Kamala Harris, unprotected

16 November 2021

4:12 PM

16 November 2021

4:12 PM

Are you a sexist and a racist? For her supporters, that’s the only possible explanation for why Vice President Kamala Harris is so unpopular.

A pair of dovetailing pieces this weekend in Politico and CNN extensively document how hard done by the Veep feels by the Biden administration.

CNN’s Edward-Isaac Dovere and Jasmine Wright write that Harris allies “fume that she’s not being adequately prepared or positioned, and instead is being sidelined” and that Harris herself “has told several confidants she feels constrained in what she’s able to do politically.”

Politico says that Harris’s “allies outside of the administration have argued she’s been set up for failure by the portfolio she’s been handed.” Cockburn wonders if these were the same allies who told CNN that they feel like Biden is “shirking his political duties to promote her, and essentially setting her up to fail.”

And for CNN, there’s only one logical explanation for Harris’s predicament: “Being the first woman, and first woman of color, in national elected office is historic but has also come with outsized scrutiny and no forgiveness for even small errors, as she’ll often point out.”

Isaac-Dovere and Wright quote a Harris ally who thinks the Biden administration has done more to protect transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg from criticism than the VP: “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.

The Politico report also offers a brutal assessment of Harris’s 2024 prospects, saying she “is currently not scaring any prospective opponents.” One Democratic operative is quoted as saying, “She’s definitely not going to clear the fucking field.”

As is often the case with the Kamala camp, it’s all about the endgame: ushering Historic Harris to the Democratic nomination in 2024, shivving anyone (like Biden or Buttigieg) who may obstruct the history-making, briefing anonymous quotes to sympathetic journalists in order to ratchet up the pressure on her rivals, while simultaneously blaming journalists who criticize her for “chasing incessantly negative stories and playing into undeniable structural issues of race and gender.”

And the KHive, Harris-sympathetic Twitter users, have been characteristically restrained in their responses to the pieces.

“It’s shameful that CNN engaging in attacks on VP Kamala Harris that resemble decades of right-wing attacks on Hillary Clinton. All for ratings. PATHETIC,” wrote Twitter activist BrooklynDad_Defiant.

“You can tell VP Kamala Harris had a very good trip to Europe by how fast CNN had a hit piece ready to drop on her when she got back,” tweeted TheeKHiveQueenB.

“They finna leapfrog Pete Buttigieg over Kamala Harris. Watch,” wrote Root senior writer Michael Harriot.

“The reason Kamala Harris is being attacked is because she is a Black woman in high office… and many many people who would swear they aren’t racist or sexist, can only cope with and accept Black women, if they are in subordinate roles,” tweeted defeated Florida congressional candidate Pam Keith.

Cockburn wonders how much all these Harris supporters have reckoned with the harsh realities revealed by the 2020 Democratic primaries and the 2021 local elections.

The primaries revealed Harris’s abject failure to build a following in the rural United States and her campaign’s tendency to backstab and bicker once the wheels started coming off.

Combine that with the hiding the Democrats took earlier this month in Virginia, where suburban voters responded viscerally to the notion that any opposition to critical race theory being taught in schools was “racist” or “white supremacist.”

Perhaps the Harris camp, their minds addled from too long spent on Twitter, have decided that a marriage between calling voters’ names and a mean-spirited and bitter demeanor is their winning formula for 2024. Far be it for Cockburn to get in their way…

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Show comments