Kamala Harris’ aides pass around an Onion article mocking the VP when they get ‘annoyed’ with the White House’s treatment of her, report says

U.S Vice President Kamala Harris delivers a speech during the Paris Peace Forum, in Paris, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021
U.S Vice President Kamala Harris delivers a speech during the Paris Peace Forum, in Paris, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021
  • VP Harris and her allies are increasingly frustrated with her current standing, CNN reports.
  • Harris insiders feel the VP has been sidelined and given assignments that set her up to fail.
  • Supporters pass around an article from The Onion mocking VP Harris' lack of major work.

Vice President Kamala Harris' aides and supporters pass around an article from The Onion mocking the vice president when they feel "annoyed" with her current treatment by the White House, according to a new report from CNN.

The October 29 article titled, "White House Urges Kamala Harris To Sit At Computer All Day In Case Emails Come Through," is satire. But for Harris insiders, it exemplifies their frustration with how, in their view, Harris is getting sidelined by the West Wing and being set up to fail as the Democratic party's future standard-bearer, sources told CNN.

"It is natural that those of us who know her know how much more helpful she can be than she is currently being asked to be," California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis told CNN. "That's where the frustration is coming from."

For months, outlets including Politico, Axios, CNN, and Insider have reported on widespread organizational dysfunction and low staff morale within the vice president's office. The discontent has only exacerbated increasing tensions and widened the gulf between the VP's operation and President Joe Biden's team and strained Biden and Harris' personal relationship, CNN reports.

Harris has told allies that she feels "constrained" by what she can do in her office, believes she was shut out of the White House's deliberations around the US' military withdrawal from Afghanistan, and is unhappy with being assigned as the administration's immigration point-person on relations with the Northern Triangle nations in Central America but not the US' Southern border, CNN said.

Harris' top spokeswoman Symone Sanders called it "unfortunate" that "some in the media are focused on gossip - not on the results that the President and the Vice President have delivered" in a statement to CNN.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki also did not dispute CNN's reporting, but defended Harris in a Sunday night tweet, calling her a "vital partner" and "bold leader."

Harris' portfolio includes immigration, a notoriously thorny policy area that has tripped up numerous presidential administrations before, and voting rights, which has put on the back burner as congressional Democrats have prioritized passing Biden's economic agenda.

"They're consistently sending her out there on losing issues in the wrong situations for her skill set," one Harris ally told CNN.

The prizing of economic policy means that other cabinet secretaries including Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and especially Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg took more of a hands-on role and are now poised to become even more powerful in overseeing the implementation of the legislation, including doling out millions in government grants.

A recent USA Today/Suffolk University poll found that only 28% of Americans polled approved of Harris' performance, the lowest approval rating a vice president has pulled since 2007.

Insider's Robin Bravender and Adam Wren previously reported that Buttigieg's supporters and donors are talking him up to run in 2024 against Harris if Biden doesn't seek a second term.

Insider and CNN have also reported that Harris' political operation has largely fallen to the wayside, with no similar strategy sessions for a Harris 2024 bid and Harris' chief of staff Tina Flournoy tightly controlling access to the VP. Harris herself has "complained about the lack of support, internally and externally," CNN reported, with many longtime supporters and donors feeling completely cut off.

"We're really disappointed that it's falling apart," one Harris donor told Insider of Harris' political operation. "It doesn't seem to be serving her future."

Read the original article on Business Insider

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