There appears to be a growing visible distance between Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe BIden, as their joint appearances together dropped from 38 in February to just seven so far this month, amid Biden’s rapidly declining poll numbers.
As the administration juggles several different crises from the border to supply chain, the executive branch duo only appeared together once in September — marking 9/11 — and once in October — the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s memorial dedication.
The joint appearances are only just a few out of the 486 public and private events Harris participated in during the first nine months on the job. Most recently, she has been traveling across the country to promote Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.
A former adviser for Harris told the Los Angeles Times that the vice president is allegedly annoyed that “she hasn’t been given any all-star portfolio,” adding that Biden and Harris are divided by a lack of trust.
The White House denied this characterization, telling the Daily Mail the daily public schedule does not tell the whole story as the two often have meetings that are not on their office’s daily guidance.
The White House has also said the president and vice president meet weekly for lunch. They are set to have lunch on Tuesday.
“The Vice President keeps a busy schedule doing the work of the Administration and always in support of the President,” Harris spokesperson Sabrina Singh told the outlet.
“Sometimes those events are together, other times apart, sometimes she is on the road amplifying the agenda of the Administration and highlighting the importance of Build Back Better.”
Early in their term, Biden and Harris appeared together during a number of events. In January, the two were scheduled for 20 events after taking office on Jan 20.
In February and March, Biden and Harris had 38 public and private events together in each month.
In August, which saw the botched US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the president and vice president met 16 times. That number was cut in half in September.
So far in October, the duo has only had one public event open to the press, the other six have been closed meetings such as lunch or the daily briefing.
When it comes to the president’s daily briefings, Harris attended 15 in February and 17 in March. For October, she has only attended two.
This could be attributed in part to her traveling across the country for various events. Per The Times, Harris has had around eight days where she traveled on Air Force Two, either to or from Washington D.C. or to other locations.
President Biden’s popularity is maintaining a downward trend, as an average of recent polls by FiveThirtyEight finds that his approval rating has hit a new low of 43.4 percent as of Friday, from a high of 55 percent in March.
At the same time, the president’s disapproval rating hit new heights, reaching 50.7 percent, from 36 percent in January.
Biden’s approval rating dipped under 50 percent in August as his administration faced rising coronavirus numbers, struggled to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies from Afghanistan after a chaotic pullout that left 13 service members dead, and faced a slowdown in the job market.