OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Democrats are terrified at the prospect of Kamala Harris running for president in 2024 if Joe Biden does not decided to go for reelection as he is expected to.
A recent report from Axios said that Democrats believe that literally any Republican would be able to defeat Harris, who received no delegates in the 2020 Democrat presidential primary.
“2024 is the elephant in the room. While Biden aides overwhelmingly believe he’ll be the Democratic nominee, they also know he’d be 81 when seeking re-election,” Axios said.
“Harris would be the presumptive nominee if Biden didn’t run. Administration sources believe it would be nearly impossible to unseat the first Black woman vice president,” it said, meaning they believe she would win a primary.
“Yet many Democrats, including some current senior administration officials, are concerned she could not defeat whomever the Republican Party puts up — even if it were Donald Trump,” it said.
One Democrat operative put it succinctly to Axios’ Alayna Treene, saying hat they believe other Democrat operatives are thinking.
“‘Oh, no, our heir apparent is f***ing up, what are we gonna do?’ It’s more that people think, ‘Oh, she’s f***ing up, maybe she shouldn’t be the heir apparent,’” the operative said.
Relations between the West Wing and the Vice President’s office are tense.
Several administration officials used “shitshow” when describing Harris’ office, and contrast her operation with disciplined, virtually leakproof Biden aides.
Some Biden officials view the Harris operation as poorly-managed and staffed with people who don’t have long-term relationships with her. They feel she’s gotten bad advice from her press and communications shop and think it’s telling that she’s already lost two advance aides and a digital director.
This comes after reports that Harris is heading an “abusive” office.
People inside Kamala Harris’ office have described an office that is in chaos and her decision to finally visit the United States and Mexico border had blindsided some.
Her aides and supporters were texting each other for days about the political repercussions of the potential trip when suddenly the trip was announced, Politico reported.
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.
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” a person that Politico claims knows how her office works, said. “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 report said that members of Joe Biden’s staff have noticed and are concerned about how members of Harris’ team are treated.
Harris’ spokeswoman Symone Sanders defended Harris and said the claims are unfounded.
“Black women like me would not have the opportunity to work in politics without Tina.” She said before speaking of those who have complained anonymously, “People are cowards to do this this way.”
“We are not making rainbows and bunnies all day. What I hear is that people have hard jobs and I’m like ‘welcome to the club,’” she said. “We have created a culture where people, if there is anything anyone would like to raise, there are avenues for them to do so. Whoever has something they would like to raise, they should raise it directly.”
But some say that some staffers are looking for other jobs and others have already quit. Two top staffers, Karly Satkowiak and Gabrielle DeFranceschi, recently quit their positions of Harris’ staff in what officials say were long planned.
DeFranceschi, the deputy director of advance, quitting the job was because of a “difference in opinion on how things should run,” a person who said they have knowledge of the situation said.
“If you have an opinion about how things should run and it’s not listened to, that can be frustrating.” The person said.