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Kamala Harris: Joe Biden’s Great Weakness?

Biden has gone out of his way to give Kamala Harris poison pill issues and to exclude her from much of his administration.

Kamala Harris. Image by Gage Skidmore.
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris at a fundraiser hosted by the Iowa Asian and Latino Coalition at Jasper Winery in Des Moines, Iowa. By Gage Skidmore.

Joe Biden’s Kamala Harris Problem – “A vote for the Democrats might be for Biden. Then again, it might not be.” That’s the fear the Republican Party is stoking about the Democratic Party’s presidential ticket heading into 2024.

After all, President Joe Biden will be 82 if he were to win his reelection. The average lifespan for most American men is 77 years of age. 

As uncomfortable as it is, Americans need to have the conversation about Biden that no Democrat wants them to have: can the forty-sixth president even make it as president for another four years? As a corollary to that line of questioning comes another important query that voters should be asking: can Kamala Harris be a good president, if something were to happen to Biden?

Matt Bai at The Washington Post has a unique suggestion for the Biden team—make Harris part of every major presidential press conference, make her part of every significant decision that Biden makes, and force President Biden to embrace his number two in a way that he has thus far refused so as to make it clear to voters that they’re getting a twofer in Biden and Harris. 

In so doing, Bai thinks that this just might short-circuit the Republicans’ effective criticism of Biden on the basis of his age and the fact that many Americans dislike Harris.

The Biden’s Wanted to Weaken Kamala Harris

What Bai fails to understand is that it is Biden and his inner circle that are actively distancing themselves from Harris. She was never what the president wanted in a running-mate. Biden made that particular deal – at least according to many experts – to secure the support of Civil Rights icon, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) during the dangerous days of the 2020 Democratic Party Presidential Primary, when Biden was losing (until Clyburn came through for Biden in the South Carolina primary). 

Biden’s team—notably the real power behind President Biden, First Lady Jill Biden—views Harris with suspicion. It was obvious to all that Kamala Harris was the preferred nominee of most of the Democratic Party’s power elite, notably the last two-term Democratic Party president, Barack Obama

The Biden Administration is littered with retreads from the Obama White House. There are multiple, competing centers of power outside of the Jill Biden wing, too. 

One thing is clear, though, neither President Biden nor his wife or White House staff want to empower Kamala Harris in the way that Matt Bai is recommending. 

Why would they want to make an obvious upstart, like Harris, who was clearly being groomed to replace the forty-sixth president an important player in their administration? If she were successful, the voters might start wondering why bumbling Joe Biden was even necessary at all? 

That’s why Harris’ portfolio that Biden gave her has been so absurd. 

She’s a Leftist Democrat who doesn’t believe that illegal immigration is a problem. Yet, Biden made her the point person on “resolving” the border crisis. Harris has absolutely no foreign policy experience. But, that didn’t stop Biden from having Harris be the face of the White House’s response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. 

To compound matters for her, Biden clearly doesn’t want to resolve the Ukraine War anytime soon. Vice-President Harris also presides over the National Space Council at a time when America’s rivals, notably China and Russia, are threatening American space systems as never before. Harris’ response to these threats was to declare a unilateral ban on all US military testing of anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons. 

More recently, Harris was made the point of contact for the administration’s response to artificial intelligence. I’ll leave you, the reader, to insert your own joke about Kamala Harris being in charge of artificial intelligence policy.

It isn’t just that Vice-President Harris is incompetent. It’s that Biden has gone out of his way to give Kamala Harris poison pill issues and to exclude her from much of his administration. This has been part of a larger strategy on the part of Biden’s inner circle to keep any potential rival to his power down. Their plan has mostly worked. 

The Republicans Are Right: Kamala Harris Would Be an Awful President (Like Biden)

The Republicans have hit on a necessary line of attack about Biden’s age and the competence of his running-mate. Should Biden take Matt Bai’s advice, he risks undermining his own position. If Biden doesn’t take Bai’s advice and keeps doing what he’s been doing to Harris, the Republicans might score bigly in the election. 

What’s more, Biden has already made it clear that Harris is on the ticket with him—meaning that no other Democrat stands a chance of getting on the ticket with Biden and the forty-sixth president is saddled with a suboptimal number two at a time when many voters, even some Democrats, are questioning Biden’s age.

The 2024 election will be far different from the 2020 Presidential Election

Back then, Americans were tired of former President Donald J. Trump’s shenanigans. They were scared and confused after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus from Wuhan, China, and they thought Trump didn’t respond to the outbreak well as president. Plus, in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing by a Minneapolis police officer, the issue of race was front-and-center. 

2024 Will Not Be Like 2020

In 2024, those issues will be gone. 

If anything, Biden’s obsession with COVID-19 will militate voters against him and race, while it is always a prevalent factor in each election, is not the forefront of concerns on voters’ minds. Already, Trump is making significant headway in recent polling against Biden. So, too, is Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis

Biden needs to recalibrate his strategy going into 2024 seriously and listen to Matt Bai. But he cannot because so much of his strategy as president has been to isolate and weaken Harris. The next election is going to be quite an experience for us spectators. Buckle up.

A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.

Written By

Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who recently became a writer for Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as a contributing editor at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (March 28), and Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.