Matt Vespa, Has “where’s Kamala?” replaced “where’s Hunter?” The vice president was supposed to visit the southern border, which is in chaos. It took her over 90 days to do so, and it coincided around the time of Donald Trump’s visit. That’s just bad optics. What the hell was she doing? Well, if this is true about her office, I can see how a lot is missed. It’s a total clown show. Reportedly, it’s staffed with monsters who are experts in one thing: destroying morale.
The top dogs there take credit for the good and blame others when things go south. It’s a story that’s been replayed many a time in other workplaces as well. Yet, this dysfunctional family picnic is soon going to spill over into other areas involving the president, so Biden will soon have a Kamala Harris problem. He probably already does.
Politico alleges that there is a cone of silence that insulates the VP, built by her top staffers who often ignore input from others or cruelly dismiss it. Two advance staffers bolted reportedly over this dynamic in what appears to be a toxic office environment (via Politico):
The handling of the border visit was the latest chaotic moment for a staff that’s quickly become mired in them. Harris’ team is experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication and diminished trust among aides and senior officials. Much of the frustration internally is directed at Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff, a veteran of Democratic politics who began working for her earlier this year.
In interviews, 22 current and former vice presidential aides, administration officials and associates of Harris and Biden described a tense and at times dour office atmosphere. Aides and allies said Flournoy, in an apparent effort to protect Harris, has instead created an insular environment where ideas are ignored or met with harsh dismissals and decisions are dragged out. Often, they said, she refuses to take responsibility for delicate issues and blames staffers for the negative results that ensue.
While much of the ire is aimed at Harris’ chief, two administration officials said the VP herself also bears responsibility for the way her office is run. “It all starts at the top,” said one of the administration officials, who like others requested anonymity to be able to speak candidly about a sensitive matter.
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” said another person with direct knowledge of how Harris’ office is run. “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—.”
The dysfunction in the VP’s ranks threatens to complicate the White House’s carefully crafted image as a place staffed by a close-knit group of professionals working in concert to advance the president’s agenda. It’s pronounced enough that members of the president’s own team have taken notice and are concerned about the way Harris’ staffers are treated.
…for some of the people who know Harris best, it’s become an all-too-familiar pattern for a politician who has churned through several iterations of staff on her rise and took office with a team almost entirely new to her.
Just six months in, some of those aides in the Office of the Vice President said they are eyeing other employment opportunities. Others have left already. In recent days, two top advance staffers, Karly Satkowiak and Gabrielle DeFranceschi, parted ways with Harris in what they and Harris officials said were long-planned departures, a point disputed by two other people familiar with the matter.
For DeFranceschi, the deputy director of advance, the departure came down to a “difference in opinion on how things should run,” according to another person familiar with the matter, who said that Harris’ office is run “very different” from the Obama operation, where DeFranceschi previously worked. “If you have an opinion about how things should run and it’s not listened to, that can be frustrating.”
Again, these are anonymous sources, but there is history that can be applied here. If this operation sounds familiar, it’s because it’s almost a retread of Harris’ disastrous 2020 campaign. This ship hit the iceberg moments after it left port and much of the criticisms lobbed about VP Harris are the same ones that were hurled at candidate Harris. Politico also covered this trainwreck:
As the California senator crisscrosses the country trying to revive her sputtering presidential bid, aides at her fast-shrinking headquarters are deep into the finger-pointing stages. And much of the blame is being placed on campaign manager Juan Rodriguez.
After Rodriguez announced dozens of layoffs and re-deployments in late October to stem overspending, three more staffers at headquarters here were let go and another quit in recent days, aides told POLITICO. Officials said they’ve become increasingly frustrated at the campaign chief’s lack of clarity about what changes have been made to right the ship and his plans to turn the situation around. They hold Rodriguez responsible for questionable budget decisions, including continuing to bring on new hires shortly before the layoffs began.
Amid the turmoil, some aides have gone directly to campaign chair Maya Harris, the candidate’s sister, and argued that Rodriguez needs to be replaced if Harris has any hope of a turnaround, according to two officials.
“It’s a campaign of id,” said one senior Harris official, laying much of the blame on Rodriguez, but also pointing to a leaderless structure at the top that’s been allowed to flail without accountability. “What feels right, what impulse you have right now, what emotion, what frustration,” the official added. The person described the current state of the campaign in blunt terms: “No discipline. No plan. No strategy.”
This account is based on interviews with more than a dozen current and former staffers as well as others close to the campaign, including donors. The sources were granted anonymity to speak freely about the turmoil within the organization and protect them from repercussions.
“No discipline. No plan. No strategy”—sure sounds like how she’s handled everything Biden has tasked her with quarterbacking since he was ushered into office. Harris has been propped up by the liberal media as some whiz kid, some overwhelming political force when in reality, she’s simply not great. The evidence? Julian Castro, Cory Booker, Deval Patrick, Tulsi Gabbard, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer, and Michael Bennet had more staying power than Harris 2020 in the primaries—and some of these names are absolute jokes. Harris couldn’t tread water with this crew.
We have a president who is asleep 80 percent of the time and a VP who cannot manage anything except losing staffers and creating a toxic workplace.
“America is back”? Maybe if you’re on the crack pipe like Hunter.