Why Kamala Harris Fails: A few months ago, President Joe Biden announced that he would be running for reelection. Joining Biden on the ticket, again, will be Vice President Kamala Harris, who has struggled to gain popularity through her first term.
Now, Kamala Harris is becoming a primary target of Republicans looking to displace the incumbent administration.
In part, much of the scrutiny Harris will face is the result of circumstances – she’s backing up the oldest president ever, a guy who has already exceeded the U.S. life expectancy, meaning Harris is not just being afforded the scrutiny of a vice president, but of a president.
Much of the scrutiny Harris will face is personal.
People don’t like Kamala Harris – and are not impressed with her performance as vice president.
Extra Scrutiny for Kamala Harris
Republicans are honing in on the distinct possibility that Kamala Harris would have to assume the responsibilities of the president were she elected vice president in 2024.
“I think we can all be clear and say, with a matter of fact, that if you vote Joe Biden, you are really counting on a President Harris,” GOP candidate Nikki Haley said a few months back. “Because the idea that he would make it until 86 years old is not something that I think is likely.”
Statistically speaking, Haley is correct.
Despite Biden’s doctors giving the octogenarian president the all-clear, he is really, quite old. The idea that Biden would still be serving as president six years from now is frankly absurd and frankly, irresponsible.
That national-level politicians are suspending the standard decorum of, not just politics, but society, and suggesting that our head of state doesn’t look like he’s going to live another six years, suggests (to me at least) how inappropriate a Biden reelection would be.
And the open skepticism surrounding Biden’s ability to live through a second term explains the additional scrutiny that Harris is afforded. Defenders of Harris will tell you the additional scrutiny stems from racism and misogyny, but that’s dismissive of the fact that Harris is statistically more likely than any vice president ever to assume the presidency mid-term.
Harris’s Performance a Contributing Factor
The scrutiny and criticism, currently directed at Harris, is not singularly the result of Biden’s age and the related circumstances. Rather, the scrutiny and criticism also stem from Harris’s performance as a vice president.
Consider Harris’ polling, which has consistently rated lower than Biden’s. And remember, Biden’s polling has been especially low, like Trump/Carter low. Whereas Biden has an average RealClearPolitics approval rating of 42 percent, Harris has an average of just 40 percent.
Why so low? Well, as many Democrats will tell you: Kamala Harris has failed to define a role for herself within the Biden administration.
“Some of her assignments have included the difficult tasks of solving Central American migration along the southern border and ensuring voting rights amid a barrage of new state election laws,” USA Today reported. But Harris hasn’t made much discernible progress on her assignments. Nor did she contribute much to Biden’s signature legislative victories last summer.
The common critique of Harris is that she’s failed to generate any momentum – perhaps in part because her office is always going through such high staff turnover – allegedly because Harris is so difficult to work for.
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.