Kamala Harris Still on the Hot Seat: It will be a long ten months for Vice President Kamala Harris until 2024 when President Joe Biden might make a decision that could be the ultimate embarrassment for his understudy.
I’m talking about whether Harris could be replaced on the presidential ticket for Biden’s re-election campaign. While Harris’ approval ratings are often below 40 percent, and she has struggled to communicate on the stump and in interviews, it would take an extreme set of mistakes for Biden to pick another VP.
Kamala Harris: What Does the Future Hold for the VP?
Still, Democrat strategists are speculating whether the worst would happen to the vice president. The consensus is that Harris is safe. For now.
Harris has said she intends to run with Biden for re-election, despite recent negative press coverage from the reliably liberal New York Times.
The Times said she has underwhelmed and disappointed many of her biggest fans, who are waiting for Harris to “define her vice presidency.”
Lover Her or Leave Her
Democrat pundit for Fox News Jessica Tarlov is not convinced Harris should be kicked off the ticket. “Even though there is disappointment with the VP, I don’t see any way that she would be replaced,” Tarlov told Fox.
Christopher Hahn, a Democrat strategist said the “criticism of Harris is overblown.”
It’s Been Almost 50 Years Since a VP Has Been Replaced
Harris also has history on her side.
Polling Struggles – She Is Just Not That Popular
Harris usually polls below Biden in popularity. Poll aggregator FiveThirtyEight has her approval rating at 40.5 percent as of February 10.
This is better than the 37.7 percent she polled January 23. These numbers do not bode well for Harris, and she could be seen as a drag on the Biden campaign.
Is The Vice President Even Important During Elections?
However, ordinary low-information voters do not always choose a president based on their feelings for the vice president.
The Biden-Harris ticket is noteworthy because of Biden’s advanced age, If Biden became incapacitated Harris would take over the White House.
Harris is an Indian-American and Jamaican-American woman who can deliver key minority constituencies for the ticket. Removing her from the VP slot would likely create an intense backlash from these supporters.
Maybe Foreign Policy Is Her Role?
Biden has given Harris more responsibility lately. She recently gave an exclusive interview to Politico that outlined the Biden administration’s foreign policy stances versus China. And she will lead a delegation to the Munich Security Conference where global leaders will share foreign policy insights, especially their views on the war in Ukraine.
Harris’ role in the administration has been undefined as she struggles with policy leadership.
Defense and national security are often thorny, especially with Ukraine and China sucking all the air out of the room. She will be in the hot seat as she tries to articulate policy in this realm.
Harris does, however, have a high ceiling and much potential. A good showing in Munich could give her a fresh start to undue past failures and give critics a rest.
What Is the Latest Gaffe?
Harris has endured difficulty in communicating during what should be easy exercises in political discourse for someone with such a strong resume. She sometimes repetitively talks in circles and grasps only the obvious in low pressure ceremonial situations. Biden does not seem to mind, but her opponents pay attention to her every gaffe and propensity to speak in embarrassing “word salads.”
Harris also has ample time to improve her approval ratings before the re-election campaign gets in high gear. The biggest test for her won’t be until she has a vice presidential debate with her Republican rival, whoever that might be. Some staffers in the White House may have reservations about Harris’ communication skills, but they are planning to give her the space she needs to improve and be an important cog of the Biden machine going forward.
BONUS: Kamala Harris Should Quit
BONUS: A Nuclear War over Ukraine?
BONUS: Donald Trump Looks Desperate
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.