Vice President Kamala Harris Has a Way With Words – But It Isn’t Good – Some past presidents – notably Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton – were known for their ability to connect with an audience. On the other hand, few would consider George W. Bush, Donald Trump, or Joe Biden as orators of the ages. All three of the latter have been known to stumble over words, to the point that their gaffes have become something of legend.
History is less clear of the speaking abilities of many past vice presidents, mainly because oftentimes, those holding the office kept a relatively low profile – Dick Cheney excepted of course. Yet, Cheney is remembered for his unsettling calm, while Al Gore came off as “stiff.” Then there was Dan Quayle, who was arguably as much of a gaffe machine as Joe Biden.
This is why it could be unfair to mock Vice President Kamala Harris too much – but the hits keep coming.
Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas has remained one of her harshest critics, describing her as inarticulate and suggesting she is unable to connect with voters. Thomas is just the latest of paid thinkers who suggested that President Biden “must” replace her as a running mate.
However, the columnist also then suggests the reasons why such a move isn’t possible, “(Biden) would face a backlash from groups that have hailed her as the first female and person of color vice president and who appear more interested in diversity than in real accomplishments.”
Even as Thomas added, “A stronger, more accomplished and articulate vice president would be the best insurance policy for Democrats should Mr. Biden win and not be able to finish a second term,” it fails to address how Harris could be replaced.
Swapping Out Kamala Harris?
There have been suggestions that Harris could be named as the next Attorney General – a prestigious position, one that actually has more power than the office of vice president. But changing running mates isn’t something that has been done since the election of 1976 when then-President Gerald Ford felt forced to dump Vice President Nelson Rockefeller in favor of Senator Bob Dole. It was a moot point as Ford/Dole lost.
And that’s an important consideration that few have discussed – what happens if Biden replaces Harris and goes on to lose? Won’t history forever ask if that decision was what resulted in the loss?
Poor Modern Speakers
As far as the concerns over Harris as a poor communicator, these are likely overstated. As noted, Joe Biden isn’t a great speaker, nor was Trump, and nor was Bush. In fact, thanks to Trump and Biden, the bar has been set extremely low on what we should expect to come out of the president’s mouth.
Finally, Harris is still the vice president.
While the country has a right to consider whether Biden – who would be 86 at the end of his second term – is fit for the job, we’re still getting ahead of ourselves with all this talk of whether Harris is the right person to step in.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.