As the first female vice president in the history of the United States of America, Kamala Harris on Wednesday successfully reduced her ceiling-breaking role as the second-in-command of the free world to that of a gushing public relations guru on national television.
Because, of course she did.
Sitting down in the normally Democratic safe space of Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show,” Harris was hit with what we can only assume was an unintentional hardball: Colbert asked her what she does every day.
Colbert stumps @VP Harris on what her job is. pic.twitter.com/gAAcRNjG2q
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 16, 2023
The exchange began with all the fluff you’d expect Colbert to dish up for a Dem.
“I know you love ‘Veep,'” Harris told Colbert through her plastered-on grin, a reference to the satirical HBO comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
“I do! I love ‘Veep.'” Colbert exclaimed. “Is it accurate?”
“There are bits of it that are actually quite accurate,” Harris clucked.
She then shared a story about a staffer who lit the fireplace in her office, forgetting to open the flue and filling the place with smoke.
Given the veritable exodus of Harris staffers who have fled her employment since she became veep, it is unlikely her actual response to the situation was full of the giggles she could barely contain for Colbert.
Kamala Harris loses 12th and most senior member as chief of staff calls it quits https://t.co/EknmytqSs3
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) April 22, 2022
And then things took a turn.
“One of the themes of the show is that [Louis-Dreyfus’s] character, Selina Meyer, is frustrated by the sometimes vague duties of the role. It’s a high constitutional office but does not describe what you’re supposed to be doing,” Colbert said. “Does that ring true? Like, what’s the actual role on a daily basis as you have found it?”
And with that, Harris put yet another dent in her credibility as a leader.
“Well, I have the great privilege of serving with Joe Biden, who is the President of the United States… and was vice president,” she answered.
“Does he understand what it’s like to be vice president?” Colbert wondered.
“He does, he does,” Harris assured the host. “He really is a true partner and he understands that job. And remember, we came in during the height of the pandemic. And so much of the work was about okay, we’ve got to cover a lot of bases, and let’s figure out between us how we can do it.”
“But he’s an extraordinary leader and I wish people could see what I see because there’s only one person who sits behind that Resolute Desk,” she gushed. “And the decisions that person has to make are the decisions that nobody else in the country can make. And he’s an extraordinary leader. He really is.”
It’s the kind of third-grade-level oversimplification of things for which Harris has become famous.
Saying that Joe Biden is president and the president makes decisions “nobody else in the country” makes because he’s president is not unlike her deep analysis of the geopolitical landscape in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: “Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country.”
Kamala Harris tries to discuss Foreign Policy:
"Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine. So, basically that's wrong." pic.twitter.com/5xHPsvklfQ
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) March 1, 2022
One must wonder how frantically the “applause” sign was flashing for the studio audience following her “extraordinary leader” remark. Regardless, the crowd dutifully burst into a round of applause.
Colbert’s audience. pic.twitter.com/t1cXNPwkNN
— Dale Trumble (@daletrumble) March 16, 2023
Surprisingly, Colbert didn’t allow Harris to bask in the win.
“That’s an excellent answer and, uh, the question was what’s the job of the vice president,” he shot back.
What could Harris do but activate her favorite defense mechanism and burst out laughing?
“And your answer is part of the job, I’m guessing,” Colbert noted.
Outside, the vice president received a very different response from the people gathered in front of the studio exit.
Hecklers and protesters chanted, “Lock her up!”
One protester reportedly carried a sign that read, “Joe and Kamala fight in Ukraine yourselves.”
Other signs contained far harsher language.
Earlier today while waiting for Kamala Harris outside The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, protesters chant “lock her up!” One sign reads “Joe and Kamala fight in Ukraine yourselves” pic.twitter.com/ch1A95EJWx
— NJEG Media (@NJEGmedia) March 16, 2023
Online, reaction to Harris’s first appearance on Colbert’s show since becoming vice president was equally disparaging.
“Welcome to the world of diversity hires,” stated one Twitter user.
“What is more embarrassing,” another asked, “her convoluted answer or the audience applause?”
As a third user tweeted, “I get the sense that many things stump Kamala.”
Welcome to the world of diversity hires
— Ryan Housley (@r_housley) March 16, 2023
What is more embarrassing her convoluted answer or the audience applause?♂️
— RonandClaire (@TropicalLife4Us) March 16, 2023
I get the sense that many things stump Kamala.
— Squirrely wrath (@Yo_Squirrely) March 16, 2023
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