Kamala Harris Tries to Break Out of Her Slump: In a business that builds you up and then tears you down, Vice President Kamala Harris is in “tear down” mode, and her supporters are struggling to pick up the pieces.
Even the New York Times, a faithful Biden-Harris ally, has written an article questioning her political skills and staying power a few months back.
This is a “critical time” for the vice president, and she is not rising to the task, the article explains. What happens next?
Kamala Harris: Where Do We Start?
So, what’s the problem?
There are problems – emphasis on the plural.
Let’s start with her communications skills. Unintelligible word salads and a cackling laugh often accompany her public appearances.
There is a weird phrasing repetition and a sense of surprise when confronted with complex thoughts.
She is terrible on the stump and lacks improvisation skills, but she refuses to stay on script.
Even the simplest speeches are a challenge. She also wants to make her talks more “significant and direct” the Times says. But her staff just wishes her to stay afloat and not drown in wordy platitudes.
Other VPs Have Outclassed Her
She also has no substantial policy role in the administration. Vice President Mike Pence was known for his steadfast Conservative Christianity and his magic touch with evangelicals. He flew the flag high for religious liberty and pro-life voters. Vice President Dick Cheney, for better or for worse, was a clear leader during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Harris is not even close to these two in influence and gravitas.
Please Let Me Quit
Next she has difficulty retaining staff.
People quit to “spend more time with family” which is code for “let me out of here fast.” Who are her speechwriters? They must have a terrible time getting Harris to make sense with her public statements.
No staffer seems to know what to do.
She Looks Good on Paper
Kamala Harris has much potential but is she living up to her resume and back story?
She is a historic person – the first African-American and Indian-American woman to serve as vice president. She has a glowing resume – district attorney of San Francisco, attorney general of California, and U.S. Senator.
She ran for president in a crowded primary and lost badly, but this campaign gave her prior experience in the national spotlight. Harris even held her own in a high-pressure debate against Pence.
Not Rising to the Challenge
It is a shock that Harris has been so bad.
Even her biggest fans know that it will be difficult to rehabilitate her image. The New York Times article referenced above said it best, “…She has not risen to the challenge of proving herself as a future leader of the party much less the country. Even some Democrats whom her adviser referred to for supportive quotes confided privately that they lost hope in her.”
When the liberal media gives you a beat down like that, it is difficult to come back.
The White House Is Trying to Make It Work
President Biden has given her chance after chance to improve. He is now trying to give her a voice against racism and police brutality in addition to abortion rights. He also has chosen in her again to be part of the 2024 ticket for the White House. Many were against that move.
This makes sense. Maybe that is a winning formula for Harris.
This is a more serious and unceremonial role, but something that she could grow into.
The American People Are Unimpressed
Kamala Harris has time to figure this out and improve. She is supposed to be the one who gives Biden a vigorous spark during campaign season.
Republicans are already biting at the president’s heals. They smell weakness in Harris and will continue to make her a target for criticism.
The American people are also not impressed. Harris’ approval ratings according to poll aggregator FiveThirtyEight are at 37.8 percent with 51.3 percent disapproving. It will be difficult to improve on this figure.
The vice president knows she is at a crossroads. The New York Times article is one of many indictments against her tenure. There is time to turn things around, but she needs to stop making mistakes. You can hide in the Senate – there are 99 other lawmakers. This allows one to blend in and shy away from the constant spotlight.
Now she is a heartbeat away from the presidency and is struggling in a job that was supposed to be much easier.
Kamala Harris needs some base hits to get out of this slump and her enemies are happy to see her struggle at the plate.
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.