OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Rumors are flying that some of President Joe Biden’s allies have at least looked into the idea of replacing Vice President Kamala Harris.
In a scathing piece published by Newsweek, Darragh Roche wrote that “Harris is suffering stubbornly low approval ratings and has been the subject of a series of damaging news stories, including an exodus of staff from her office late in 2021 and reports that she is difficult to work with.”
“Nonetheless, political scientists who spoke to Newsweek suggested that Harris’ time as vice president has been less than impressive and that Biden had not entrusted her with as much responsibility as previous vice presidents—including Biden himself,” Roche wrote.
Politics professor Robert Singh told Newsweek that several Democrats have been “vindicated” for not supporting Harris’s 2020 campaign, adding that she wasn’t ready to be president then and she doesn’t appear to be ready now.
“She is surely the weakest vice president since, and perhaps even including, Dan Quayle under George H.W. Bush,” Singh said.
“Harris, by contrast, has been notable for the lack of responsibilities Biden has felt able or willing to give her. The major one, on immigration reform, has proven a dead duck, with an ongoing crisis on the southern border and no feasible measures to deal with it on the agenda,” he said.
“The well-documented problems of staff turnover in her office—with several officials describing her as ‘difficult’ to work with—throw some additional light on an individual who is not ready for prime time,” he added.
Media chatter has been exploding in recent months about Biden and Harris.
Late last year, a CNN report alleged that White House insiders are painting a picture of total chaos and discontent between Biden and Harris.
“That chatter has already reached top levels of the Biden orbit, according to one person who’s heard it,” CNN reported.
“Kamala Harris is a leader but is not being put in positions to lead,” a top Democratic donor said. “[Biden] should be putting her in positions to succeed, as opposed to putting weights on her. If you did give her the ability to step up and help her lead, it would strengthen you and strengthen the party.”
As Kamala Harris’ popularity has waned, so too has her support among her most rabid and online followers. https://t.co/1UDW98w3Ur
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) August 14, 2022
In an explosive story from New York Magazine, titled, “There Has to Be a Backup Plan. There’s a Backup Plan, Right? Inside the 2024 soul-searching that’s happening in every corner of the Democratic Party,” author Gabriel Debenedetti discusses how Democrats are facing a reckoning.
Debenedetti notes how there seems to be a major divide between Biden and his allies on one side and Harris and her loyalists on the other.
With Trumpism re-ascendant, ambivalence about Biden’s age and political standing is fueling skepticism just as the image of his understudy, Vice-President Kamala Harris, dips even further than his. The most recent analysis from the Los Angeles Times has her net approval rating at negative 11. The result is a bizarre disconnect within the Democratic Party, with two factions talking past each other.
One group consists of Biden and his loyalists, who are convinced that while the ticket’s numbers are undeniably bleak, they’re historically unsurprising for a president and VP facing their first midterm and will surely bounce back. The second group comprises a broad swath of the Democratic elite and rank and file alike, who suspect that vectors of age, succession, and strategy have created a dynamic with no obvious parallel in recent history.
“Biden has to run again because he desperately has to keep Trump out of the White House and defend our democracy,” as one Capitol Hill supporter puts it. “And I have no doubts Kamala Harris can’t win.”
According to one of America’s most accurate pollsters, only 29 percent of likely voters want Biden to run for re-election in 2024.
The poll also found that just 29 percent want Harris to run in his place in 2024.