Vice President Kamala Harris is unimpressed with her media coverage, and she believes she knows what would have fixed it.
The New York Times reported that Harris has been bitterly complaining in private that her media coverage would be substantially better if she was a white male in the same position. She is also expressing displeasure at the difficulties she’s facing with the work she has been assigned by the Biden administration.
The piece discusses how Harris is having a hard time truly defining her vice presidency, noting that she has not really been given a “headlining role” though it’s unclear if this is intentional, or the result of a presidency launched during the chaos of a pandemic and multiple converging crises. Supporters of Harris claim her leadership role is being minimized by those in the West Wing, while critics argue that she is simply not up to the job.
“Ms. Harris has privately told her allies that the news coverage of her would be different if she were any of her 48 predecessors, all of whom were white and male,” the article explains. “She also has confided in them about the difficulties she is facing with the intractable issues in her portfolio, such as voting rights and the root causes of migration.”
Historically low approval ratings for both President Joe Biden and his vice president, combined with the poor optics of several high-profile staff members leaving their positions and reported turmoil one year into their leadership has created a bad look for the Biden administration as a whole. Harris has reportedly reached out to the likes of failed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to help her iron out a path forward for the veep’s personal political career. Clinton chalked much of the criticism up to misogyny.
“There is a double standard; it’s sadly alive and well,” Clinton said. “A lot of what is being used to judge her, just like it was to judge me, or the women who ran in 2020, or everybody else, is really colored by that.”
Despite the immense amount of criticism she faces from both enemies and allies, Harris isn’t without her friends. Rep. Karen Bass, D – California, came to her defense, once again blaming much of the ill-will directed at the veep on her race, gender and ethnicity.
“I know, and we all knew, that she would have a difficult time because anytime you’re a ‘first,’ you do,’” she expressed. “And to be the first woman vice president, to be the first Black, Asian woman, that’s a triple. So we knew it was going to be rough, but it has been relentless, and I think extremely unfair.”
This piece comes on the heels of an article from Politico which claimed that ‘onetime political rockstar’ Harris truly isn’t to blame for her sinking poll numbers.
“It’s not all her fault — her boss’ numbers are slipping too, and she’s been handed a portfolio of friction-filled policy issues like immigration and voting rights,” Politico noted. “She’s also taken heat from the media in ways that her defenders say is unique to the country’s first female, Black and South Asian vice president.”
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