The Kamala Harris effect is losing steam. Once trotted out alongside Joe Biden as the little darling of progressive politics, she is now – or so it appears – backtracking towards the barn. With midterm elections that will set or sink the Biden administration’s political agenda on the horizon, Harris must somehow add to the positives of the Democratic Party when her approval numbers are anything but helpful.
In a recent poll by Economist-YouGov, Harris’s unfavorable figure reached 48% — which is higher than President Joe Biden’s plummeting popularity numbers hovering at 43 percent. Granted, most VP’s do not exceed their president’s likeability or job performance statistics. But this close to the top priority of electing and reinstalling members of the House, winning a ribbon as Ms. Congeniality or Best Personality would go a long way in helping the party’s candidates raise money.
Most candidates in the trenches appreciate the high-profile visits and endorsements of a sitting president or vice president, but the welcome mat has not yet been laid out on the front porch. Whatever can the DNC do to portray Harris in a favorable light before she becomes the punchline for pundits and drags the administration down even further?
What Do We Do with Her?
Most political campaigns are won and lost as the bank balance rises or falls. So, a fundraising workhorse with an appealing message will go a long way toward filling the coffers. Typically, the number two guy or gal is the perfect person with street creds to jet about and attract all kinds of attention. Local media will cover the event. The national press will be on board Air Force Two, hanging on Kamala’s every word. There’s only one problem: asking Harris to help out might be akin to hanging an albatross around a candidate’s neck if she’s allowed to speak freely.
As missteps of the mouth go, Ms. Harris has a growing list of thoughtless remarks that have made her a liability to the administration and the Democratic Party. How does one take her seriously when her own policy playbook reflects indifference and stagnation? The veep’s priorities include immigration and voting rights. As the all-important installed-months-ago border Czarina, Harris went way south of the Mexican border, hunting for “root” causes. During her visit, she held a presser and told prospective immigrants: “Do not come. Do not come. The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our borders. If you come to our border, you will be turned back.”
The progressive open-borders wing of the Democratic Party was ever so slightly triggered. And strategically speaking, California and Arizona members of congress may find her rhetoric a bit off-putting.
Several Democratic operatives speaking to The Hill have hinted that pressure is building within the ranks. One insider, on condition of anonymity, said, “As of right now, I think she has the potential of doing more harm than good for some of these candidates.” Another self-declared Harris ally admitted:
“No one is coming out and saying she’s doing an amazing job because the first question would be ‘On what?’ She’s made a bunch of mistakes, and she’s made herself a story for good and bad.”
It seems that President Biden’s handlers are using Harris not for her strengths, but for her awkwardness, random truth-free stories, and that inappropriate and deflective cackle – making their tightly scripted guy look more presidential by comparison. And that strategy is working. A good distancing and putting her in charge of no-win issues like immigration is a genius move. How else do you best use this person plucked from the most unpopular campaign for president 2020 with the politically correct gender and skin color and turn her into an asset when she speaks? She is making Biden finally look more competent as she competes in the quest to become the political punchline of 2021.