A new report from The New York Times claims Vice President Kamala Harris has been quietly telling close allies “that the news coverage of her would be different” if she was a white man, like she says all her predecessors were.
If true, the shocking remark would spit in the face of her boss and 2020 running mate, Joe Biden, who clearly fits that bill.
It’s also not even accurate: As the Times notes, “Charles Curtis, who served as vice president under Hoover, spoke proudly of his Native American ancestry.”
Biden goes it alone
Indeed, Harris is happy to play identity politics — but that’s not what’s driving her dismally low approval numbers. Her lack of experience and tendency to utter highly divisive comments certainly aren’t helping.
It’s all becoming something of a problem for Democrats as they look to future election cycles. Aides in the White House who spoke with the Times described “frustrations” felt by the vice president about whether she remains Biden’s “heir apparent,” or if she’s merely an “afterthought” in the Biden presidency.
Some of Harris’ former staffers even complained to the paper about her leadership style — complaints that come amid an exodus of aides from the VP’s office.
The Times reported Thursday:
While most presidents promise their vice presidents access and influence, at the end of the day, power and responsibility are not shared equally, and Mr. Biden does not always feel a need for input from Ms. Harris as he navigates some of his most important relationships.
Notably, Harris, who previously served as a senator from California, couldn’t even rally her former colleague in Congress’ upper chamber behind Biden’s latest legislative ambition: Build Back Better, which was summarily shot down earlier this month by West Virginia’s Joe Manchin (D).
Dem women come to Harris’ defense
Hilariously, the Times reports that Harris is turning to even Hillary Clinton for advice about all this. “There is a double standard; it’s sadly alive and well,” the failed presidential hopeful told the Times. “A lot of what is being used to judge her, just like it was to judge me, or the women who ran in 2020, or everybody else, is really colored by that.”
A similar sentiment was expressed by Democrat California Rep. Karen Bass, who once chaired the Congressional Black Caucus.
“I know, and we all knew, that she would have a difficult time because anytime you’re a ‘first,’ you do,” Bass told the Times. “And to be the first woman vice president, to be the first Black, Asian woman, that’s a triple. So we knew it was going to be rough, but it has been relentless, and I think extremely unfair.”
Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that Harris’ approval numbers are in a freefall. As of Dec. 21, Harris had a combined favorable rating of 40% and an unfavorable rating of 52%, according to the Los Angeles Times — putting her in dead last among her recent predecessors. And it doesn’t look like the situation will be improving for her any time soon.