Don’t call it the Biden-Harris administration. Call it the Biden vs. Harris administration.
That’s less about the two political hacks in question, one of whom is barely functional due to age and the other due to shallowness and stupidity, and more about their tiers of staffers and loyalists who are scrambling for power. And the most obvious manifestation of D.C. infighting is media hit pieces powered by leaks from inside. And there’s never been any shortage of those targeting Kamala Harris.
When Edward-Isaac Dovere, the guy top Dems turn to for fawning interviews for presidential candidates or extensive write-ups closely articulating a particular political narrative, is doing hit pieces on you for CNN, you know that this is coming from the ultimate political insiders at the very top of the administration food chain.
Worn out by what they see as entrenched dysfunction and lack of focus, key West Wing aides have largely thrown up their hands at Vice President Kamala Harris and her staff — deciding there simply isn’t time to deal with them right now, especially at a moment when President Joe Biden faces quickly multiplying legislative and political concerns.
Everyone hates Kamala. Which is true. And apparently, Kamala hates everyone too.
Interviews with nearly three dozen former and current Harris aides, administration officials, Democratic operatives, donors and outside advisers — who spoke extensively to CNN — reveal a complex reality inside the White House. Many in the vice president’s circle fume that she’s not being adequately prepared or positioned, and instead is being sidelined. The vice president herself has told several confidants she feels constrained in what she’s able to do politically. And those around her remain wary of even hinting at future political ambitions, with Biden’s team highly attuned to signs of disloyalty, particularly from the vice president.
I can’t imagine why.
The administration does sound like a lovely snake pit with everyone at odds. But considering that Kamala’s presidential campaign broke down into public infighting between campaign officials and her sister, the dysfunction now must be truly epic.
But, with many sources speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the situation more frankly, they all tell roughly the same story: Harris’ staff has repeatedly failed her and left her exposed, and family members have often had an informal say within her office.
So we’re back to Maya messing things up.
Defenders and people who care for Harris are getting frantic. When they’re annoyed, some pass around a recent Onion story mocking her lack of more substantive work, one with the headline, “White House Urges Kamala Harris To Sit At Computer All Day In Case Emails Come Through.” When they’re depressed, they bat down the Aaron Sorkin-style rumor that Biden might try to replace her by nominating her to a Supreme Court vacancy. That chatter has already reached top levels of the Biden orbit, according to one person who’s heard it.
That would be insane.
Being a Supreme Court justice is the one thing Kamala might be less qualified to do than her current job. And I don’t see Breyer, who’s reluctant to retire, stepping down for a move this corrupt. It would also shoot Dems in the foot. They already have two poorly qualified justices with a history of making underwhelming and unconvincing arguments. Kamala would be much worse because she’s absurdly unqualified.
She’d just have everything done for her by clerks.
Meanwhile Kamala is jealous of Pete who is a potential opponent.
Suspicion has sprouted out of the bitterness. Last month, White House aides leapt to the defense of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who was being hammered with outrage by Fox News host Tucker Carlson and like-minded online pundits for taking paternity leave after the adoption of his twins in September. Harris loyalists tell CNN they see in that yet another example of an unfair standard at play, wondering why she didn’t get similar cover any of the times she’s been attacked by the right.
Maybe she should come out as gay and then she’d get more of a defense. Instead, she’s playing the race card.
“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,” said a former Harris aide, reflecting conversations last month among several former aides and current allies.
If only Biden hadn’t bused her to Washington D.C.
Accusing the Biden administration of racism all over again is bound to work as well as it during the primaries.