Vice President Kamala Harris’s aides are in a panic on Friday, stating she is “fucking up” and perhaps “shouldn’t be the heir apparent” for 2024’s presidential race because she “could not defeat whomever the Republican Party puts up.”
Axios reported, “One Democrat operative” said about the 2024 concern that “most Democrats aren’t saying, ‘Oh, no, our heir apparent is f***ing up, what are we gonna do?’ It’s more that people think, ‘Oh, she’s f***ing up, maybe she shouldn’t be the heir apparent.'”
Other White House aides told Axios Harris’s office is a “shitshow” with “poorly-managed … people who don’t have long-term relationships with her,” an overall “operation sometimes visibly out of sync with Biden’s.”
“2024 is the elephant in the room,” Axios reports. “While Biden aides overwhelmingly believe he’ll be the Democratic nominee, they also know he’d be 81 when seeking re-election.”
But “many Democrats, including some current senior administration officials, are concerned she [Harris] could not defeat whomever the Republican Party puts up — even if it were Donald Trump.”
The conflict seems to have climaxed before and during Harris’s trip to the border, when she committed “missteps during a recent trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, including an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt.” She stated she had not visited the southern border crisis and that she has not toured Europe either.
Politico reported Wednesday that after the decision was made for Harris to travel to the border, “people inside her own office were blindsided by the news,” and many aides began “scrambling, including officials who were responsible for making travel arrangements and others outside the VP’s office charged with crafting the messaging across the administration.”
Wednesday’s article also suggested similar infighting within Harris’s office.
Aides “are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” a staffer “with direct knowledge of how Harris’s office is run” told Politico. “It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s—.”
White House chief of staff Ron Klain told Axios, “The President’s trust and confidence in her is obvious when you see them in the Oval Office together.”
Biden’s senior adviser, Cedric Richmond, acknowledged the infighting as real by saying, “It’s a whisper campaign designed to sabotage her.”
Former President Bill Clinton told CNBC Wednesday he is confident in Harris’s chief of staff:
Tina Flournoy ran my office for more than eight years, making it more efficient, effective, and transparent. She made it easier, not harder, for me to advance my philanthropic work and my post-presidential activities, and keep in touch with my friends
She has a unique ability to focus on the big picture and adapt to changing conditions. And she does it all with a great sense of humor and an unwavering belief that we all have an ability and an obligation to make a difference. She’s an extraordinary person, and I’m so fortunate and forever grateful to have had her as my chief of staff.
Clinton’s spokesman, Matt McKenna, who worked with Flournoy, also praised her for “helping create a much-needed structure for Clinton’s office.”
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s former aide, Jennifer Palmieri, tweeted, “Chiefs of staff gotta run interference. Doesn’t always make you popular. But it’s part of the job. Protect the boss’ time.”
Democrats’ effort to defend the vice president and her chief of staff comes as the Atlantic magazine published a profile piece on Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on June 9 and plotted his path to the presidency, which would involve his replacing incumbent Biden.
In the article, the Atlantic laid out Buttigieg’s potential path to the presidency in 2024 — which he sought in 2020:
Here’s the winner of the 2020 Iowa caucus, living out his grand political plan to … how exactly would it work? Something like: He takes an inherently snoozer job as a low-ranking Cabinet official, spends a few years quietly kissing up to mostly forgettable members of Congress with talk about railroads and broadband, and going on TV to defend the administration. Along the way, he counts on Biden not to run again and Kamala Harris not to emerge as Biden’s natural heir. If everything comes together perfectly, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, becomes the first president since Herbert Hoover to have come out of the Cabinet.
Whatever Buttigieg’s ambitions, some current Harris aides are still defending her.
“People are not fighting every day,” Harris’s senior adviser Symone Sanders told Axios. “There’s not consternation among aides. That is not true. … I hear that there are critics. Those who talk often do not know and those who know usually are not the ones talking.”