More On: Kamala Harris
The media taboo against talking about how old President Joe Biden is and how that might make it hard for him to run again in 2024 has finally been broken.
This should shine a light on another problem that the Democrats will soon have to deal with: a very unpopular officeholder is waiting in the wings, making Biden look like a likely election winner by comparison.
Democrats could be forgiven for thinking, if only Vice President Kamala Harris stood between them and a return of President Donald Trump, "Well, maybe 80 is the new 75," or "Biden's always made mistakes, so what's a few more mistakes between friends?" "Biden campaigned from a basement in 2020. He should be able to campaign in 2024 from a place that is just as quiet and safe."
Harris is the best reason why Democrats should try to keep Biden in power no matter what. She has been a terrible vice president, even though she hasn't done anything especially good or bad. She's just a political void, and her terrible ratings show not only Biden's problems but also her own deep flaws as a politician.
Kamala Harris is as real as Hillary Clinton, as charming as Al Gore, and as close to everyday people as Adlai Stevenson.
She could have been made in a lab to be an opportunist with no morals and no political sense, which is pretty much what she was. She grew up in California, where TV ads are so common that most people don't need to talk to strangers about politics, and where identity politics are a big part of Democratic politics. Compared to her, Biden is a real Joe from the Middle Class. The contrast with Sen. Chuck Schumer, another Democratic leader from a very blue state, is instructive. Schumer ran against a Republican in a tough statewide race not too long ago, so he knows that not all voters are very online-woke progressives.
Harris could have run for the Democratic nomination in 2020 as a tough-minded, ideologically interesting former prosecutor, like Eric Adams did in the New York City mayoral primaries last year. Instead, she fell for the idea that the winning lane would be a couple of ticks to the right of Sen. Bernie Sanders. She agreed with his plan for Medicare for all, but then made a mess of her position when she realized the plan wouldn't work politically.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who is on the left, slammed her record as a prosecutor very hard. This made her seem defensive.
Her signature move—attacking Joe Biden for being against busing based on the fact that she had been bused herself—didn't pay off the way she thought it would because it was so obvious.
Harris is a politician who seems to always be reading scripts out loud. Some people don't like her laugh because it sounds forced and planned, and sometimes it's almost too much. It's a good political skill to look relaxed even when you're trying to get to the top of American politics. This was a skill that Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all had. Harris hasn't shown any signs that she has it or that she will get it.
Biden has not helped her as vice president by giving her tough jobs. Given how stupid Biden's policies were, there was no way she could stop people from coming across the southern border. She also wasn't going to do anything to pass a bill on voting rights. Harris hasn't mastered any one issue, though, and she seems to be looking for situations that will give her more weight, but she never finds them.
On top of everything else, she hasn't been able to get close to and trust the president.
Any sensible person could have guessed that Biden's choice for VP would be a touchy subject, since Charles de Gaulle once said, "Old age is a shipwreck." Instead, Biden chose Harris to play identity politics, and it's easy to see why some Democrats now want to put everything on Biden's youth and energy, even though there is no evidence to support this.