Vice President Kamala Harris has added two crisis communications veterans to her staff to work on long-term planning, after a bumpy first nine months and with the 2022 midterm elections looming in the distance, according to a report on Wednesday.
Lorraine Voles, a crisis communications expert, and Adam Frankel, a speechwriter for former President Barack Obama, worked for Harris during the transition to President Biden and are well versed in White House and corporate messaging, the Washington Examiner reported.
Both “offered to be of assistance” to the vice president and will concentrate on “organizational development, strategic communications, and long-term planning,” a White House official told the newspaper.
Voles and Frankel are on temporary assignment.
Since the president charged Harris with addressing the root causes of the surge of illegal immigrants, the vice president has come under criticism for her delay in visiting the southern border and for a cringe-worthy interview in which she snapped at NBC News anchor Lester Holt.
Democrats need to retain control of the House and Senate to keep the president’s legislative agenda alive.
Part of that effort may be to use Harris to turn out the Democratic vote, the report said, because historic trends indicate the Republicans should have an edge in 2022.
A recent Gallup poll showed that while Biden’s approval rating hit a low of 43 percent and continues to fall, Harris’ rating is at 49 percent.
A Democratic strategist said Harris could play a key role in some swing states, including Georgia, where Democrats picked off two Republican Senate seats to gain control of that chamber, and in some metropolitan areas.
But there will also be places where she has no sway.
“I don’t think you’re bringing her to rural parts [of the country or] suburbs,” the strategist told the Washington Examiner.
Earlier this month, Harris spoke at a fundraiser for Terry McAuliffe, who’s running for governor of Virginia.
She reminded the crowd that a vote for a Democrat goes a long way.
“Because what happens here in the state of Virginia will have an impact on what happens around the country, certainly in terms of the politics of our country, and politics leads to policy, policy influences politics,” Harris said at the fundraiser.
Voles is a Clinton administration veteran and has worked with White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.
Frankel was hired to work on Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
He is also married to Stephanie Psaki, the sister of White House press secretary Jen Psaki.