Many Democrats quietly concerned about VP Harris in 2024, afraid to publicly criticize her

April 30, 2023
Ben Marquis

President Joe Biden formally launched his re-election campaign this past week and that move was supported by most Democrats, not necessarily out of enthusiasm for a second Biden term in office but rather out of concern that Vice President Kamala Harris would be the party's nominee if Biden were to step aside and not run.

That is because Harris is even more deeply unpopular with the American people than Biden, and in the eyes of many is viewed as simply being incapable of winning the general election or serving effectively as the nation's leader, the Conservative Brief reported.

Yet, most Democrats are keeping those concerns about Harris to themselves or only expressing them anonymously out of fear that they will be hit with the same accusatory smears of racism and sexism that are typically aimed at her Republican critics if they should decide to publicly speak out against her.

Potential Harris presidency would be "dangerous and catastrophic"

Fox News reported that Vice President Harris could be the "most consequential" presidential running mate in modern history, and not necessarily in a good way, as it is more likely than not that she will be a liability for President Biden's re-election campaign instead of an asset.

A major factor at play here is Biden's advanced age and the possibility that he would be unable to serve out an entire second term if re-elected, which leads to an observation shared by many and expressed by former Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who told the network this week that "Kamala Harris is clearly unqualified to be the Commander-in-Chief."

"The Biden Administration has already brought our country to the brink of nuclear war with Russia and the new cold war with China is heating up quickly," the now-independent ex-congresswoman added. "The consequences of President Kamala Harris at the helm would be dangerous and catastrophic for the American people and our nation."

Others who spoke to Fox News about Harris took note of her deep unpopularity and the fact that most Americans view her as inauthentic and uninspiring.

"No inspiration. No aspiration. No preparation. No way to get Kamala off the re-election ticket, either. Most Democratic candidates did not invite her to campaign with them in 2022," GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway said. "It will be harder to hide her -- and Biden -- when her name is on the ballot in 2024. She has not been an asset. There is little confidence in her competence. That popular assessment is not racism or sexism. It is eyesight and hearing."

Rehabbing public image of Harris a tall task

In the immediate wake of President Biden's 2024 announcement, which prominently features VP Harris as his continued running mate, Axios reported on a White House effort to try and bolster Harris' image and approval among the American public ahead of the coming election cycle.

That effort became necessary after it was determined that it would be impossible to remove and replace her on the 2024 ticket, as doing so would be widely perceived as a tacit admission that picking her to be the VP in 2020 had been a colossal mistake.

Of course, while most Democrats will praise Harris in public or simply keep their mouths shut, the concern at the White House likely stems from what is being quietly said about the vice president behind closed doors or in off-the-record conversations with reporters, as was revealed in a damning article from Politico in February about how Biden was too old to serve a second term and Harris too incapable of taking his place atop the 2024 ticket.

That article cited an unnamed Democratic senator who was scheming with others on how to persuade Biden to not run again, a governor who was worried that Biden would be unable to effectively campaign, a House Democrat who publicly expressed support but then privately inquired about other possible candidates while expressly noting that Harris was not a viable option.

Avoiding the risky and uncomfortable question

The outlet further noted that many Democrats were publicly expressing their support for Biden simply to avoid the obvious next question about whether it should be Harris or somebody else who should replace him as the party's nominee.

Politico summed up the dire situation for many Democrats: "More to the point, Democrats have seen what happens when anyone in their party openly criticizes Harris -- they’re accused by activists and social-media critics of showing, at best, racial and gender insensitivity. This doesn’t stifle concerns about her prospects, of course, it just pushes them further underground or into the shadows of background quotes."

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