Her communication skills are often questioned. The cackling nervous laugh in inopportune moments is noted. She has low approval numbers. Harris has lost numerous staff members. There is speculation from her own party that she could be removed from the ticket. Harris is undeterred and often ignores naysayers. This type of thick skin is often valued in politicians, but there is a drawback. If she doesn’t recognize her weak points how can she improve enough to become president someday?
Or, has Kamala Harris essentially hit the self-destruct button on her political fortunes?
Karris Harris Can Tough It Out
Lately, Harris has been defiant.
Despite recent negative coverage from the likes of the New York Times, she is sticking to the notion that President Joe Biden will definitely run again and will be nominated without competition. As a result, Harris would be on the ticket and not replaced, she believes.
Biden Leaving the Ticket Would Be Disastrous
Some columnists are wondering if Harris could be the one who runs for president. Jonathan Martin is Politico’s bureau chief for politics, and he thinks a Harris presidential campaign would allow Donald Trump to retake the White House.
“High-level Democrats are rallying to President Biden’s reelection, not because they think it’s in the best interest of the country to have an 82-year-old start a second term but because they fear the potential alternative: the nomination of Kamala Harris and election of Donald Trump,” Martin wrote.
Would Harris Lose To Trump?
The concerns about a Trump-Harris matchup are based on at least one poll that is bad news for the vice president. A Harvard CAPS-Harris poll released on February 17 had Harris down 10 points to Trump – 49 percent to 39 percent.
This is why some Democrats are concerned that if Biden became incapacitated in some way during the campaign that Harris would have a tough time should Trump become his party’s nominee.
The Vice President Points to Successes
Harris has said the Biden administration has much to offer to voters. She has pointed out that low unemployment is helping Americans succeed. The manufacturing sector is growing, and health care costs are going down, according to the vice president.
No Way She Leaves Ticket
As a result of these and other accomplishments in office, former DNC chair Donna Brazile said Harris is in the driver’s seat to remain vice president for four more years after a winning 2024 re-election campaign.
“While her poll numbers may not reflect her true popularity, I can guarantee you Kamala Harris will not be replaced on the party’s ticket. And I can also guarantee you, if Joe Biden decides not to run, Kamala Harris will become the next nominee of the Democratic Party,” Brazile told Fox News.
Scoring Better in Approval Polls
These votes of confidence are likely to buoy Harris because her approval numbers are getting better. In an average of polls from aggregator FiveThirtyEight, on February 17, she registered a 41.5 percent approval with a 48.5 disapproval. This is actually an improvement for Harris. In April of 2022, she scored a 32.1 percent approval rating and since then she has often rated in the high 30s.
Maybe Foreign Policy Is Her Calling
Biden still has confidence in his vice president. He allowed her to lead a delegation to the recent Munich Security Conference and Harris did not drop the ball or make any gaffes. This is a low bar, but at least she is hanging in there during a difficult time for U.S. foreign policy.
After all her foibles, perhaps Harris has found a role in which she could improve her standing in the minds of her critics. She must continue to develop her communication skills, avoid nonsensical statements, and put together a string of successful speeches and media appearances.
Kamala Harris thus aims to ignore speculation from inside the beltway critics and make her case directly to the American people. That could be the recipe that would allow her to run for president someday, even though her tenure as vice president has been rocky.
Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.