Putting Kamala Harris on his ticket in 2020 could be a decision that comes back to haunt Joe Biden.
The president’s age combined with his appearance of being in frail health, means that Republicans will use the specter of an incompetent “President Harris” as a sort of ‘weapon’ against him in 2024.
Kamala Harris and 2024
Many on the right have argued that President Biden chose Kamala Harris because she was a minority and a woman, not because she was qualified.
“Symbols in American politics matter greatly,” Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf, told The New York Sun. “It’d be very hard for Joe Biden to dump a Black woman from the ticket.”
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley quipped following Biden’s fall at the Air Force Academy that a second Biden term would mean a “President Harris.”
“This is why I have repeatedly called for mental competency tests and term limits for politicians. It’s time for a new generation of leadership in Washington,” Haley said.
A new Economist/YouGov poll highlights this because it found that 45% of Americans think that his age “severely limits his ability to do the job.” Only 11% believe that his age would have “no effect at all.”
“We are all doing precisely what President Biden told us to do. We’re watching and listening to him, and we’re now more concerned than ever. He dismissed valid concerns about his ability to lead at his age and given he has Vice President Kamala Harris next in line, who can’t get through a written speech without getting lost and embarrassing herself, we all should be deeply concerned,” Jason Rantz, a Fox News contributor and radio host, said. “The body and mind deteriorate as we get older. It’s normal. But he won’t admit it and that makes it seem like he’s hiding even more issues.”
Rather than being a consequential vice president like a Dick Cheney or a George Herbert Walker Bush, or even Walter Mondale or Al Gore, Kamala Harris has become a punchline to a bad joke.
Kamala Harris Projects Weakness From the Top
Despite a solid educational background and past senior positions, Kamala Harris has not achieved her potential.
Harris has been panned on everything from her frequent “word salads” to her handling of the border from both parties.
New York Mayor Eric Adams hit her from the Left on her failure to own up to her delegated responsibilities on the border, as did Rep. Ronny Jackson and other Republicans from the Right.
Many experts have arguest she sounds uninformed when she talks about issues such as foreign policy, which she would have to confront if she found herself assuming the presidency in the event Joe Biden either dies, resigns, or is incapacitated.
Prime examples include her comments about America’s supposed alliance with North Korea or her claim that gender ideology had to do with women’s rights, or that she would have done exactly what Biden did with the Afghanistan pullout.
Posters on Twitter have remarked that Harris frequently seems intoxicated during her public appearances.
Sky News Australia commentator James Morrow quipped: “Why? Why? I gotta ask why does she always laugh like a stoner kid who’s just discovered YouTubes of Cheech and Chong.”
Despite the controversy, Harris does not lack defenders. Tribune columnist John M. Crisp defended her noting that the vice presidency does not say much about its occupant’s abilities. The office lacks any constitutionally designated powers.
“The vice president’s job is to be undistinguished, and Biden’s decision to task her with an intractable problem such as border security was always a recipe for failure. We actually have little idea what kind of president she would be,” Crisp wrote. “One thing that I’ve learned is that trying to predict a president’s performance based on qualifications and record is a sketchy business.”
John Rossomando was a senior analyst for Defense Policy and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.