WSJ columnist: Great news for ‘dead’ Kamala Harris is that ‘expectations are low’ for VP

Peggy Noonan, a Wall Street Journal columnist and former speechwriter for the late President Ronald Reagan, gave Vice President Kamala Harris some free leadership advice in a Thursday piece that may be useful, but certainly isn’t complimentary.

Amid collapsing approval ratings for Harris — as well as for President Biden, though Harris’ numbers are far worse — the subtitle to Noonan’s piece warns that Harris’ “shaky standing is a danger to the country given the position she could fill.”

The theme of Noonan’s piece is that the VP “needs to get serious” for the good of the country because of the possibility she could be called upon to become president given Biden’s age and the belief that he is increasingly struggling mentally.

“The good thing about having been killed is nobody expects anything from you because you’re dead,” wrote Noonan, laying out the “good news.”

“Expectations are low. Ms. Harris can use the time of her deadness to focus on why she’s failing,” the columnist continued, adding that there are multiple threats currently facing the United States — from “China, Russia, [and] the endurance of the American economy.”

Noonan explained that Harris will have to change her political tactics if she wants to become an effective leader before offering her take on why the veep has not been able to connect with the American people or the D.C. governing class.

“She loves the politics of politics too much, and not the meaning. When people meet with her they come away saying that what she cares about is the politics of the issue, not the issue itself,” Noonan offered.

“But even as she’s obsessed with the game of national politics she’s not so far particularly good at it. When she sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, she spectacularly flamed out,” the columnist reminded readers.

Noonan went on to argue that though she’s been a U.S. senator and is now vice president, Harris is still “relatively new to town” to take the “Washington insider” track to more influence and power. She also said that Harris’ West Coast origins are problematic.

“She came from a generation of California Democrats who never even had to meet a Republican, so great was their electoral dominance,” the former speechwriter noted.

As such, in order to bring the country back together, Noonan recommended that Harris stop trying to rely “on her sense of her own personal charisma” and instead “decide to become serious” by making a concerted effort to learn more about policy issues and digging into her briefing books.

The veep should also become a lot more humble, Noonan suggested.

“Let them say you look chastened: People would be relieved to see you look chastened,” she wrote. “Let them snidely suggest you had previously hidden your serious side. You did. Let them say you’ve been humbled. You should be. So far you’ve got a lot to be humble about.”


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Jon Dougherty


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