Is Kamala Harris done, or can she reboot her career? Kamala Harris’s vice presidency has not gone well.
Indeed, Harris’s political stock has fallen, despite occupying an office that is typically associated with launching their occupants into the presidency.
Can Harris reboot her career, or has she caused irreparable harm to her brand?
Where Kamala Harris Went Astray
What’s important to remember is that Kamala Harris’s trouble began before she swore in as vice president.
Rather, Harris’s problems really began during her 2020 presidential campaign.
Harris announced her candidacy on “Good Morning America,” to great fanfare. She was viewed as a viable contender to earn the Democratic nomination.
But then the campaign went nowhere.
Harris equivocated on messaging but promoted the idea she was tough (an idea at odds with the criminal justice reform zeitgeist of the time). She failed to generate much enthusiasm and naturally, funding dried up – leaving the campaign dead and listing.
Harris withdrew in December 2019 – relatively early for a candidate who entered the race with such fanfare.
But when then-candidate Joe Biden secured the Democratic nomination, he vowed to select a woman as his running mate.
Kamala Harris suddenly became the top contender for the vice presidency – and was catapulted back into prime-time prominence. Harris, of course, earned the slot and was elected vice president when she and Biden defeated the Trump-Pence ticket by a comfortable 7 million vote margin.
That was the highwater mark.
Harris’s tenure as vice president has been generally criticized. Granted, Kamala Harris was handed a thorny docket of problems to sort through – like fixing illegal migration and voting reform, difficult hands, to be sure. But Harris is the vice president of the United States, so let’s hold her to a high standard.
A lot of Harris’s problems, however, seem to be strictly of her own making.
Allegedly, the culture within the Harris team is “poisonous.” As a former staffer said recently, Kamala Harris suffers from “deep insecurities” that have “led to a poisonous atmosphere among her staff and led about her ability to lead,” the Washington Times reported.
According to the staffer, Harris engaged in “really unnecessary gamesmanship” with her staff.
Also, Harris “refused to do the kind of preparation that you need to do before going public on a hardcore policy matter. And then she became incensed and outraged when things wouldn’t go the way she thought they were supposed to.”
Can Harris Get Back on Track?
While some Democrats have called for Harris to be excluded from the presidential ticket – on account of being a political liability – Biden has kept her on for 2024. The backlash would be intense if he had let her go; the claims of racism and sexism would be intense – perhaps not worth the bump of picking a more popular vice-presidential candidate.
So, Kamala Harris will likely get another shot at vice president, at which point anything is possible – and Biden has selected her to run with him in 2024. Harris needs to start internally by treating her staff like assets, not expendables, to stabilize her office to the point where legitimate accomplishment becomes possible.
The good news for Harris is that she is the vice president of the United States. She has a platform, like nearly none other, to make things happen for herself.
A reboot is certainly within the realm of possibility.
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.