According to people who work with Vice President Kamala Harris, she runs a chaotic office. Her most recent trip to visit the United States and Mexico border reportedly threw Harris’s team into a frenzy, as the trip was announced suddenly and at the last minute. Reports revealed that Harris’s team was experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication, and diminished trust among aides and officials. Even Joe Biden’s staff have noticed how members of Harris’ team are treated.
Nearly two dozen current and former vice presidential aides, officials, and associates of Harris were interviewed about the office atmosphere. People claimed that much of the office frustration is directed at Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff, who began working for her earlier this year.
Flournoy has so much control over who sees and speaks with Harris that a report revealed that a close friend of Harris, who had tried to connect the VP with a top Democratic donor, waited weeks for a meeting before being told Harris was too busy.
“This is someone who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars — millions, even — for your boss and you’re just blowing them off? Next time Kamala wants [them] for something, it’s like, ‘Hey, I couldn’t even get a call-back from your chief of staff!’” Harris’s friend complained to media sources.
Officials and associates said that Flournoy creates an “insular environment” where ideas are ignored or met with harsh dismissals. They complained that she often refused to take responsibility for key issues. According to Politico, Flournoy refused to delegate responsibility, unnecessarily prolonging decisions, and blaming those under her for the negative outcomes. Sound like anybody else we know?
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment. It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like sh**,” one official claimed.
Another source talked about the travel arrangements they had to make for Harris’ trip last week to the Border. They said that Harris’s aides were blindsided and left scrambling to make sure everything was in order. Mind you, this isn’t the first time Harris is getting complaints about how she treats her staff.
Harris has a history of having dysfunctional teams. Days before Harris dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, a resignation letter from her campaign’s state operations director, Kelly Mehlenbacher, was printed in the New York Times.
Mehlenbacher talked about how Harris’ office fell apart before the first nominating contest and contained an account of her mismanagement throughout the campaign season. She wrote that with less than 90 days until Iowa, they still did not have a “real plan to win” and that the team was being squandered by indecision and a lack of leaders who will lead.
“This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly,” Mehlenbacher wrote.
She went on to say that this is not how she imagined her time at the campaign ending and that she hopes her departure results in a serious consideration of structure, goals, internal communications, and organizational values.
Harris even placed the blame of firing most of her staff and letting her campaign die in the primary on then-campaign manager Juan Rodriguez. But current White House officials and associates are echoing the same stories from the campaign trail. One former long-term Harris aide also said that nothing is happening in the office that the vice president is unaware of.
“She’s been in public life for 30 years. F***. You don’t just all of a sudden go radio silent. She is the most perceptive person on the planet. She might not have first-hand knowledge, but it’s hard to imagine she doesn’t have a sense of what’s going on,” the former aide said.
This was precisely her reputation the entire time she was Attorney General in California. Why would anyone expect her to act differently as VP? If anything, her cackling has gotten worse.