OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Vice President Kamala Harris is either blissfully unaware of her plummeting polls numbers and the fact that her staff is abandoning ship before it sinks, or she simply does not care.
On a trip to North Carolina this week to tour a public transit facility and give a speech on the recently passed infrastructure bill alongside the man many consider to be her rival, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, The Daily Mail reported.
She answered a reporter’s question about the departure of her chief spokesperson Symone Sanders, but not much else.
“I love Symone,” the vice president said. “And I mean that sincerely.”
It was wise of her to add the “sincerely” part since she appears to be so insincere in most things that she does.
“I can’t wait to see what she will do next. I know that it’s been three years jumping on and off planes, going around the country …,” she said.
But when pressed on the departures of more of her staff she was not interested in answering.
“Well, I told you how I feel about Symone, she said.
But the most cringeworthy moment came when she and Buttigieg arrived at the Charlotte Area Transit System Bus and Light Rail Garage and she decided to sit in the driver’s seat of an electric bus.
“The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round,” she sang, with her trademark cackle that she calls a laugh.
Kamala Harris, singing: “The wheels on the bus go round and round” pic.twitter.com/QPHfAXPbby
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) December 2, 2021
Peter Velz, director of press operations, and Vince Evans, deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, have both told others in the vice president’s office that they are leaving, two administration officials told the Washington Post.
Both are expected to take jobs in or close to the administration.
The news of their departure came just after it was confirmed that Sanders will leave the White House by the end of the this month.
The staffers flee amid swirling rumors of internal tensions and alleged frustration that President Joe Biden is not positioning her well for a presidential run.
And as she sat there with Buttigieg, and the two pretended to like each other, rumors have not stopped about a potential feud regarding who is going to be President Joe Biden’s successor.
And the worst part for Biden and Harris is that no one in the West Wing is shutting down the talk, Business Insider reported.
As a 39-year-old veteran who has already sought the highest office in the land, the US Transportation secretary is seen as a potential successor to Biden in 2028 — or in 2024 if the president reverses course from a planned reelection bid.
Buttigieg, who was confirmed to his Cabinet post in February, recently said to Politico that he likes his job and has not thought much about electioneering since getting settled in the nation’s capital.
“I’d say the other thing that I’m really enjoying about this job, although it’s very demanding and obviously requiring a lot, is that this is the least I have had to think about campaigns and elections in about a decade and that’s a very good thing,” he said last week.
But since he has become a more prominent person in the administration now that the president’s infrastructure bill passed.
“Nobody in the West Wing shuts that down,” someone with knowledge of what is going on said to Politico. “It’s very open.”
But some staffers of color are “frustrated” by the Buttigieg for president talk as they see it as a slight to Harris.
And some believe that picking Buttigieg could damage Democrat’s chances of getting the black vote.
Buttigieg’s political action committee, Win the Era, has been quiet since he joined government earlier this year, but it is still active, with former campaign aides Maxwell Nunes and Michael Halle helping with its upkeep.
However, while on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Buttigieg brushed off any talk of a rivalry with Harris. When the secretary was asked if coverage of Harris’s political standing had any effect on their relationship, he rejected the idea.
“No, because she and I are part of a team that is disciplined and doesn’t focus on what’s obsessing the commentators. We’re too busy with a job to do. She, as the leader in this administration, with her leadership role, and I, and the president, and everybody else in the cabinet and across the administration, are laser-focused on getting the job done,” the transportation secretary said.
“We have been assigned by the president to take on — literally — projects and legislation of generational significance. There’s no room to get caught up in the parlor games, and I’m proud to be part of the Biden-Harris team,” he said.