As Kamala Harris’ tenure as vice president hits the halfway mark, two things are certain: She has a voracious appetite for word salads, and she does not play well with others.
The nation’s first female second-in-command has a hard time hanging on to her staff, and, in a new book by author Chris Whipple, former aides to Harris say the toxic environment she creates is rooted in a “deep, deep insecurity” and “magical thinking.”
In “The Fight of His Life,” Whipple looks at President Joe Biden’s first months in the Oval Office, and the image that emerges of Harris is that of a woman who refused to address the “turmoil and morale problems” plaguing her staff as she engaged in what one former aide characterized as “really unnecessary gamesmanship.”
‘The Five’ shreds Kamala Harris after aide interrupts disaster interview: ‘Her people don’t even trust her’ https://t.co/ClwVYptKvD
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) December 21, 2021
The ex-aide, who was employed for years by Harris, says the VP “refused to do the kind of preparation that you need to do before going public on a hardcore policy matter. And then she became incensed and outraged when things wouldn’t go the way she thought they were supposed to,” according to excerpts from Whipple’s book, published in the Washington Examiner.
“There was a lot of magical thinking,” the source continued. “I think it’s helpful for people to know that this is not new, and it will inhibit any administration that she is the leader of.”
While Harris has failed to generate any positive press for her actions as Vice President, the constant flow of staffers fleeing her employment has made for numerous colorful headlines.
At the start of December 2021, BizPac Review reported that yet another high-level aide — a senior adviser and her chief spokesperson — Symone Sanders would be calling it quits at the end of the month. The announcement followed the resignation of Harris’ communications director, Ashley Etienne.
Kamala Harris losing ANOTHER high level aide: Bye, girl! https://t.co/6ZrPKjOQYp
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) December 2, 2021
To Whipple, the former staffer dismissed those who would play the race and gender cards in defense of the vice president.
“When somebody raises an issue about Kamala, everybody’s like, ‘You don’t want to see black women succeed,'” the source said. “That’s completely backward. Everybody who goes to work for Kamala, by definition, wants to see her succeed. That’s why you take these jobs.”
Harris’ “dysfunction” can be traced back to her term as California’s attorney general.
Gil Duran was part of Harris’ 2013 team, and he told Whipple that she routinely bashed the most vulnerable among those who worked under her.
“The amount of stress she created by constantly being impossible to manage and taking out all her stresses on staff — usually women, or people who were not in great positions of authority — was just kind of unbearable,” Duran stated.
He didn’t last six months before looking elsewhere for employment.
Duran’s claims are in line with others that have come to light since Harris was crowned veep.
In June 2021, an anonymous source told Politico that the environment Harris creates for her staff is “abusive.”
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” the source said. “It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s—.”
A year ago, in Dec. 2021, another former staffer told The Washington Post that the Vice President’s management style is “soul-destroying.”
“It’s clear that you’re not working with somebody who is willing to do the prep and the work,” the source said. “With Kamala you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence. So you’re constantly sort of propping up a bully and it’s not really clear why.”
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