Vice President Kamala Harris has been desperately trying to fix her image after top staffers and sources described in detail the toxicity and abuse in her work environment. According to the polls, she’s probably the most unpopular vice president we’ve ever had – and it shows.
VP Harris has consistently worked to blame the mainstream media as best as she can for her image, with political allies trying to pinpoint it on sexism and racism. Patti Solis Doyle, who managed Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, said she doesn’t think VP Harris has performed any less than any other vice president in modern history. She said Harris had been hit with a series of damaging press accounts from the office and talked about the dinner she spent with the Democratic Party’s most influential women to help Harris “boost her national media footing.”
Harris even met with leading Democratic strategists Donna Brazile, Stephanie Cuter, Karen Finney, and Jennifer Palmieri in DC to strategize why she is much less popular than Biden.
Doyle went on to claim that there is just a “different standard for a woman in politics” and talked about trying to elect Hillary Clinton as the first woman president. She said she wanted to help curb some of the “gendered dynamics” in press coverage that people have seen before.
“It was like: ‘We’ve seen this before.’ It’s subtle. But when things aren’t going well for a male politician, we ask very different questions, and they’re not held to account the way a woman leader is,” Doyle said.
Harris has had more coverage in the media and polls since she would be the likely successor to President Joe Biden, the oldest president who has ever served, and who may not serve again in 2024. VP Harris’s approval rating currently sits at 45%, which is seven points lower than President Biden’s.
Harris’s approval ratings also sit lower than Biden, Dick Cheney, and Al Gore, during the exact same point in their vice presidencies. Even Roy Neel, a former Gore aide, sent Harris a memo warning her to make sure their staff doesn’t get “sucked into a gossip game about the president’s team.” He warned Harris that she needs to keep her staff discreet and adds that “discretion is everything.” He shared how easily a vice presidency can go sideways, which hers already has.
But VP Harris’s team has not kept discreet. There have been reports of short fuses, pinpointing the blame on others, and staff members getting physically ill over the stress. Biden senior adviser Cedric Richmond called it a “whisper campaign” designed to sabotage the vice president.
But Harris has tried to blame everything on the media only covering her with “soundbites” over the actual substance she’s trying to share. “Part of my frustration is the way that this system rewards sound bites” as opposed to “depth and thought,” she said.
From Harris’s unearthly cackles to her poor and sloppy management of the southern border crisis, it’s not a shock she has struggled to carry any positive ratings or coverage as a vice president. Not to mention the toxic work culture that has staffers fleeing from her grip.
Even former Trump-era White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said she wasn’t buying the sexism excuse for her poor ratings.
“Sexism is the new straw man argument being used by team Kamala to cover for her poor performance as vice president. From a massive, unresolved border crisis to failing to shepherd voting legislation through Congress, Kamala has failed at the tasks she’s been given,” McEnany said.
Poor ratings are because you can’t get the job done, not because you’re a woman or not. If anything, giggling nervously at a serious topic and refusing to step foot at the border might have been worse as a male vice president. At the end of the day, the polls show that even the Democrats wouldn’t have chosen Harris.