Vice President Kamala Harris is being increasingly alienated in the White House as her approval ratings plummet — as the first female veep feels she’s not getting the same support President Biden gives to white male politicians, according to a detailed new report.
Despite their public show of unity, Biden and his right-hand woman have a dysfunctional relationship that has reached an “exhausted stalemate,” CNN said based on interviews with nearly three dozen insiders.
At a time when the president would usually be expected to promote his vice president as a future replacement in the White House, Biden has instead been sidelining Harris as a potential liability, the report said.
She is increasingly being pushed aside into inconsequential jobs and left out of key meetings as her poll numbers sink even lower than the president’s and the Democratic base appears to be giving up on her, the report said.
Her alienation is so clear, her defenders told CNN they have even passed around an Onion story headlined, “White House Urges Kamala Harris To Sit At Computer All Day In Case Emails Come Through.”
Harris — the first woman as well as first woman of color as vice president — is also becoming more and more frustrated at the lack of support she gets from the White House during her numerous PR nightmares, the insiders said.
That became abundantly clear when the White House sprang to publicly defend the paternity leave taken by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, a potential challenger to Harris for the next Democratic presidential nomination, the insiders told CNN.
“It’s hard to miss the specific energy that the White House brings to defend a White man, knowing that Kamala Harris has spent almost a year taking a lot of the hits that the West Wing didn’t want to take themselves,” a former Harris aide told the outlet.
However, White House insiders insisted that the vice president has brought the alienation upon herself because of a series of bungles and self-made problems that Biden wants nothing to do with.
The administration has been particularly bothered by her doomed handling of the border crisis — including her cackling response when asked about it — which is still ongoing, the insiders said.
Fernando García, executive director of Border Network for Human Rights, told CNN that he was optimistic Harris would take action, but she instead just “disappeared.”
“We haven’t heard any substantive messaging push for better immigration policies,” he told CNN. “We haven’t seen her leadership.”
Eleni Kounalakis, the lieutenant governor of California and a longtime friend of Harris, confirmed there is irritation.
“It is natural that those of us who know her know how much more helpful she can be than she is currently being asked to be,” Kounalakis told CNN. “That’s where the frustration is coming from.”
Harris’ chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, denied being one of those taking sides against her boss.
“If someone is accusing me of being loyal to Joe Biden, I’ll take that. If someone is accusing me of being disloyal to Kamala Harris, I won’t take that,” Flournoy told CNN. “She doesn’t believe there is a conflict between being loyal to her and being loyal to Joe Biden.”
Harris’ spokeswoman Symone Sanders dismissed the insiders’ griping to the notoriously left-leaning outlet.
“It is unfortunate that after a productive trip to France in which we reaffirmed our relationship with America’s oldest ally and demonstrated US leadership on the world stage, and following passage of a historic, bipartisan infrastructure bill that will create jobs and strengthen our communities, some in the media are focused on gossip — not on the results that the President and the Vice President have delivered,” Sanders said.