Kamala Harris

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I say to you my friends, these are not ordinary times. And this will not be an ordinary election. But this is our America.

Kamala Devi Harris /ˈkɑːmələ/ (born 20 October 1964) is an American politician and attorney currently serving as the 49th vice president of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party, she served as a US senator for California from 2017 to 2021, and as California's attorney general from 2011 to 2017. Harris took office as vice president concurrent with the inauguration of Joe Biden as president in January 2021.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Delivers Remarks on 50th Anniversary of the Signing of the Civil Rights Act in Los Angeles on June 30, 2014.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris speaks at L.A.'s Families Belong Together March (2018)




  • I look forward to working with the many, many talented attorneys in the district attorney's office





Winter 2019

  • Along with Aunt Mary, Aunt Lenore was my mother's closest confidante.
    I also cherish the memory of one of my mother's mentors.
    Howard, a Brilliant endocrinologist who had taken her under his wing.
    When I was a girl he gave me a pearl necklace
    that he'd brought back from a trip to Japan.
    (Pearls have been one of my favorite forms of jewelry ever since!)
    • 8 January 2019, page 9 of The Truths We Hold: An American Journey
  • I’m running to fight for Medicare for All, universal pre-K, debt-free college & more. To guarantee middle-class families a pay increase of up to $500/mo with the largest working-class tax cut in decades — paid for by reversing this Admin’s gifts to big corporations & the top 1%.
  • No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.
Official announcement as candidate in 2020 Presidential election (2019)
We are here knowing that we are at an inflection point in the history of our world. We are at an inflection point in the history of our nation. We are here because the American Dream and our American democracy are under attack and on the line like never before.
Oakland, California (27 January 2019)
  • We are here knowing that we are at an inflection point in the history of our world. We are at an inflection point in the history of our nation. We are here because the American Dream and our American democracy are under attack and on the line like never before.
    We are here at this moment in time because we must answer a fundamental question: Who are we? Who are we as Americans?
    So, let’s answer that question. To the world. And each other. Right here. And, right now.
    America, we are better than this.
    When we have leaders who lie and bully and attack a free press and undermine our democratic institutions that’s not our America. When white supremacists march and murder in Charlottesville or massacre innocent worshipers at a Pittsburgh synagogue that’s not our America. When we have children in cages crying for their mothers and fathers, don't you dare call it border security, that’s a human rights abuse and that’s not our America. When we have leaders who attack public schools and vilify public school teachers that’s not our America. When bankers who crashed our economy get bonuses but workers who brought our country back can't even get a raise that’s not our America.
    And when American families are barely living paycheck to paycheck, what is this administration’s response? Their response is to try to take away health care from millions of families. Their response is to give away a trillion dollars to the biggest corporations in this country. And their response is to blame immigrants as the source of all our problems.
    And guys lets understand what is happening here: People in power are trying to convince us that the villain in our American story is each other. But that is not our story. That is not who we are. That’s not our America.
    Our United States of America is not about us versus them. It’s about We the people!
    And in this moment, we must all speak truth about what’s happening.
    Seek truth, speak truth and fight for the truth.
  • I’ll fight for an America where we keep our word and where we honor our promises. Because that’s our America. That’s the America I believe in.
    That’s the America I know we believe in. And as we embark on this campaign, I will tell you this: I am not perfect. Lord knows, I am not perfect. But I will always speak with decency and moral clarity and treat all people with dignity and respect. I will lead with integrity. And I will speak the truth.
    And of course, we know this is not going to be easy guys. It’s not going to be easy.
  • As Robert Kennedy many years ago said, "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
    He also said, "I do not lightly dismiss the dangers and the difficulties of challenging an incumbent President, but these are not ordinary times and this is not an ordinary election." He said, "At stake is not simply the leadership of our party and even our country. It is our right to moral leadership of this planet."
    So today I say to you my friends, these are not ordinary times. And this will not be an ordinary election. But this is our America.
    And here’s the thing. It’s up to us.
    It’s up to us. Each and every one of us. So let's remember in this fight we have the power of the people. We can achieve the dreams of our parents and grandparents. We can heal our nation. We can give our children the future they deserve. We can reclaim the American Dream for every single person in our country. We can restore America’s moral leadership on this planet.
    So let’s do this.
    And let’s do it together.
    And let's start now.
    Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

Summer 2019

  • There was a little girl in California who was bussed to school. That little girl was me. #DemDebate
  • This election is about you, your hopes, your dreams, your fears, and what wakes you up at 3 a.m. That’s what I care about and what I am fighting for.
  • I want to solve the issues keeping people up at night with what I call the 3AM Agenda. That means giving Americans a raise, paying women equally for the work they do, making housing affordable, and paying our teachers their value.
  • We have a president who believes in science fiction. I believe in science fact. Climate change is real and we're in the midst of a climate crisis. We need a #GreenNewDeal and as president, on day one, America will rejoin the Paris Agreement.
  • Health care should be a right for every American, not just a privilege for those who can afford it. Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda couldn’t be more clear. He has separated families. Locked children in cages. Sought to spend billions on his border wall, which is nothing more than a vanity project. That is not reflective of our values and it has to end. #DemDebate
  • As president, I will immediately reinstate and expand DACA and take executive action to provide Dreamers a path to citizenship. We owe it to Dreamers and their families to act.
  • No parent should have to worry about going broke because their child is sick. That’s why we need Medicare for All. #DemDebate

Autumn 2019

  • They [people in El Paso] said, 'Do you think Trump is responsible for what happened?' And I said, 'Well, look. Obviously he didn't pull the trigger, but he's certainly been tweeting out the ammunition.
  • The other one's here.



February 2020

  • My mother was very intentional about raising my sister, Maya, and me as strong, Black women. She coupled her teachings of civic duty and fearlessness with actions, which included taking us on Thursday nights to Rainbow Sign, a Black cultural center near our home.
  • 9 February 2020 on Instagram
  • There is not a black man I know, be he a relative, a friend, or a co-worker, who has not been the subject of some kind of profiling or discrimination

April 2020

  • There are those who enjoy the tradition, and I completely understand why, especially for those who have been historically denied the right to vote — African Americans, women.... So many of them know that people fought and died and bled for our right to vote. We have to start adjusting to new forms that make it easier because the greatest exercise of patriotism, the greatest exercise of the franchise, is to actually vote...
    This is doable. And I think that there are these moments of a crisis that give us the courage and encouragement to try something that actually may be better than how we were doing it before.
    • Kamala Harris’ Plan to Save the Election, by Jamil Smith, Rolling Stone (16 April 2020)
  • Those of us who take on a role of leadership in public office, the elected role or appointed or however we get here at this moment, is highlighting the significance of holding these offices in the public trust. And that means that the power that one has in these offices must be used in a way that is about the people and serving the people and being in touch with their needs. Lifting them up in terms of their circumstance, lifting people up spiritually, in terms of lifting up people’s spirits, even having some sense of of empathy and understanding about the suffering with some level of concern about one’s responsibility to help alleviate that.
    • RS Interview: Special Edition’ With Sen. Kamala Harris, Jamil Smith, Rolling Stone, (23 April 2020)

August 2020

  • Black women and women of color have long been underrepresented in elected office and in November we have an opportunity to change that. Let's get to work.
  • The civil rights struggle is nothing new to Joe. It's why he got into public service. It's why he helped reauthorise the Voting Rights Act and restore unemployment discrimination--and employment discrimination laws. "And today, he takes his place in the ongoing story of America's march toward equality and justice as only--as the only, as the only who has served alongside the first black president and has chosen the first Black woman as his running mate
  • Jacob Blake: shot seven times in the back in broad daylight in front of his three young sons. Seven times, in the back, in broad daylight, in front of his three young sons. As Vice President Biden put it, the shots fired at Mr. Blake pierced the soul of our nation. It's sickening to watch. It's all too familiar. And it must end
    Thankfully, he is alive today. But he is fighting for his life and he shouldn't have to be.

October 2020

  • On the issue of the economy, I think there couldn’t be a more fundamental difference between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Joe Biden believes you measure the health and the strength of America’s economy based on the health and the strength of the American worker and the American family. On the other hand, you have Donald Trump, who measures the strength of the economy based on how rich people are doing, which is why he passed a tax bill benefiting the top 1% and the biggest corporations of America, leading to a $2 trillion deficit that the American people are going to have to pay for. On day one, Joe Biden will repeal that tax bill. He’ll get rid of it. And what he’ll do with the money is invest it in the American people. …
  • The American people know what I’m talking about. You know. I think about 20-year-olds — you know, we have a 20-year-old, a 20-something-year-old — who are coming out of high school and college right now, and you’re wondering, “Is there going to be a job there for me?” We’re looking at people who are trying to figure out how they’re going to pay rent by the end of the month. Almost half of American renters are worried about whether they’re going to be able to pay rent by the end of the month. This is where the economy is in America right now. And it is because of the catastrophe and the failure of leadership of this administration.

December 2020




January 2021

  • The science behind climate change is not a hoax. The science behind COVID-19 is not partisan. And President-elect Joe Biden and I will not only listen to the science—we will invest in it and the next generation of scientists.

February 2021


June 2021

  • And I haven’t been to Europe. And I mean, I don’t understand the point that you’re making.
    • In response to a question as to whether she had personally visited the United States-Mexico border, as quoted in the New York Post (8 June 2021)



January 2022

  • It is time for us to do what we have been doing and that time is every day. Every day it is time for us to agree that there are things and tools that are available to us to slow this thing down. And so right now we know we still have a number of people that, that is in the millions of Americans who have not been vaccinated, and could be vaccinated, and we are urging them to get vaccinated because it will save their life.
  • We have twenty thousand sites where people can go, and I urge people to, you can Google it or go onto any search engine and find out where free testing and the free testing site is available
  • [I]f you want to figure out how to get across town to some restaurant you heard is great, you usually do Google to figure out where it is
    so that's simply about giving people, right, a mechanism by which they can locate something that they need

February 2022

  • Within the context then of the fact that the window is still opening, although, open, although it is absolutely narrowing, but within the context of a diplomatic path still being open, the deterrence effect, we believe, has merit.
    • When asked in Munich whether sanctions against Russia would deter Putin's alleged advancement into Ukraine (20 February 2022)

March 2022

  • Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine so basically that's wrong.
  • We also recognize just as it has been in the United States, for Jamaica, one of the issues that has been presented as an issue that is economic in the way of its impact has been the pandemic. So to that end, we are announcing today also that we will assist Jamaica in COVID recovery by assisting in terms of the recovery efforts in Jamaica that have been essential to, I believe, what is necessary to strengthen not only the issue of public health but also the economy.

April 2022

  • So I am here because this is a community in the Mississippi Delta that has a long history of being part of America's history, um, including having the needs that should be met.
    • During a multipart video interview with MSNBC's Joy Reid

June 2022

Remarks by Vice President Harris on Corinthian Student Loan Forgiveness
Remarks by Vice President Harris on Corinthian Student Loan Forgiveness (June 2, 2022)
  • Students who simply wanted to better their prospects in life and instead found themselves taken advantage of by a scam that took their money and gave them nothing in return except heartache.
  • So, it’s one thing to say “there should be accountability,” but when we think about and define “accountability” based on bad actors and bad deeds, part of our system of justice tells us that, yes, there should be serious, swift, and severe consequence, but also we must look to those who were harmed and ask, “Are we doing enough to allow them the ability to recover from that harm?”

July 2022

  • I think that, to be very honest with you, I — I do believe that we should have rightly believed, but we certainly believed that certain issues are just settled. Certain issues are just settled.
  • I am Kamala Harris, my pronouns are she and her, and I am a woman sitting at the table wearing a blue suit.



March 2023

  • What an honor it is to be here in Ghana and on the continent of Africa.

July 2023

  • Adults know what slavery really involved. It involved rape. It involved torture. It involved taking a baby from their mother. It involved some of the worst examples of ... depriving people of humanity in our world.
  • How is it that anyone could suggest that, in the midst of these atrocities, that there was any benefit to being subjected to this level of dehumanization?
  • We teach our children, not only to tell the truth, but to seek knowledge and truth [...] These extremist so-called leaders should model what we know to be the correct and right approach if we really are invested in the wellbeing of our children. Instead they dare to push propaganda to our children.





Quotes about Harris





  • Kamala isn’t just having some moments tonight. She IS the moment. Wow.
    Oh my god. Biden meltdown. He is so offended that anyone dare question him. I am reminded that @cenkuygur predicted earlier today that Biden would be exposed... Holy sh... Kamala just obliterated Biden.
  • If you notice, I have more people supporting me in the black community that have announced for me, because they know me
    the only bl– African-American woman that ever been elected to the United States Senate...
    ...no I said the first! I said the first African-American elected! The first African... so my point is...


  • The junior senator from California on Thursday introduced the VoteSafe Act of 2020, a $5 billion piece of legislation that would satisfy what voting experts and advocates estimate states need to enact necessary reforms. Working closely with various secretaries of state, Harris crafted a bill that would standardize early in-person voting periods, mandating that each state have at least a 20-day period ahead of the November 3rd general election. It would also require states to permit no-excuse mail-in absentee voting for this election, allowing any citizen to submit such a ballot, regardless of explanation. The bill would also maintain minimum due process protections for each voter.
    • Jamil Smith, Kamala Harris’ Plan to Save the Election, Rolling Stone (16 April 2020)
      • Five days after Rolling Stone broke the news about Kamala Harris’ new VoteSafe Act of 2020, designed to give states $5 billion to expand voter security and access to ballots in this year’s general election, the junior U.S. senator from California and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee joined me for a wide-ranging interview.
        • Jamil Smith, RS Interview: Special Edition’ With Sen. Kamala Harris, Rolling Stone, (23 April 2020)
  • Harris’s fondness for pearls goes much deeper than any political stylist’s involvement. She proudly wears a single-strand pearl necklace and drop earrings in her 1986 graduation picture from Howard University, where she was part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. AKA—the first Black Greek-letter sorority—has a legendary story in which they refer to their founding members and incorporators as the “Twenty Pearls.” Each new member is given a special badge decorated with 20 pearls upon initiation.
  • Ms Harris - the only black woman in the US Senate - has spoken of "reimagining how we do public safety in America".... has described herself as a "progressive prosecutor" and "top cop" in her previous roles in California, but her record rankled both liberals and conservatives... for bolstering President Barack Obama's landmark Affordable Care Act... introduced a climate equity bill with... Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that seeks to rate how environmental laws affect lower-income communities... opposes fracking... called for federal legal action against the fossil fuel industry... outlined a $10tn climate plan for net-zero emissions by 2045... During her White House bid, Ms Harris promised to use executive action to enact stricter gun control... supported more regulation of gun manufacturers, mandatory background checks, tightening loopholes and a ban on assault weapons... proposed providing all workers with six months paid family leave for personal or medical issues, including those related to domestic violence.... suggested... that large companies should be required to be "equal pay certified" to close the gender pay gap, or face fines... pledged to offer a path to citizenship to the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the US... supported decriminalising border crossings by undocumented immigrants and providing taxpayer-funded healthcare for those crossing the US border without papers... outraged conservatives by drawing parallels between the Ku Klux Klan and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency within the US Department of Homeland Security.
  • Harris' record in San Francisco and then as California attorney general, the top law enforcement official in the state, came under close scrutiny during the run-up to the 2020 primary. She has described herself as a "progressive prosecutor" and won her first term as district attorney on a platform opposing capital punishment... Shortly after she took office, Harris announced she would not seek the death penalty against a suspect accused of killing a police officer.
    On the stump and during her run for Senate in 2016, Harris touted her role in that tough negotiation with the nation's five largest mortgage service firms, including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, and her work to strengthen -- with mixed results -- protections for homeowners targeted by predatory lenders. Harris pulled California out of the 2011 talks during a crucial moment, arguing that the deal coming into sight at the time -- hammered out with other state attorneys general -- was not strict enough on the banks...
    During the Democratic presidential primary... The left criticized Harris' record on criminal justice, from her election as district attorney in San Francisco to her time as California's attorney general.
    Those concerns were amplified after Harris' spectacular entry into the race in January 2019, when her announcement was greeted by an adoring crowd of 20,000 outdoors in Oakland, California. Her campaign would become the most expansively waged by any Black woman in American political history. Decades after Shirley Chisholm ran for president in 1972, Harris amassed more than $35 million dollars over 11 months, despite the challenges that Black women candidates face raising in money.
  • Kamala Harris is a Black woman: It’s not complicated
    Kamala Harris could become the first woman to be vice president. And she’s a Black woman.
    Calling her Black does not erase her Tamil roots. Yes, she’s the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India. Acknowledge the depth of her. Also note Harris has written about her Hindu mother raising her and her sister to be proud, Black women.
  • I really don't get into politics, but the President's advisor, Jenna Ellis, just said that Kamala Harris sounds like me. Lisa said she doesn't mean it as a compliment. If that's so, as an ordinary suburban housewife, I am starting to I feel a little disrespected . I teach my children not to namecall, Jenna. I was gonna say I'm pissed off, but I'm afraid they'd bleep..
  • Jacob Jr. told Sen. Harris that he was proud of her, and the senator told Jacob that she was also proud of him and how he is working through his pain.
    Jacob Jr. assured her that he was not going to give up on life for the sake of his children.
  • I think Senator Harris did a tremendous job in pointing out the economic injustice, but one of the things I would say is we have to stop saying things were well before COVID. It’s almost as though we give that away to the Trump and Pence. The reality is, Wall Street was well. The reality is, those who got his tax cuts were well. The reality is, though, that before COVID, they were trying to overturn healthcare. Before COVID, they were blocking living wages. Before COVID, we were not addressing the issue of poor and low-wealth people...
    One of the things I like about the fact of the Biden-Harris plan is that they are, number one, not talking about taking people’s healthcare. The Trump-Pence plan, that’s what they’re saying: “Elect us. We’ll take your healthcare.” The Biden-Harris plan is talking about raising people’s living wages, $15 an hour. The Trump-Pence plan is talking about giving more money to the wealthy. In fact, the Trump-Pence-McConnell plan, they refuse to pass a stimulus because they want another $200 billion in tax cuts, they want money for a fighter jet, and they want to protect corporations from liability when those corporations didn’t protect their people from coronavirus,,, while Biden and Harris may not be every, fully where the Poor People’s Campaign are, they are in the world of wanting to do more. They’re in the sphere of wanting to increase. They’re in the sphere of wanting to make sure that the people have what they need, as opposed to wanting to only secure the wealthy and the greedy.
    he was fusion politics indeed. She was the second Black woman to be the vice president on a major ticket, first on the stage to debate. You know, I couldn’t help but go to the Book of Exodus, where it talked about where God said, “If you don’t let my people go, I’m going to cause flies to come as a sign of what’s wrong. But I won’t let the flies be on the people, but the fly will be a symbol that you’re just wrong. You’re lying. Let my people go.” And Trump and Pence need to let the people go. They’ve been holding poor and low-wealth people hostage, essential workers hostage. It’s time for a change in this country.
  • You have a record last night, a ceiling shattered. Senator Kamala Harris made history as the first Black woman to debate a white man in a presidential or vice-presidential debate. She was the first Black woman, Indian American woman.
    Reverend Barber, at one point during the debate, a fly landed on Pence’s head for nearly two-and-a-half minutes, prompting widespread commentary online. Professor Ibram X. Kendi, author of the best-selling book How to Be an Antiracist, tweeted, “As soon as Pence started denying the existence of systemic racism, the fly got him!” And you have a record last night, a ceiling shattered. Senator Kamala Harris made history as the first Black woman to debate a white man in a presidential or vice-presidential debate. She was the first Black woman, Indian American woman. The significance of this, in the last 20 seconds we have?
  • there’s a great deal of frustration that there is this choice not only to nominate a candidate who is known as the author of what is actually called the Joe Biden crime bill, but that he’s gone and also selected a running mate who is known for being the top cop from California, the state that has the second-highest number of incarcerated people in America. And moreover, Kamala Harris is someone who has had these criticisms leveraged at her throughout, very early on, at the start of her campaign, and, to many people in the activist community, has done very little to assuage people’s concerns about her previous stances or to demonstrate the level of growth that we would like to see.
  • While many have speculated they're linked to RBG, they're actually an homage to a sisterhood.
    Read on for the real meaning and symbolism behind Sen. Harris pearls—and their connection to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
    But for anyone who has been paying attention to her style for a while would note that pearls have been a regular member of her wardrobe—and are likely a nod to her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
    Pearls have long been a statement piece of the first historically Black Greek sorority and its founders.
  • The California senator Kamala Harris, participating in the hearing remotely, argued that Barrett’s positions on key issues were clear... Harris at one point asked Barrett if she had heard Trump’s vows to seat a supreme court justice who would overturn Roe v Wade and the ACA (Affordable Care Act)... Harris also pointed out that Trump nominated Barrett to serve as an appellate judge seven months after Barrett penned an article criticizing Justice John Roberts’ ruling upholding the ACA. Harris argued that showed Trump had been elevating Barrett to overturn the healthcare law.


  • The senator’s tribute to AKA highlighted her affection for the group. In fact, her emotional connection to the sorority runs so deep that she wore a symbol in support of her sisters—a 34” necklace bejeweled with Akoya and South Sea pearls—to her acceptance speech.
  • The jewellery has a symbolic meaning for the vice-president-elect, Kamala Harris
    Ahead of the historic occasion, which will mark the first time a woman and a person of colour has been appointed vice president of America, social media users have been posting photographs of themselves wearing pearls, prompting the phrase “wear pearls on inauguration day” to trend
  • The Kamala Harris pearls ode is a nod to Alpha Kappa Alpha, the oldest historically Black sorority in the country, which Harris joined while at Howard University. The sorority’s founders are known as the Twenty Pearls, and Harris wears pearls in solidarity with her sisters.
  • The Vice President favors pearls for a very specific reason.
    it is Harris’s consistent show of loyalty to her sorority sisters, the women who have been some of her most vocal supporters throughout her political career, that is perhaps her most obvious—and most endearing—tribute.
    Harris’s ever-present pearl necklace might seem like a safe bet at her inauguration today, but this particular piece of jewelry is imbued with symbolism. It represents her Howard University sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA), the first African American Greek-letter sorority. The founders of AKA are often referred to as the “Twenty Pearls,” and in a show of honor and sisterhood, Harris has worn a pearl necklace at nearly every important life occasion since her graduation from college.
  • Pearls hold a particular symbolism for Harris as a link to her Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Members of the sorority, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter sorority established for college women of African American heritage, are known as “pearls”. Harris has worn pearls at every milestone, from her graduation photo to her recent Vogue cover, framing them as a gesture of sisterhood and solidarity, rather than a display of wealth.
  • Her trademark pearls have even launched social activist groups, including Facebook’s Wear Pearls on Jan 20th 2021 and United By Pearls, each with hundreds of thousands of members. Kamala’s distinctive style is elegant yet practical, modern yet timeless. Pearls are a key component of Kamala Harris’ style, and they have a long history in politics and power.


  • Vice President Kamala Harris, who was a first-term senator from California before entering the White House, hasn’t been given the sort of immersive experiences or sustained, high-profile tasks that would deepen and broaden her expertise in ways Americans could see and appreciate. In the modern era, of course, a 68-day trip for a vice president would be laughable. But over the past 18 months, her on-the-job training in governing has largely involved intractable issues like migration and voting rights where she has not shown demonstrable growth in leadership and hit-or-miss trips overseas like the troubled foray in Central America a year ago and the more successful delegation to meet with the United Arab Emirates’ new president, leading a team that included Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
  • Mr. Biden’s announcement last week that he tested positive for the coronavirus underscores the clear and present need for the 79-year-old leader, his aides and Ms. Harris to find ways for her to become a true governing partner rather than just a political partner who helped him get elected. This isn’t simply about being fair to Ms. Harris or elevating her as some other vice presidents have been elevated; Americans deserve to know and see that they have a vice president who is trusted by White House and administration officials to take over, should anything happen to the president. Instead, we have mostly seen the opposite. She is hampered by Mr. Biden’s unpopularity, to be sure, but she has also not become the successful public face on any major issue. Recently she has energetically undertaken a “How Dare They” tour, as a Politico headline described her trips attacking Republicans on abortion rights after the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade — but this work only underscores the narrowness of her political role. It’s meant to whip up the Democratic base, a basic job of vice presidents. It’s not something that shows she is capable of assuming the presidency or gives Americans reasons to view her as a viable leader for a country in dire need of leadership.
  • Ms. Harris is not to blame for her relative paucity of national and international experience. She had been in the Senate less than four years when Mr. Biden selected her, and he did so knowing that she had never served in an executive role. But since he tapped her as his running mate in August 2020, we’ve learned that her bonds with him and key administration officials are relatively thin. It’s no small matter that she’s had only a handful of private lunches this year with Mr. Biden.
  • Ms. Harris has been a regular target of negative stories — about staff disarray and departures or her annoyance that White House staff members didn’t stand when she entered a room or even her discomfort in some media interviews. She has also faced double standards in how she is seen and judged, as many women and people of color are, including when they are firsts in jobs. But she’s also not the first vice president to be sniped at and frustrated by a job whose constitutional duties are to preside over the Senate and count electoral votes. Lyndon Johnson, once the powerful, bullying Senate majority leader, felt like an outsider when he was John F. Kennedy’s vice president. Mr. Biden himself, for all his vaunted closeness to President Barack Obama, resisted what he felt were attempts by the White House to control him during the eight years he served as vice president. But Mr. Johnson and Mr. Biden were Washington veterans; so, for that matter, was Mr. Bush, Mr. Reagan’s vice president. Ms. Harris was a newbie when it came to foreign policy and Washington infighting.
  • Today, not only are Mr. Biden’s age and health subjects of discussion — more so after his Covid-19 diagnosis — but so is whether he will run for a second term. Over the past six months, with Mr. Biden’s approval rating dropping sharply, dozens of Democratic strategists and officials have been expressing doubts about his skill as a leader and viability as a candidate; some want Mr. Biden to drop out, the sooner the better. In a time of inflation not seen for decades, mass shootings and a persistent pandemic, many Democrats view the November midterm elections with dread. That’s also bad news for Ms. Harris, whose poor performance as a presidential candidate in 2019 led her to drop out before the Iowa caucuses. Mr. Biden’s declarations that he will run again seem only to encourage his opponents. Her absence from the executive branch, as a crisis manager and a shaper of policy, leaves her as a fairly weak heir apparent. Democrats, if not other Americans, would benefit if she could bring a compelling and varied set of experiences and ideas from her time in the White House to a competitive Democratic presidential primary race, giving more solid choices to voters and adding substantively to the debate. The 2024 presidential campaign, in any case, is likely to be unusually ugly, fought over familiar contentious issues and with many Republicans willing to repeat, without shame or embarrassment, Donald Trump’s lies about the validity of the 2020 election, thus challenging the legitimacy of American democracy. With the government itself under siege from a new class of enemies within and with more than two years to go until the next presidential election, Mr. Biden must not only find a way to infuse his party with enthusiasm and fresh purpose but also fulfill an urgent obligation — to his party and the nation — to hasten and advance the education and authority of his vice president.


  • A trio of Times reporters spoke to dozens of Democrats and concluded the obvious: Harris has become a problem for the party. Influential Democrats don’t want Biden to retire because they know Harris can’t win in 2024. But he can’t dump her from the reelection campaign, for fear of infuriating what the Times calls "key Democratic constituencies." Nevertheless, keeping Harris as vice president may be even more risky for an 82-year-old candidate than it was for, say, a 68-year-old George H. W. Bush to keep Dan Quayle on the ticket when he ran for re-election in 1992. The most popular comments on the piece were so savage you might have thought you were reading a Fox News piece, not the Times. It isn’t surprising at this point that many liberals want Harris off the ticket, but what was eye-opening was that many, if not most, of the top-rated comments criticized Harris as an identity politics pick, who lacks substance and isn’t up to the job.
  • Harris’s election was supposed to break down barriers. Instead, her legacy may also be to illustrate the folly of identity politics. A recent poll conducted by NBC News gave her a 35 percent approval rating, with just 15 percent of Americans viewing her very favorably and 37 percent very unfavorably. The media often write off her unpopularity as a product of racism and sexism. But many of the same Democrats who celebrated her rise are now calling her an empty suit, who needs to be dropped from the ticket. The media hyped "one-heartbeat-away" concerns about Dan Quayle in the 1988 and 1992 campaigns, just as they did when Sarah Palin ran on 72-year-old John McCain’s ticket in 2008. In 1988, a New York Times/CBS News poll revealed that just 33 percent of respondents believed that Quayle was “qualified” to take over as president. Another NYT/CBS poll 20 years later found that 59 percent of Americans said Palin wasn’t qualified to be vice president. Any pollster today daring to ask if Harris was “qualified” would find themselves pilloried as sexist, but it’s increasingly clear that a majority of Americans would answer this unasked question with a resounding "no."

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