As Kamala Harris’ Office Is Accused Of Dysfunction, White House Goes Into Damage Control
Reports of dysfunction in Vice President Kamala Harris‘ office have resulted in the White House heading into “damage control” mode after a series of negative reports about her management.
Sabrina Singh, the deputy press secretary to the vice president, defended Harris. “The Vice President and her office are focused on the Biden-Harris Administration’s agenda to build an economy from the middle out and bottom-up, not the top-down, to making sure racial equity is at the core of everything the Administration does, to considering the existential threat of climate change, and to continue protecting the American people from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Singh told CNN.
Tina Flourney, Harris’s chief of staff, has been the target of much of the criticism for the dysfunction. Flourney has been accused of creating a toxic environment, in which she supposedly ignores ideas with an overly harsh style.
These kinds of reports are similar to the ones Harris received about her Senate Office and failed presidential campaign.
Though the West Wing has come to the vice president’s defense, Harris’s multiple missteps, like her trip to Guatemala and Mexico and her interview with Lester Holt, have not helped soothe the tensions in the team.
Harris’s adviser Minyon Moore and Democratic strategist Bakari Sellers have come to her defense on social media.
.@VP many understand the task before you & your team. #TinaFlournoy is focused, disciplined, & the person I would want by my side. For anyone who believes this journey is easy, please
think long & hard about what the Biden-Harris Administration walked into day 1. UNPRECEDENTED
— MinyonM. (@IamMinyon) July 1, 2021
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain vigorously defended Harris as well. “Vice President Harris and her team are off to the fastest and strongest start of any Vice President I have seen. She’s delivering for the American people on immigration, small business, voting rights, and economic growth,” he told Axios. “The President’s trust and confidence in her are obvious when you see them in the Oval Office together. The results speak for themselves: a decline of border arrivals from the Northern Triangle, improved vaccine equity, and increased economic opportunities for women. Anyone who has the honor of working closely with the Vice President knows how her talents and determination have made a huge difference in this Administration already.”
Former president Bill Clinton, who used to be Flourney’s boss, came to her defense. He called Flourney an “extraordinary person.”
The reports are especially important because of the 2024 presidential race. Though Biden has said that he plans to run for reelection, at 81, Biden may decide to retire after one term. That means that Democrats are relying on Harris as their “heir apparent.” Some Democrats doubt that Harris would be strong enough politically to defeat former President Donald Trump.