OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
The Kamala Harris takeover continues.
She’s apparently got her own version of the Resolute Desk, which has been in the Oval Office for the president for many years.
The Navy Seabees built a desk for Harris made of timber from a historic warship as part of an effort to craft a desk of comparable historical significance to the president’s Resolute desk.
An eagle and stars drawn from the Constitution’s stern are carved into the desk, which Harris received in February.
“The desk project was initiated to deliver a desk of comparable … provenance, history, and heritage as the president’s HMS Resolute desk,” according to the U.S. Navy. Crafted from the wood of the British HMS Resolute, that desk was as a gift to President Rutherford B. Hayes from Queen Victoria in 1880.
Those who worked on the desks pointed to the potential significance for the country, and for the military in particular, of decisions made before them.
“Knowing they’ll sit there every day is huge. The importance of their job can affect everything we do,” said Navy Builder 1st Class Hilary Lemelin, who is assigned to the USS Constitution. “It’s a piece of history now.”
Check it out:
Inside each desk is a pen tray with a note from former Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite and a piece of the USS Arizona, the battleship that sank during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
Lemelin said this part would be a constant reminder of the officeholder’s power and the country’s history.
“Every time they open that tray to sign an important document that could potentially change the Navy or the nation, I think I put that there for them to use,” Lemelin said. “For me, that’s history, and we’re helping whoever sits in those seats think about the immense weight they hold.”
According to recent photographs, Harris’s new desk appears to sit in her West Wing office.
The vice president has another office at the White House, a ceremonial office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, used primarily for interviews, meetings, and the swearing-in of Cabinet officials, and once used as the Navy secretary’s office. She has another office in the U.S. Capitol.
Harris has also been taking command of key presidential tasks, such as calling other world leaders, a task that has always been handled by the president of the United States.
Harris recently spoke with the President of France President Emmanuel Macron.
Harris also called on the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“The prime minister congratulated the vice president on her historic election, and she recalled fondly her years spent in Montréal,” Trudeau’s office said.
For reference, Vice President Mike Pence did not have the same authority on making calls with world leaders, Donald Trump handled the calls.
It is bizarre for a vice president to be making contact with key world leaders just weeks into a new administration.
Last month, Harris called the director-general of the World Health Organization to discuss the U.S. role in the global Covid-19 response.
Since then, she has held solo calls with Trudeau and Macron, given a speech at the State Department, and participated in the first bilateral meeting of the new administration between the U.S. and Canada.
Harris has also has weekly lunches with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
A sitting president does not refuse to speak with other world leaders so his vice president can “get experience.”