … I don’t think she gets the credit in the public eye she deserves,” outgoing Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said.
Democratic strategist Bud Jackson said:
“In a Machiavellian sense, Democrats think that Biden is hopefully fine for another term and we don’t have to worry about the second-in-command, because I think, in our mind, Biden lasts another term and then Harris is not the preordained Democratic nominee (for 2028).
“Some of this lack of enthusiasm is unrealistic expectations that she was going to be some kind of rock star as vice president, and that’s not fair to expect.”
Kamala remains one of the most unpopular figures in American life with a 39% favorability rating.
According to Reuters:
“Biden is also convinced that neither Harris nor any other Democratic hopefuls would be able to beat former President Donald Trump if he is the Republican nominee, a factor that has influenced Biden’s inclination to run again, one former White House official said.”