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Is a Joe Biden Vote Really a Vote for Kamala Harris?

Kamala Harris. Image Credit: Gage Skidmore.
Kamala Harris. Image Credit: Gage Skidmore.

Fox News’s ‘Outnumbered’ panel recently aired a segment considering the notion that a vote for Joe Biden is functionally a vote for Kamala Harris.

As the thinking goes, Biden is so old and so unlikely to live through a second term that whoever is elected as Biden’s vice president is all but certain to ascend to the presidency before the 2024 term has concluded.

Naturally, the premise focuses scrutiny upon Biden’s vice presidential candidate, Kamala Harris.

“Let’s be very clear, if they think it’s gonna be President Biden, a vote for President Biden is actually a vote for President Harris. We’re running against Kamala Harris, make no bones about it. The New York Times knows it, every liberal knows. They know that Kamala Harris is going to end up being president of the United States if Joe Biden wins this election,” GOP candidate Nikki Haley said.

Some truth to the thinking

I’m hesitant to throw my hat in with the Outnumbered crew or Kayleigh McEnany, but their logic holds: any running mate of an 80-something Joe Biden needs to be scrutinized carefully.

Biden exceeded the US male life expectancy years ago, and is frankly beginning to appear quite old. Most Democrats agree, expressing reservations about a second Biden term on account of the president’s age. And yes, age is just a number – but Biden appears to be in mental and physical decline.

He looks old and he sounds old, especially when referenced against his former self. So, the question is, what’s Biden going to look and sound like in another three or four years? Hard years of campaigning and presiding over the world order. Is he up to it? Your average American would likely say ‘no’ he is not.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre recently fielded a question about ‘a vote for Biden is a vote for Harris.’ The response was uninspiring.

“So, let me just say this, um, I’m not gonna comment on the 2024, she’s a candidate, so I wanna be very careful here, and uh, we do follow the Hatch Act so I wanna be really, really mindful here. Look, this is a president who if you look at his track record and I’m saying this more broadly, if you look at what he’s been able to do, he has been able to push forward and get done historical pieces of legislation,” Jean-Pierre said.

In Jean-Pierre’s defense, she’s being asked to defend a position that is pretty difficult to defend. And Jean-Pierre likely knows better than most that Biden probably doesn’t have another six years of public service in him. But still, Jean-Pierre’s answer is off the mark, failing to address Biden’s health in any way.

Kamala Harris not very popular

Harris’s lack of popularity helps to drive the narrative. Through the winter and spring, Democratic pundits were concerned that Harris’s lack of popularity would be harmful to the Biden ticket, that she would weigh the thing down. Whether Harris is actually hindering the ticket is uncertain. But Republicans are already leaning into the narrative and banking on Harris’s unpopularity.

Expect attacks against Harris to increase in frequency through the GOP primary, and especially into the general election. Democrats will want to take measures to improve the vice president’s reputation, and protect her from what’s coming.

Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.  

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Written By

Harrison Kass is a Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison has degrees from Lake Forest College, the University of Oregon School of Law, and New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Oregon and regularly listens to Dokken.