Further to John’s item a couple days ago about the unpopularity of Kamala Harris, the story got a new chapter yesterday courtesy of The Atlantic. Like the New York Times article on Biden reported here Saturday, this Atlantic article has some damning material about Harris if you read it carefully and translate the deeper meaning.
Like Biden, she’s not really able to perform live in prime time either:
Critics of Harris see her vice presidency so far as a collection of unconnected set pieces. Harris arrives somewhere with the plane and the motorcade and the Secret Service agents, makes a few mostly bland statements, then tells whomever she’s meeting with about how she’s going to bring their stories back to Washington. Then she’s quickly out of sight again. . .
This bit about her media relations is . . . very interesting. As Paul has already reported about this story, Harris appears to keep an “enemies list” of unsympathetic journalists:
The vice president and her team tend to dismiss reporters. Trying to get her to take a few questions after events is treated as an act of impish aggression. And Harris herself tracks political players and reporters whom she thinks don’t fully understand her or appreciate her life experience. . . She particularly doesn’t like the word cautious, and aides look out for synonyms too. Careful, guarded, and hesitant don’t go over well. But she continues to retreat behind talking points and platitudes in public, and declines many interview requests and opportunities to speak for herself (including for this article). At times, she comes off as so uninteresting that television producers have started to wonder whether spending thousands of dollars to send people on trips with her is worthwhile, given how little usable material they get out of it.
But this is perhaps the most revealing tidbit in the whole article, though it may not be evident to the casual reader:
Harris has been an elected official for 18 years straight, but she has only a few senior aides on staff who have worked for her for more than a few months. Turf battles have been a recurring feature of Harris offices over the years, but her newest circle believes it is finally getting her on track after years of past staffers not serving her well. Some have been surprised at how much work there is to be done, whether that’s briefing her on certain policy issues or helping her improve her sparring-with-journalists skills.
The problem isn’t “turf battles.” It is always a bad sign when a politician can’t good keep staff (or any staff), and Harris has long been known for being a terrible boss, going back to her time as California Attorney General. When you can’t keep eager political staff. . .