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‘A Sign Of Disrespect’: Book Claims Harris Wanted Biden’s Staff To Stand Whenever She Walked In

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Vice President Kamala Harris took offense when President Joe Biden’s staffers failed to stand up whenever she entered a room, according to a new book.

In a new book titled, “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future,” Politico obtained excerpts and detailed several instances that had apparently angered Harris.

In one case, Harris was apparently very upset over her Vogue magazine cover photo, which was leaked two weeks prior to the inauguration in 2021.

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The book alleges that the cover was not the photo Harris had expected, which featured her wearing Converse sneakers.

Even though Harris had worn the sneakers often on the campaign trail, she allegedly felt that the cover photo featuring her wearing them, along with a pair of skinny pants, was “an approachable but less than a grand depiction of the incoming vice president.”

“Harris was wounded. She felt belittled by the magazine, asking aides: Would Vogue depict another world leader this way?” the book alleges, noting that after Harris’ objections, Vogue ultimately sold a limited edition issue with the photo the Vice President had preferred.

Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour said at the time that she had chosen the photo that she felt was more “relatable.”

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“It was an early indication that members of the Biden-Harris teams were on different pages with different priorities. The dynamic didn’t improve from there,” the report continued. “Martin and Burns document an increasingly fraught relationship between the West Wing and the vice president’s office filled with anger, eye-rolling, portfolio feuds, and real and perceived slights.”

Among those slights was the fact that Biden’s staffers, who stood when he entered a room, did not do the same for Harris — a move that she interpreted as “a sign of disrespect.”

“Some of Harris’s advisers believed the president’s almost entirely white inner circle did not show the vice president the respect she deserved. Harris worried that Biden’s staff looked down on her; she fixated on real and perceived snubs in ways the West Wing found tedious,” Burns and Martin continued.

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In another example of the Biden-Harris feud in the West Wing, the book claims Biden threatened to dismiss any staffers for Harris if they were discovered spreading negative stories about her leadership and personality.

Biden reportedly made the threat amid a flurry of news stories documenting rising frustration and dissatisfaction with the VP among the ranks of her staff, many of whom have already quit in the year she’s been in office.

Biden was angry following negative reports last June claiming dissatisfaction among Harris’ staff.

In response, Biden brought in senior staff to the Oval Office and told them that if “he found that any of them was stirring up negative stories about the vice president…they would quickly be former staff,” according to an excerpt of the book reported by Politico.

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Many of the reports contained specific complaints from unnamed staffers.

In early December, the Washington Post published a lengthy report and quoted several current and former staffers who were frustrated with her.

“It’s clear that you’re not working with somebody who is willing to do the prep and the work,” a former staffer said. “With Kamala, you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence. So you constantly sort of propping up a bully and it’s not really clear why.”

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In July, a report by Politico contained remarks and observations from staffers who echoed many of the same complaints.

“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” said one person familiar with operations in Harris’ office. “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—.”

Politico noted further that members of Biden’s staff had begun to take notice of how Harris was treating her personnel and expressed concerns over it. It should be pointed out that Biden has not shed staff as his vice president has done.

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