Vice President Kamala Harris has been expressing discontent with news coverage surrounding her job performance as the second-highest officeholder in the nation, reportedly citing her gender and race.
According to a report in The New York Times, Harris has been privately complaining to her allies and associates that the media’s coverage would be better if she were one of the 48 previous white male predecessors.
She has reportedly confided that she has difficulties with her White House assigned portfolio.
According to the Times, Harris has struggled to “define herself” within the Biden administration, noting that she held no “headlining role” concerning some of the administration’s most difficult decisions.
Harris believes she is caught between resentment from supporters that she has been “undercut” by the West Wing and criticism of job performance.
VP Harris’ historically low approval rating accompanies several high-profile staff members’ departures from the Harris team. According to reports, Harris has reached out to prominent political figures like Hillary Clinton to help determine her future direction.
“Ms. Harris has privately told her allies that the news coverage of her would be different if she were any of her 48 predecessors, all of whom were white and male. She also has confided in them about the difficulties she is facing with the intractable issues in her portfolio, such as voting rights and the root causes of migration,” said the Times report.
According to the report, the White House is pushing back on criticism of Harris, including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who claims Harris’ assigned tasks were “incredibly demanding” and suggested that she hasn’t taken credit for her accomplishments in office.
Other sources have suggested that Buttigieg and Harris are rivals gearing up for a face-off in the 2024 presidential election, should President Biden decide not to run.
Biden recently turned 79 and is the oldest president in history. He previously told ABC News that he would seek re-election if healthy.
Harris seeks support from other political women
The Times article stated that former candidate Clinton had given Harris counsel about being in her position as a woman in politics.
“There is a double standard; it’s sadly alive and well. A lot of what is being used to judge her, just like it was to judge me, or the women who ran in 2020, or everybody else, is really colored by that,” Clinton said previously.
Clinton has complained on numerous occasions that misogyny and sexism were the reasons she lost the 2016 presidential election to former President Trump.
The Times article stated that Harris and Clinton speak by phone every few months, and Clinton has visited Harris in her office.
Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., also jumped to the vice president’s defense, claiming a double standard goes further than Harris’ gender.
“I know, and we all knew, that she would have a difficult time because anytime you’re a ‘firs,’ you do. And to be the first woman vice president, to be the first Black, Asian woman, that’s a triple. So, we knew it was going to be rough, but it has been relentless, and I think extremely unfair.”
Republican Representative Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., disagrees that Harris’ performance as Biden’s border czar accounts for any negative media representations and not about her race or gender.
Despite her border czar designation, Harris avoided visiting the border where tens of thousands of migrants, including thousands of unaccompanied minors, have streamed across the southern border for months.
When asked why she hadn’t visited the border in an interview, Harris garnered criticism when she laughed at the question and responded, “I haven’t been to Europe.”
“There is nothing sexist or racist stating the fact that Kamala Harris has been an absolute disaster on every policy issue in her portfolio — especially the border crisis. There is nothing sexist or racist about the fact that if you put Kamala Harris on the congressional ballot in any district across America, she would lose because she can’t conduct a basic interview without embarrassing herself and Joe Biden.”