Here Comes Kamala: Biden’s Stumbles Put Hapless VP In Spotlight

Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2024
by Shane Harris


kamala harris and biden

As the gaffes, stumbles, misstatements, and downright bizarre incidents continue to pile up, Joe Biden’s ever-more obvious physical and cognitive decline has become a major issue this campaign season. But Biden’s biggest liability when it comes to his health might not even have anything to do with him – and everything to do with his hapless vice president, Kamala Harris.

As bad as Joe Biden’s poll numbers have been throughout his presidency, Harris’s have been even worse. According to the latest RealClearPolitics average, the vice president currently has just a 36.7 percent approval rating, with 57.7 percent of Americans saying they disapprove of her job performance. That’s just under three points worse than Biden’s approval rating at 39.5 percent.

While that’s bad news for Harris, it might be even worse news for Biden’s re-election bid.

Biden is 81 years old—and he’s not a “young” 81. He would be 82 by the time he would start a potential second term. Given his current condition, it is only reasonable to believe that Harris would assume the presidency at some point before Election Day 2028.

But as the country faces multiple foreign crises, a turbulent economy, persistent inflation, a border invasion, a drug epidemic, and a growing list of other calamities, it’s clear that the public has little confidence in Harris to live up to even the low standard Biden has set. This appears to be a major issue that Republicans could exploit this cycle as voters grow increasingly concerned about Biden’s fitness for office.

It’s easy to see why so few Americans have confidence in Harris. Throughout her time in office, she has proven herself to be just as gaffe-prone as her boss, all while completely failing to deliver on the few tasks assigned to her by the president.

Her most obvious failure is the ongoing border crisis. While blame for the millions of illegal aliens pouring into the country ultimately falls at the feet of Joe Biden, back in 2021 Biden tapped Harris as his “border czar” to spearhead the administration’s response to the crisis.

Instead of leading efforts to beef up border security or crack down on illegal drug trafficking, however, Harris traveled to Latin America to address the so-called “root causes” of illegal immigration. In practice, that meant pushing for more taxpayer-funded aid to foreign countries while her own country was being overrun.

Three years later, the only result of this strategy has been ever-increasing numbers of illegal border crossings along with a surge of fentanyl deaths and human trafficking.

Along with her policy failures, Harris has also racked up a list of embarrassing and painfully awkward moments as vice president.

The most recent such incident came in early May when Harris made a campaign stop at a restaurant in Detroit. When a reporter asked the vice president a question about the war in Gaza, she shouted back, “shrimp and grits!” before climbing into a waiting SUV. A video of the exchange quickly made the rounds on social media, generating mockery from the right and more outrage from the left over the administration’s approach to the war.

In another viral video from March, Harris can be seen smiling and clapping along as a left-wing activist chants a protest critical of the administration in Spanish. In comedic fashion, Harris’s face drops and she stops clapping as an aide translates the song for her.

There’s also the fact that Kamala Harris might be the worst public speaker to ever become president or vice president.

At the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, for instance, Harris was mocked for offering a ridiculously child-like explanation of the conflict. “So, Ukraine is a country in Europe,” Harris said at the time. “It exists next to another country called Russia,” she continued. “Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine. So, basically, that’s wrong, and it goes against everything that we stand for.”

Last July, in another head-scratching set of remarks, Harris again offered a painful definition, this time of AI. “I think the first part of this issue that should be articulated is AI is kind of a fancy thing,” Harris said. “First of all, it’s two letters. It means artificial intelligence.”

Public speaking – particularly to a national audience – is of course no easy task, but the American people expect their leaders to communicate clearly and effectively. Harris’s propensity to leave listeners both cringing and utterly confused gives voters good reason to be wary of the fact that she may one day be called upon to lead the country through a moment of crisis.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, rumors have swirled that Democrat leaders would like to replace Harris with a more effective candidate. But the deluge of negative headlines that would cause for Biden – along with inevitable outrage from Democrats’ left-wing base – likely means Biden is stuck with his original pick.

The silver lining for Biden is that the Harris conundrum might be the only reason he is being nominated for a second term at all. But while that might be a comfort to Biden, it should be terrifying to America.

Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on X @shaneharris513.

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