A new CNN report detailed the air of dysfunction that is growing around Vice President Kamala Harris.
The timing of the report couldn’t be worse for Harris, whose sinking approval ratings are even lower than those of her historically unpopular boss, President Joe Biden.
Biden’s aides, preoccupied with the multiple crises facing their boss, are frustrated by Harris’ “entrenched dysfunction and lack of focus,” CNN reported on Sunday, citing interviews with “nearly three dozen former and current Harris aides, administration officials, Democratic operatives, donors and outside advisers.”
On the other hand, staffers for the vice president complain she’s being “sidelined,” and Harris herself has reportedly said in private that she feels “constrained in what she’s able to do politically.”
- “It is natural that those of us who know her know how much more helpful she can be than she is currently being asked to be,” Eleni Kounalakis, the lieutenant governor of California and a longtime friend of Harris, told CNN. “That’s where the frustration is coming from.”
- Meanwhile, West Wing aides have reportedly been disappointed by Harris’ high-profile stumbles and her aides’ lack of follow-through on plans to get their boss more involved.
In an apparent response to the article, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Sunday evening tweeted out praise for Harris.
You aren’t fooling anyone
— Jacek Posobiec 🇺🇸🇵🇱 (@JackPosobiec) November 15, 2021
Various Harris supporters in the media spoke out in defense of the vice president after CNN’s report was published, with some suggesting the criticism she’d received was motivated by sexism and racism.
- CNN commentators Bakari Sellers and Carrie Cordero expressed displeasure with their own networks’ reporting.
- “I have a larger issue with the tone and tenor by which Kamala Harris is covered, and I think we saw that in this article,” Sellers said during a CNN “New Day” segment. “I had to push back heavily on this article and throw a little cold water on it. I spent a little time with the vice president’s office and no one’s frantic, but more importantly she just got back from a flawless overseas trip to France dealing with a very prickly issue where we had some freezing of our diplomatic relations with France, and she by all means performed extremely well.”
- “Alternatively, ‘Accomplished, Brave & History-Changing @VP Doesn’t Conform to Mythical Expectations of a Pandemic-Era, Post-Insurrection Vice Presidency’…,” Cordero, a CNN legal analyst, tweeted on Sunday, in response to the story’s headline: “Exasperation and dysfunction: Inside Kamala Harris’ frustrating start as vice president.”
A USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll released last Sunday put Harris’ approval rating at 28%, significantly beneath Biden’s new low for the pollster of 38%.
- According to poll tracker FiveThirtyEight, Harris has lost nearly half her support among Americans since April, when her average approval rating was 55%.