Republicans have spent a lot of time in the last three years trying to position the vice president as a liability. A publicly-released memo by the Biden campaign calls Kamala Harris an asset.
Kamala Harris Is Not Done Yet
The Democrats have a big Kamala Harris problem in 2024. And if you don’t believe me, ask their sworn political opponents.
Conservative media and elected officials have ripped Harris frequently ever since she first began running with President Biden, calling her just a self-evidently bad and unappealing candidate, whether it’s shots at her speaking voice, or her supposedly limited grasp of the issues.
It’s also often implied — and sometimes more than implied — that since the 80-year-old President Biden will probably be dead sooner or later, Kamala Harris is the real Democratic standard bearer, and should be treated as such.
If one Googles the phrase “Kamala Harris Problem,” the results return numerous pieces, nearly all of them authored by conservatives who dislike Kamala Harris and hope she loses.
At the same time, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley appears to have designated herself the race’s leading anti-Harris attack dog, frequently criticizing the vice president and stating outright that if the Biden-Harris ticket is re-elected, Harris will be president before long. Haley, in fact, is so committed to the notion that Harris is the real opponent that when she signed the GOP “loyalty pledge” this week, she crossed out Biden’s name and wrote “President Harris,” ABC News said. This has led to speculation that Haley is really out to succeed Harris as vice president.
While there were certainly bad moments for Harris, especially in the early days of her vice presidency, “concerns” about Harris appear to be a province much more of Republicans than Democrats. And this week, the Biden campaign put out a memo, praising Harris as an asset to the ticket.
Harris Can Help
The memo, titled “Why Vice President Harris Is Invaluable for 2024,” is timed for the three-year anniversary of Harris being chosen as Biden’s running mate in 2020, and was sent Friday to the Biden-Harris campaign’s media mailing list.
Authored by campaign leaders Julie Chavez Rodriguez and Becca Siegel, the document lays out why the vice president is in fact a “strong political force for 2024.”
Since she was chosen for the ticket in 2020, the memo says, Harris “has been a fearless and effective messenger for the Biden-Harris vision for America. Vice President Harris has served as an essential partner in the ticket’s electoral success and the historic record of accomplishments in the first two years of the Biden-Harris Administration.”
The memo also discusses more recent developments, including giving her some credit for campaigning successfully for candidates in the midterm elections last year.
“Over the past few weeks alone, Americans have watched her be a powerful and effective messenger, calling out the extremist MAGA agenda and lifting up the issues that Americans care about: reproductive freedom, voting rights, economic opportunity, gun safety reform, and climate change and clean energy.”
The memo goes on to praise the vice president as “uniquely popular with the key constituencies,” as a voice on the issues most important to the Biden coalition, and as an “invaluable fundraising asset and source of grassroots online support for 2024.”
ABC News also wrote about the memo, adding that Harris is planning to make a “big travel push” in the next month. The story notes that Harris has a 52.3 percent disapproval rating, compared to 39.7 percent approval, according to FiveThirtyEight’s averages.
The memo does state, however, that Harris has much higher approval ratings among “non-White voters and low-income Americans.”
“More important than any approval polling, however, is that the Vice President has established herself as a fearless voice on many of the issues that are most important to the core voters in the Biden-Harris coalition,” the memo says. It also notes that “for several high-dollar events – like the most recent one in Chicago – we had to turn off the registration link because the venue couldn’t physically fit more people. “
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.
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