White House comes to the aid of Kamala Harris after damning reports of infighting, dysfunction

Members of President Joe Biden’s administration came to the defense of Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday following a series of damning reports claiming a bitter, dysfunctional relationship exists between her and the commander-in-chief.

A report from CNN, for instance, contained details regarding frustrations among Harris’ team and the broader White House staff regarding her role in the administration, while a separate report by the Daily Mail sounded a more dire tone.

“For anyone who needs to hear it. @VP is not only a vital partner to @POTUS but a bold leader who has taken on key, important challenges facing the country — from voting rights to addressing root causes of migration to expanding broadband,” tweeted White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Sunday.

In addition, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield shared Psaki’s tweet, as White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain reposted several messages on the social media platform that were supportive of Harris.

“Our @VP Kamala Harris just finished a highly successful trip where she strengthened diplomatic relationships,” noted Long Beach City Mayor Robert Garcia, a Democrat, in a post that was retweeted by Klain. “She takes on the most complex assignments because she’s capable and smart. She’s a great leader who also happens to be funny and kind. And that’s the tweet.”

But CNN reported Sunday evening: “Worn out by what they see as entrenched dysfunction and lack of focus, key West Wing aides have largely thrown up their hands at Vice President Kamala Harris and her staff — deciding there simply isn’t time to deal with them right now, especially at a moment when President Joe Biden faces quickly multiplying legislative and political concerns.”

The outlet added: “The exasperation runs both ways. Interviews with nearly three dozen former and current Harris aides, administration officials, Democratic operatives, donors and outside advisers — who spoke extensively to CNN — reveal a complex reality inside the White House.”

The reports come amid cratering polling numbers for both Biden and Harris. A USA Today/Suffolk University found earlier this month Biden’s approval shrank to a dismal 38 percent, driven largely by a significant decline in support among Independents who carried him to victory over President Donald Trump a year ago.

But the same survey had Harris at an even lower approval rating — just 28 percent.

“…[T]he survey illuminates the size of the hole Democrats need to dig out of as they look toward the elections in one year – on Nov. 8, 2022 – that will determine control of Congress and shape the second two years of Biden’s term,” USA Today reported.

The paper added:

  • “Nearly half of those surveyed, 46%, say Biden has done a worse job as president than they expected, including 16% of those who voted for him. Independents, by 7-1 (44%-6%), say he’s done worse, not better, than they expected.”
  • “Nearly two-thirds of Americans, 64%, say they don’t want Biden to run for a second term in 2024. That includes 28% of Democrats. Opposition to Trump running for another term in 2024 stands  at 58%, including 24% of Republicans.”
Jon Dougherty


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