When Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris as his running mate last year, some Democrats said They believe He is appointing an eventual successor who can succeed him as early as 2024 and better represent the core constituencies of the party: women and people of color.
Ten months after the new administration took office, Biden’s view of appointing Harris has become a source of tension within the Democratic Party because of growing concerns about Harris’s political status and fears that any move to put her aside will alienate the need to win the election. The concerns of voters and weakening their interests conflict with each other. The parties’ commitment to equity.
Biden and Harris, who will turn 79 on Saturday, are sneaking in Polls, The vice president is facing a new wave of criticism about her office’s blatant failure and internal dysfunction, making the problem even more prominent.
“He agreed with the nod that he wanted to choose a woman and eventually a black woman. He opened up a runway for succession planning,” Glynda Carr, president of Higher Height, a political nonprofit organization that aims to promote black women to elected positions Say. .
When Biden introduced Harris as his running partner at a press conference in August 2020, he also made the same suggestion, believing that Harris can inspire little girls, “especially black and brown little girls, they often feel Ignore and underestimate.”
“Today, perhaps, for the first time, they see themselves in a new way,” he continued, “just like the president and the vice president.”
Carl said that if Democrats abandon this promise in the face of what she considers to be sexism and racism, they will “literally undermine the foundations of the Democratic Party’s winning coalition. … Black female voters are doing it again and again. The presidential election was won.”
However, many leading Democrats are becoming more and more open, believing that Harris, the first woman to serve as vice president and the first black and Asian American, will not enter the next nomination campaign as a daunting darling. . They argued for a widely open primary election to find the most important winner of the general election. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is often mentioned as a potential contender, but Democrats expect others to appear as they do in the crowded 2020, including Harris.
“There will be a fight, and I think it’s very healthy,” said California Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer, who shared her political foundation in San Francisco with her before Harris in the Senate.
In order to gauge how Harris’ status has declined since she and Biden were elected, Boxer did not call her the front-runner for the next nomination.
“Of course, if she wants to, the current vice president will definitely be involved,” Boxer said, echoing the comments of former Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd. Tell the New York Times This month, Harris will be on the “candidate list” for her position.
Former President Barack Obama’s White House and Hillary Clinton’s communications director for the 2016 presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri, said that given their status in the party, black and female Democrats will become the dominant force in choosing the next candidate, whether it’s Harris is still someone else.
“The nomination is their power,” she said.
Although many black and female voters support Harris’ success, it is far from certain that they will unanimously support her. Harris failed to establish a foundation in large areas including women and black candidates, so he withdrew from the 2020 primary election. Biden took the lead in South Carolina, driven by black voters, many of whom said they were making a pragmatic choice about who was best to defeat then President Trump, and Trump made fun of another campaign.
Boxer said that potential backlash among Harris supporters will be offset by the need for victory.
“No matter who the candidate is, some people always feel this way about their candidate,” Boxer said of the potential resentment. “But I think the vast majority of our diverse parties want to win because the stakes are so high, and what we see now after Trump is exactly how much they value democracy itself.”
Harris supporters say it is too early to fight. Her first term is less than a year, and this job is always politically challenging and tries to eliminate any speculation that she is not a team player.
Thursday, when Harris was asked ABC News Interview Did she ever discuss 2024 with Biden, she said “absolutely not.”
Biden is still the presumed candidate for 2024. The government believes that Biden signed an important infrastructure bill into law this week, and is about to realize another important part of his agenda, that is, the intergenerational climate and social welfare bill that can help rebuild his politics. momentum.
During the last two years of Bill Clinton’s second term, Harris’ confidant Donna Brazile, who led Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, said: “It wasn’t until the 1998 midterm elections that talk of Al Gore’s cleanup of the ground or campaign began. “Lost to George W. Bush.
“Before she starts looking ahead to tomorrow, she must get the midterm exam, but now she is in power,” Brazil said.
However, Democrats are worried. Some people discussed privately what Paul Maslin, a senior Democratic strategist, called the “extremely worrying” problems the party faced when considering Trump’s potential return. The party’s defeat this month in the Virginia governor’s race-a blue-leaning state usually regarded as the leader-further exacerbated anxiety before next year’s midterm elections, with parties in the White House almost always losing seats in Congress.
“This is an open panic,” said another Democratic agent who did not want to use his name. He was afraid of alienating the government, adding that some party activists were worried that Harris did not have the political skills to weather such difficult times.
As a loyal vice president, the nature of the vice president gave her little leeway to improve her image.
Harris is also responsible for handling some of the most controversial and difficult issues facing the government- Stop immigrants from Central America And countered attempts by the Republicans to restrict voting rights.Voting bills stalled in the Senate, and the number of people trying to enter illegally stopped Set a record high In the budget year ending September 30, it was 1.7 million.
Some of her supporters say that such a task will make it difficult to win the kind of political victory that voters need.
“They may assign her something that will help them achieve their goals. She can withstand it. Smart, hardworking and legal expert,” California Lieutenant Governor, Democrat and ally Eleni Kunarakis ( Eleni Kounalakis) said.
Throughout history, if the vice president wins a second term, they are usually regarded as the next in the office. But Biden’s age, the question of whether he will seek re-election, and the struggles of his government have put unusual pressure on Harris. The same was true of the nature of her vice president to break down barriers, which made her bear high expectations and the additional burden of sexism and racism.
Jean Hessburg, a well-known Democratic activist who made the early nomination of Iowa State, said that Harris’s speculation at the beginning of his term proved the “abhorrent” double standard and “should make the Democratic backbone shudder.” .
She said: “I hope we female voters fully understand what is at stake, and our response will be ruthless.”
The vice president’s opinion polls are almost always worse than the president’s. But according to reports, Harris lags behind all four of her most recent predecessors at this point in the tenure. Time analysis.
Her average approval rating is usually a few percentage points lower than Biden’s—41% of voters support her work. Their approval ratings have been hit by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, and the chaotic withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in August.
Roshni Nedungadi, a partner at HIT Strategies, a Democratic polling firm that specializes in women, young voters, and people of color, said Harris’ approval rate has declined in the core constituencies, including voters under 30 and black voters. Not sure what they think of her.
“We hear from them every week that they just don’t know what she is doing,” Nedungadi said. “In the first few months, they were willing to let her benefit from suspicion.”
But recently, he said, “Why isn’t she more in the center?”