The departures of four members of Vice President Kamala Harris’s staff come amidst rumors that President Joe Biden may nominate her to the Supreme Court.
The rumors swirling include ones that lawmakers have been told to familiarize themselves with the process of selecting a new vice president.
Staff departures have raised questions about the vice president’s leadership abilities, according to a report by the Washington Post, which spoke to 18 former and current staffers.
According to former Democrat strategist Gil Duran, who quit working for Harris after five months in 2013, “One of the things we’ve said in our little text groups among each other is what is the common denominator through all this, and it’s her.”
Duran denounced the vice president’s’ “same old destructive patterns” as the reason behind the resignations. “Who are the next talented people you’re going to bring in and burn through and then have [them] pretend they’re retiring for positive reasons.”
Harris supporters, including California political consultant Sean Clegg, told the Washington Post that Harris is a tough boss and dismissed the criticism as racist and sexist.
“People personalize these things. I’ve never had an experience in my long history with Kamala where I felt like she was unfair. Has she called bulls***? Yes. And does that make people uncomfortable sometimes? Yes,” Clegg said.
“But if she were a man with her management style, she would have a TV show called ‘The Apprentice.'”
Former staffer calls Harris a ‘bully’
In the Post story, a former staffer who chose to remain anonymous claims that VP Harris’ toughness and tendency to “bully” is an attempt to cover for her lack of confidence and lack of willingness to prepare for the job of vice president.
Then staffer told the Post reporter that, “It’s clear that you’re not working with somebody who is willing to do the prep and the work. With Kamala, you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence.
“So, you’re constantly sort of propping up a bully, and it’s not really clear why.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki shrugged off the staff departures as “natural” turnover after the first year in office and a long campaign.
“In my experience, and if you look at past precedent, it’s natural for staffers who have thrown their heart and soul into a job to be ready to move on to a new challenge after a few years. And that is applicable to many of these individuals,” Psaki said.
“It’s also an opportunity, as it is in any White House, to bring in new faces new voices, and new perspectives.”
Harris’ spokeswoman Symone Sanders echoed Psaki’s comments stating, “I’ve been with the president since before he announced his run for president. I staffed him on the road. I traveled with him for nearly two years, and during that time, there were days when on Monday, I would get on a plane with Joe Biden, and then the plane would land in Delaware. I would drive from Delaware to Washington D.C. And Tuesday morning, I would be on a plane with Kamala Harris,” she said.
“I’m getting married next year. I would like to plan my wedding. You know, I have earned a break. So, me deciding that I’m leaving has absolutely nothing to do with my unhappiness. I feel honored every single day to work for the vice president who gave me an opportunity to be her spokesperson at the highest levels.”