Democrats say Kamala is not ‘adept as a communicator,’ is underwhelming and has been invisible
Democrats say Vice President Kamala Harris isn’t ‘adept as a communicator,’ is underwhelming and has been almost invisible in a brutal assessment of her political future, as President Joe Biden inches closer to making a decision about a 2024 run.
The Washington Post shared the thoughts of more than a dozen Democratic leaders Monday, with a number of them talking on the condition of anonymity so they were able to speak more frankly about their concerns.
Democrats told the paper they feared Harris didn’t have what it takes to win the White House, which comes on the heels of what sounded to be slight from prominent Sen. Elizabeth Warren – who was noncommittal about Harris even staying on Biden’s ticket.
When asked if Harris should run again, Warren answered, ‘I really want to defer to what makes Biden comfortable on his team,’ before later releasing a statement saying she ‘fully support[s] the president’s and vice president’s re-election together, and never intended to imply otherwise.’
Democrats say Vice President Kamala Harris isn’t ‘adept as a communicator,’ is underwhelming and has been almost invisible in a brutal assessment of her political future, as President Joe Biden inches closer to making a decision about a 2024 run
Democrats told the paper they feared Harris (left) didn’t have what it takes to win the White House, which comes on the heels of what sounded to be slight from prominent Sen. Elizabeth Warren – who was noncommittal about Harris even staying on Biden’s (right) ticket.
‘People are poised to pounce on anything – any misstep, any gaffe, anything she says – and so she’s probably not getting the benefit of the doubt,’ former Cobb County, Georgia Democratic chair Jacquelyn Bettadapur told the paper about Harris.
But Bettadapur added that many Democrats ‘don’t know enough about what she’s doing,’ adding, ‘it doesn’t help that she’s not [that] adept as a communicator.’
Harris’ best-known assignment has been one that’s been misconstrued: with Biden charging her to run point with the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, where the bulk of the southern border crossers are fleeing.
That got Harris branded as the ‘border czar,’ despite the White House saying she was tasked to deal with addressing the root causes of migration, not the border crisis.
It also showcased her less-than-stellar communications skills, when NBC’s Lester Holt pressed her on why she hadn’t been to the border and received the answer: ‘And I haven’t been to Europe either.’
More recently, Harris has been traveling the country advocating for abortion access, but those events are often understated.
‘I think the main thing is I wish she was out there and more visible,’ said J.A. Moore, a South Carolina state lawmaker who endorsed Harris in her 2020 run. ‘They want to see that representation, they want to see her face more and see her connection with what the administration is doing,’ she said of Democratic groups.
But it’s also Harris’ race and gender that makes Democrats nervous about fully backing her, party leaders suggested.
‘I think many Democrats have changed from a 2008 sentiment, or even the feeling in 2012 and 2016, which were about voting for aspiration,’ Brady Quirk-Garvan, former chair of the Charleston County Democratic Party, told The Post.
‘Democrats at the moment – I don’t hear a lot of chatter about aspiration. I hear about what’s going to guarantee a win, what’s a certainty, what feels safe,’ Quirk-Garvan continued.
Many Democrats were shocked by the results of the 2016 election, when their history-making female candidate, former first lady, U.S. senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was routed by a reality TV star who had never held political office – now former President Donald Trump.
So in 2020, despite there being an assortment of female, black, gay and Jewish candidates, Democrats went with Biden, whose most diverse trait is that he’s the country’s second Catholic president.
‘Theres a segment that just will not vote for a woman for president, and there’s another segment that will not vote for an African-American. Having two of those check boxes, you’re just going to have a higher threshold regardless,’ Erick Allen, chair of the Cobb County Democrats, told the paper. ‘Hillary had just one of those checks, and she was able to be vilified and beat up to the point where she couldn’t recover.’
‘There are some people in our party who are saying, “We already have hurdles. Let’s not create more,”‘ Allen added.