The vice-president is doing a blitz of end-of-the-year interviews. Among them is one airing today with CBS’s Face the Nation host Margaret Sullivan. The takeaway from the interview is when Kamala is asked what her biggest failure has been as vice-president, she said she doesn’t get outside the D.C. bubble enough.
Kamala’s polling numbers are bad. She usually comes off as tone-deaf and uses a nervous habit of cackling before answering a serious question. She did that, too, with Brennan. She began her response with a cackle as if to brush the question aside. She has a fear of being guilty of living in a bubble, she said.
.@VP Harris admits that her biggest failure is not leaving DC more due to COVID: “My biggest concern is I don’t ever want to be in a bubble when it comes to being aware of and in touch with what people need at any given moment.”
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) December 24, 2021
Living in a bubble goes with the job. The challenge is to keep in touch with the needs of Americans anyway. This administration has a bad habit of ignoring the many crises they face. Kamala’s top priority, the job first delegated to her by Biden, is one she clearly does not want. She’s supposed to be the border czar yet she refuses to even travel to the southern border for a first-hand look at the problems of a porous border. There is a lack of resources to handle border security and a lack of will by the administration. All Kamala ever says is that she told Guatemalans not to come during her visit there last June. She continues to talk about addressing the root causes of migration from Northern Triangle countries yet never speaks of specifics other than twisting the arms of corporate CEOs to pledge to allocate millions of dollars to the countries. If throwing money at these countries was the solution, there would be no problems today because for decades previous administrations have used that approach, too. The leaders of these countries are often corrupt and not particularly interested in showing vigilance in distributing the money from foreign donors. Those in need don’t see changes for a better life.
I focus on Kamala’s failure as border czar because, in my opinion, it is her biggest failure. It’s a dangerous lack of commitment with the potential to be a national security problem, along with humanitarian and public health crises. She can blame the pandemic for a lack of traveling to do her job but Biden, who is 79 years old and noticeably feeble, gets out of his basement to pitch his Build Back Better fever dream of social spending legislation and to take a victory lap for getting the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed. Kamala made one trip to the El Paso area this year and did so without incident. It’s possible, she just has the excuse of the pandemic to not go to where she doesn’t want to go. The pandemic hasn’t stopped her from traveling back and forth to California and her home there. She made appearances with Gavin Newsom this year.
Harris, who had a COVID scare earlier in the week after coming into contact with an infected staffer, went on: ‘I mean, and I actually mean that sincerely for a number of reasons.
‘You know, I, we, the president and I came in, you know, COVID had already started,’ she continued. ‘The pandemic had started. And when we came in we really couldn’t travel.’
‘You know, a large part of the relationship that he and I have built has been being in this, you know, together in the same office for hours on end, doing Zooms or whatever because we couldn’t get out of D.C., and on issues that are about fighting for anything from voting rights to child care, to one of the issues that I care deeply about, maternal health.
‘Being with the people who are directly impacted by this work, listening to them so that they, not some pundit, tells us what their priorities are. I think it’s critically important.’
‘People are, people have a right to know and believe that their government actually sees and hears them.
‘My biggest concern is, I don’t ever want to be in a bubble when it comes to being aware of and in touch with what people need at any given moment in time.’
Not only does Kamala look incompetent and out of her league in her role as vice-president, but she also looks indifferent. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat who represents the Rio Grande Valley in the House and a border security hawk, has given up trying to work with her and her office. No one, including Kamala, returns his calls. Cuellar has called for her to be replaced as border czar.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, a moderate whose district covers nearly 200 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, told the New York Times he had been disappointed by his interactions with Harris, who was tasked by President Biden with addressing the migrant border crisis. When Cuellar learned she was finally visiting the border in June, more than three months after being appointed by Biden to handle the issue, his staff called her office to offer advice. Her office didn’t return the call.
“I say this very respectfully to her: I moved on,” Cuellar said. “She was tasked with that job, it doesn’t look like she’s very interested in this, so we are going to move on to other folks that work on this issue.”
Kamala has ventured outside of D.C. both domestically and internationally. She has taken trips to Las Vegas, Chicago, Charlotte, San Francisco, and Newark. Most of these trips were to encourage people to get vaccinated or to talk about BBB. She traveled to Asia and to France in what were seen as attempts to boost her foreign policy creds. No matter where she goes, she manages to receive bad press. In France she was criticized for shopping for French cookware, which is petty but nonetheless, the critics pounced on her. Nothing much came from her trip to France to smooth things over with Macron after the U.S. pushed France out of the U.S.-U.K.-Australia deal on submarine technology. The press coverage of her trip to Asia included stories of being late to events. In other words, she received photo ops for her travels but little else came of them.
The vice-president is struggling to figure out what exactly her role is, according to reports. It seems that eleven months into the job, she should have that figured out by now. We were told that the Biden administration was the return of the professionals in D.C., the people who know how to make the government run and address problems. Turns out, neither Biden nor his vice-president is up to the job.
“I think it’s no secret that the different things she has been asked to take on are incredibly demanding, not always well understood publicly and take a lot of work as well as a lot of skill,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an interview. “You have to do everything except one thing, which is take credit.”
We know that Kamala expects to run for the presidency after Biden. Biden clearly handed these jobs to her to give her some experience in the executive branch. She ran for Biden’s job and quickly flamed out. She blames her bad press on racism and sexism, and it’s probably no surprise she consults with Hillary Clinton regularly.
Faced with declining approval ratings, a series of staff departures and a drumbeat of criticism from Republicans and the conservative news media, she has turned to powerful confidantes, including Hillary Clinton, to help plot a path forward.
Ms. Harris has privately told her allies that the news coverage of her would be different if she were any of her 48 predecessors, whom she has described as all white and male. (Charles Curtis, who served as vice president under Hoover, spoke proudly of his Native American ancestry.) She also has confided in them about the difficulties she is facing with the intractable issues in her portfolio, such as voting rights and the root causes of migration. The White House has pushed back against scathing criticism on both fronts, for what activists say is a lack of attention.
Racism and sexism can’t be blamed for Kamala’s bad press when she has failed to make her own accomplishments. As for the whine that no other vice-president has received such bad press, has she ever heard of Dan Quayle?