- Harris advisers are seeking to reset her political career, according to a Washington Post report.
- Harris, the first female vice president, has endured a wave of reports of office dysfunction.
- In recent weeks, Harris has been a more visible presence at major events with President Biden.
Vice President Kamala Harris’ political team has implemented a number of changes in a joint effort to boost her public reception and political future after hitting some turbulence in her first year in office, according to The Washington Post.
Harris, a former California state prosecutor and U.S. senator, has had a sharp rise on the national political scene and moved into the Naval Observatory just four years after she entered the Senate in 2017.
But months after she took office in January last year, she faced a string of media reports of dysfunction in her office, combined with news of stagnant approval ratings that advisers and supporters feel have dampened the fortunes of the first female, first black and first Indian. U.S. Vice President of American History.
Now – almost a year after the inauguration – there is a big effort for a successful reset of Harris’ team.
The vice president has brought in Jamal Simmons, a longtime Democratic analyst who has been a staple of cable news programs, to become her communications director at a time when many have said her office has lacked consistent messages about her duties and achievements.
After withdrawing from attending major events with President Joe Biden, Harris has become a more visible presence, as evidenced by the signing of the $ 1.2 trillion top partisan infrastructure bill in November and their joint appearance in Atlanta on Tuesday, where they both pushed for the review of voting rights legislation that has stalled in Congress.
And after having a program that featured a limited number of interviews with media figures, Harris has had a stronger television presence in recent weeks.
As Democrats face political headwinds in maintaining their congressional majority in 2022, the vice president is also set to become a well-known presence on the campaign track – a relief for many who want to see her engaged with voters ahead of an expected bid re-election campaign in 2024 and a potential presidential election in 2028.
This week’s speech in Atlanta was a warning of what will be a more significant impact on Harris’ public policy, especially for topics that are closely monitored by the American public.
Before Biden spoke in support of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – important pieces of legislation the party hopes to pass in light of almost certain Republican filibusters in the Senate – Harris noted the bills and introduced the president.
“In several years, our children and our grandchildren, they will ask us about this moment,” she said during her speech. “They will look back on this time, and they will not ask us how we were – they will ask us what we did.”
She continued, “We can not tell them that we are letting a Senate government stand in the way of our most fundamental freedom. Instead, let us tell them that we stood together as people of conscience and courage.”
However, there are several challenges for the vice president as advisers seek to kick-start her role.
‘She can not own voting rights’
Harris has yet to announce a replacement for Symone Sanders, her former senior adviser and chief spokeswoman, who left the role in late December and was recently named host of a new weekend program on MSNBC.
Last year, after Harris was intercepted to focus on the causes of migration from countries in the Northern Triangle, Republicans filed a series of attacks on the sharp rise in illegal border crossings, repeatedly asking her to visit the U.S.-Mexico border. When the vice president traveled to El Paso, many Republicans still criticized her for not coming to the region before.
An ordeal with NBC’s Lester Holt about visiting the border led some in the Biden administration to be “quietly confused” by her response – in which she also stated that she had not been to Europe as vice president – according to a CNN report.
After the NBC interview, Harris reportedly viewed such engagements with caution and tried to put aside his previous “defensive stance”, according to the Post report.
While the vice president gave an interview to NBC’s Craig Melvin earlier this week and strongly advocated for the administration’s advancement of the right to vote in a way that pleased many Democrats, she was also grilled over the schedule of COVID-19 tests, which have been in short supply across the country with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
The Biden administration plans to make 500 million free tests available to Americans in the coming weeks. When asked if the tests could have been distributed earlier, Harris replied, “We do.”
And some Harris supporters are annoyed that Biden has given Harris difficult problems such as immigration and voting rights, which will require a herculean effort and an almost perfect set of circumstances to make visible progress.
Also, unlike Biden, Harris took over the vice presidency without decades on Capitol Hill, lacking the contacts and deep relationships her boss cultivated during her 36-year tenure as a representative of Delaware in the Senate.
According to the Post report, aides said it has been difficult for Harris to disprove the story that she is a difficult employer, especially with articles that have mentioned everything from “soul-destroying criticism” to longtime supporters who feel restricted in their access to Vice President.
The New York Times reported last month that Harris privately told Allies that she felt her media coverage would be “different” if she were a white man, noting her groundbreaking status in the role and the high expectations that often come with it. such a distinction.
Donna Brazile, a former chair of the Democratic National Committee and campaign manager for former Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 2000, said the problems Harris is tasking with are complicated and cannot fit into a set schedule.
“She can not own voting rights. No one can own a century-long struggle that has defined the country,” Brazile told The Post. “This is a huge task. It required a civil war, and then later a civil rights movement, to get us to where we were before 2020. And it will take a lot more to get ahead.”