In what Drew Holden is billing as “Kamala 4.0,” Vice President Kamala Harris is rebooting her historically unpopular image yet again.
Citing a 2,000-word Politico profile published on Monday, Holden said in a Washington Free Beacon column that Harris “supposedly puts ‘the rockiness’ behind her and shows Americans the real Kamala.”
Below is a sampling of the Politico piece, titled “I Can’t Get Into People’s Heads’: Kamala Harris Tries to Reshape Her Public Image Ahead of 2024.”
Backstage, as she prepares for a not-so-intimate “fireside chat” about gun safety in front of hundreds of people, Kamala Harris is unscripted and seemingly at ease, no notes or teleprompter in sight. […]
Now, there’s a hope the rockiness may finally be behind them. And there is a concerted effort underway to ensure that she not only has the support she needs from the White House but that the broader public can see the side of her that—they believe—has been overshadowed by the toxic elements of D.C. To that end, her aides are trying to remind the public of that person, in part by inviting reporters to witness her behind the scenes.
The puff piece cites aides to say the vice president’s key constituencies are people of color, especially black voters, young people and women, and that her “current, more fitting portfolio as the administration’s front person on abortion rights, gun violence, climate change and civil rights will be front and center during the campaign.”
It seems clear that the media are here for Kamala 4.0, just as they were for every other reboot — Holden shared a number of headlines from the usual suspects to support this assertion:
New York Times, “Kamala Harris Takes on a Forceful New Role in the 2024 Campaign”
Washington Post, “Kamala Harris seems to be stepping up her 2024 role”
CNN, “Kamala Harris takes center stage in Biden reelection campaign’s rapid response to GOP”
Politico, “Why Kamala Harris Is A Better VP Than You Think”
CNN, “Kamala Harris found her voice on abortion rights in the year after Dobbs. Now she’s making it central to her 2024 message”
Vanity Fair, “Kamala Harris’s 2024 Role Crystallizes Around Abortion Rights”
Time, “Joe Biden Finally Gets It: Kamala Harris Is the Key to 2024”
Bloomberg, “Kamala Harris Is Finding Her Stride as Team Biden’s Voice to Black Voters”
New York, “Abortion-Rights Fight Finally Gives Kamala Harris a Chance to Lead”
CNN, “The battle over abortion rights helps Kamala Harris find her voice as vice president”
Washington Post, “As Harris touts abortion rights, backers hope she finally hits her stride”
As for rehabbing her dismal image, Politico says Harris, who goes through staff like water and is often ridiculed for her child-like repetitive oratory, is “the same person she was when the prevailing narrative of her was that of a star prosecutor, ascendant political talent and even the future of the Democratic Party.”
“You could have followed me around in Iowa [ahead of 2020],” Harris told the outlet. “You would have seen the same thing four years ago. It’s always who I’ve been. So I can’t get into people’s heads about why they characterize things as being one way or another. It’s not as though I’ve just found myself. I’ve always been here and never went away.”
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