President Joe Biden’s political future remains in question at the onset of the 2024 presidential cycle, but with Vice President Kamala Harris waiting in the wings, leery Democrats determined to win cast doubt on her “basic political skills.”
Whether looking at potentially serious crimes committed by Biden through alleged influence peddling tied to his son’s foreign business dealing, his inept leadership on the economy, foreign policy, and border security, or merely his age, there is a significant chance he will not run for re-election. Considering that, The Washington Post’s Cleve R. Wootson Jr. spoke to Democrats, many anonymously, about the VP’s hypothetical candidacy and their feedback left him concluding, “Some Democrats are worried about Harris’s political prospects.”
“Harris’s tenure has been underwhelming, they said, marked by struggles as a communicator and at times near-invisibility,” Wootson wrote, “leaving many rank-and-file Democrats unpersuaded that she has the force, charisma and skill to mount a winning presidential campaign.”
From Harris’ awkward cackling to her garbled word salads, former Cobb County Democrats chair Jacquelyn Bettadapur told the outlet, “People are poised to pounce on anything — any misstep, any gaffe, anything she says — and so she’s probably not getting the benefit of the doubt…it doesn’t help that she’s not [that] adept as a communicator.”
Other party members suggested “Harris herself lacks the political skills to win a national race” and that included Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) who found herself backtracking a critique of her former Senate colleague that left an out for her to turn tail on support. As previously reported, the Massachusetts lawmaker had said Friday, “I fully support the president’s and vice president’s re-election together, and never intended to imply otherwise.”
She then hedged on a repeat Biden-Harris ticket and said, “they have to be a team. And my sense is they are. I don’t mean that by suggesting I think there are any problems. I think they are.”
Sen. Warren backs Biden 2024 run, but enthusiasm for Kamala Harris lacking https://t.co/hDDYeVuQFz pic.twitter.com/NpRjDvIjrX
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 30, 2023
The perceived quota-filling pick for the 2020 presidential race that baffled many considering the then-senator’s inability to garner support, forcing her to drop out of the running before Iowa, was not overlooked as one South Carolina Democratic strategist spoke the diversity hire as the reason they want to support Harris.
“Every fiber in my body wants her to be president; everything I’ve ever fought for is for someone like her to be president,” they said before qualifying, “I think she’s a good person with a good heart who can lead the country. But I don’t know that the people who have to make that happen feel that way right now. I don’t know that she has what it takes to get over the hump in our present environment.”
A similar sentiment was suggested by the former chair of the Charleston County Democratic Party, Brday Quirk-Garvan who told Wootson, “I think many Democrats have changed from a 2008 sentiment, or even the feeling in 2012 and 2016, which were about voting for aspiration. Democrats at the moment — I don’t hear a lot of chatter about aspiration. I hear about what’s going to guarantee a win, what’s a certainty, what feels safe.”
Others criticized the limited exposure of Harris who has been a no-show on the border crisis “following missteps and shaky public appearances,” Wootson wrote. “Her first international trip, to Guatemala and Mexico, was colored by an exchange with Lester Holt of NBC News in which she awkwardly downplayed the urgency of visiting the U.S.-Mexico border.”
“I don’t know if I’ve seen any reports of her being here or in other nearby states recently,” a Wisconsin Democrat leader said. “The vice president’s job is really to be that person out there.”
Regarding the varied concerns, the report stated, “given the increasingly hard-edge tone of the Republican Party, they add, few Democrats are willing to roll the dice.”
For that reason, Wootson floated names like Democratic Govs. Gavin Newsom (CA) and Josh Shapiro (PA) as potential alternatives to the incumbents because, as the current chair of the Cobb County Democrats Erick Allen argued, “There are some people in our party who are saying, ‘We already have hurdles. Let’s not create more.'”
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