Has Harris Become Biden’s Albatross?
These are my thoughts on Vice President Harris – and what Democrats may be thinking privately.
First a little history. Selecting a running mate may help in the campaign but has not always been beneficial to the President after taking office.
Vice President Henry Wallace was dropped from the ticket in FDR’s bid for a fourth re-election in 1944. It was engineered by Roosevelt’s team almost without his knowledge – because they knew the Presidents days were numbered. He was a dead man (not) walking during his final campaign. The advisors knew whoever they picked would soon be President AND Wallace was a socialist. The Democrat bosses knew that America was not going to like a socialist president.
Many folks have forgotten that in order to have President Nixon resign, they first had to dump Vice President Spiro Agnew – who was under criminal investigation. A young federal prosecutor from Chicago, James Thompson, was assigned the task. He got Agnew to resign ahead of Nixon, who then chose Congressman Gerald Ford as Vice President – and resigned. Ford, in turn picked businessman Nelson Rockefeller as the new Vice President.
Harris is proving to be a drag on the Biden White House. They were originally a “marriage of convenience” that worked for the campaign, but not so much since assuming office. Prior to the Democrat convention, Biden and Harris were not on the best of terms. She was not a very well-liked presidential candidate – by colleagues and the public — and Biden and Harris did not like each other very much.
That situation has not improved during their one-year in office. There have been reports of feuding staffs and Harris’ general dissatisfaction over her treatment by the folks hanging around the Oval Office. Her ill-tempered nature has resulted in a notable staff exudos.
So, if you are the President, what do you do with a Vice President who you do not like– and has polling numbers worse than yours? You can wait until 2024 and drop her from the ticket. But many anti-Harris Democrats worry that Biden may not make it to 2024. He is at the age where – as they say – anything can happen.
Some Democrat strategists worry that it would be a worst-case-scenario if she were to assume the presidency. They think that if Harris is on the ticket in any position in 2024 in any position, the Democrats will lose big.
I noted in the previous commentary, that Biden could have nominated her to the Supreme Court as one way to get her out of the way. But there are problems. She may not be black enough. She is not the most popular multi-racial person with the black community. The Senate may not confirm her. It would certainly be a messy hearing – something Biden hopes to avoid.
The only other option would be to force her to resign. That is possible, but not probable. They would either have to do a “Spiro Agnew” and find a way to have her investigated for some questionable past activities. Not likely. They might find a job that is more attractive to her. God knows what that could be. They could make her life so miserable that she resigns. Possible, but would take more gumption than Biden has.
Normally, such options would be inconceivable, but given the situation between the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President – and the fact that the departure of Harris is on some powerful Democrats wish list – makes anything possible.
So, there ‘tis.