The VPOTUS’s 100 Days Looks Like Smooth Swag
Whether you agree with the way Madam Veep has handled her first 100 days one thing is for sure she has kept her aspirations, ambitions, and ego in check. Madam Veep knows she is in a realm of unfamiliar territory. Vice-president Harris also knows the power of servitude. As editor-In-Cheif one thing I learned early on is the #2 person is one of the most powerful positions in any camp.
For one thing, your head isn’t on the chopping block; so to speak. The VP position is the best place to play hero at all times. Kamala is savvy enough in that she understands if she plays her cards right, her mentee approach under a very experienced politician/president, could render her an undisputed experience campaign. I find her savory swag both adorable and frankly quite UNf*CKWITHABLE at least at this point.
However, one hundred days into her historic turn as vice president, Kamala Harris remains a largely misunderstood figure.
Rather than the cautious and overly ambitious energy, she’s portrayed to be, interviews with more than a dozen current and former aides and others in Harris’ orbit paint a picture of a veep who remains intensely focused on earning the trust of Joe Biden, so much so that outside allies believe she’s partially motivated by a fear of losing it. Some worry she may be hurting her future political prospects in pursuit of it.
“What I know is in Kamala’s mindset, it’s not just cozying up to Biden for her own personal gain, but because she wants to be actively engaged in government and that’s determined by how much authority Biden gives her,” one Harris confidant said. “And how much authority he gives her is based on how much he trusts her.
The confidant put the defining ethos inside the vice president’s office as follows: “Make sure everyone in that White House complex knows I have only one priority and that is covering Joe Biden’s back.”
Harris’ efforts to earn Biden’s trust are, to an extent, a byproduct of the role the VP has enjoyed in American governance. The influence that comes with the post is largely determined by how much the president chooses to grant it. But it also is tied to how Harris — the first Black, Asian and female vice president — is still trying to define her own place as a leader in the Democratic Party, having burst onto the national scene five years ago as a U.S. senator and failing to catch fire in her own run for president.
In many ways, the dynamic at play between Biden and Harris began months before they took office together, when she was being interviewed to become his vice president. At the time, close Biden advisers and allies worried that Harris would outshine him or put her own priorities ahead of his, and their belief was reinforced by some of her critics in California, who urged his campaign to go in another direction.
Harris, at the time, told people close to her that she knew she had to win the trust of Bidenworld. She went about trying to do so in private, eschewing the public lobbying efforts that others competing for the post engaged in. After running a leaky campaign, she closed ranks around a small circle of aides. And as VP, she has opted to keep just a few people around her in the know. As a result, insidery kernels that reveal the depths of her trust with Biden have been scarce or closely managed by staff.
But for Harris, even that is by design. Going out of her way to publicly telegraph debates in which she’s had influence in Biden’s final decision would defeat the purpose of her trying to burnish her image as a behind-the-scenes confidante and adviser. Her aides stress Harris and Biden have developed a “genuine like” for each other, with one comparing them to “Barney and Fred driving up to the factory.”
“Because of Covid, there was very little travel, particularly in the first part,” Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff, told POLITICO. “[So] they spend a lot of time together, more than her public schedule probably reveals or indicates. Both coming to the same place every day and spending hours together, which would not have happened in a normal hundred days.”
Flournoy said the relationship and trust is constantly growing and that “in just about every meeting,” the president looks to Harris for guidance and advice, “He will turn to the vice president and say, ‘What do you think? Does that sound right to you? Am I missing something here?’”
Yet even asHarris’ aides talk up her involvement and focus, others in her orbit worry about her longer-term political standing. Some allies insist she needs to do more to engage needy donors, with one pointing to the fact that former Vice President Mike Pence was staffed by sharp-elbowed political operatives and was able to maintain a political committee to raise money. Harris has no comparable committee.
“Pence tended to his garden of political support. She is doing a lot of that herself,” another close ally said. “How extensive her political team is in broadening a universe beyond the Hamptons and the Vineyard, I can’t tell you.”
The ally also wondered whether the center of the party itself will have passed Harris by come 2024 or 2028, as a new generation of leaders lays down track while she works to build a brand for herself that’s at least somewhat distinct from her boss.
Excepts from https://www.politico.com
“We like her mentee kind of approach with Biden, says SDMNEWS. We find her slow impact while allowing her presence to permeate the oval office is a great strategy. In such a way that is about raising the bar; the essence of her skills and not about her destiny. Kamala brings smooth learning to the job, it’s what you do when you want to be effective.”
SDMNEWS Editorial Team
The San Diego Monitor-News has been serving Black San Diego since 1986