US Vice President Kamala Harris gave a widely criticized television interview during her visit to Guatemala this week.
When asked why it didn’t go to the US-Mexico border, where the influx of immigrants puts enormous pressure on local communities, Harris dismissed the question first and said, “We went to the border.” I laughed after I pressed her and said, “And I didn’t go to Europe.”
Her comments drew criticism and underscored the political risks the No. 2 White House official faces as she deals with an exhausting and expanding political portfolio.
Harris was in Central America as a leader of the Biden administration’s response to the border problem, including the thorny question of how to deal with immigrants. flee from the north Troubled countries are Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
She has also been given the almost intractable task of taking care of the feud voting rights and police reform legislation through a deeply divided Congress. I started selling President Joe Biden’s sweeping deal Infrastructure plans. In addition, she has also taken an interest in black maternal deaths and other racial equality issues, including addressing vaccine frequency among African Americans.
Harris’s first foreign trip as vice president revealed what critics and allies alike say is her political flaws and weaknesses should she run for president again. Harris, the former senator from California, abandoned an initial faltering bid for the White House in late 2019.
Her comments earlier in the week for NBC News sparked outrage, particularly from Republicans who are critical of the administration over immigrants. Meanwhile, she has come under fire from fellow Democrats for urging immigrants not to come to the border in the first place.
Mary Ann Marsh, the Democratic strategist, noted the vice president’s failure to effectively convey her message on the trip.
“If this is your first appearance as a vice president on the international stage, you want to put in your best performance, and she can definitely do better,” Marsh said.
Harris made history in January as she was sworn in, becoming the first woman, first black woman, and first Asian American to hold the position of vice president. It has as much power as the deciding vote in the Senate, which is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. But the vice president’s other duties are less clear.
People close to the administration say Harris has proven to be a skilled adviser to the president and a semi-constant presence in the White House, where he attends regular briefings, gives advice to Biden and appears by his side at big speeches.
Biden himself served as vice president under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017. When Harris was declared his running mate last summer, he said he hoped she would advise as he did for Obama.
When I agreed to be Vice President Obama. . . He asked me what I wanted more. . . I told him I wanted to be the last person in the room before he made important decisions,” Biden said.
He added, “That’s what Kamala asked. I asked Kamala to be the last voice in the room.”
Hardly Harris is the first vice president with a tough job. More recently, Mike Pence, Vice President of Donald Trump, presiding White House coronavirus task force.
The tasks of the vice president usually, if successful, become the achievements of the president and management. “If you don’t succeed, they become yours,” said Kenneth Bayer, founder of consultancy Crosscut Strategies. He was a speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore in the Clinton administration and Gore’s ill-fated 2000 presidential bid.
Harris’s supporters maintain that her tough wallet only underscores the faith Biden has placed in it.
“Any one of those issues would be a full-time job for most people,” Marsh said.
Many Democrats argue that Harris faces undue criticism, from Republicans in particular, given her identity as a woman of color. But others admit she made gaffes in Latin America and say her refusal to correct course — Harris later had a half-hearted exchange with the Univision anchor about the border crisis — only reminded people of her shortcomings as a presidential candidate in 2019.
“What I think you’ve seen in the past few weeks . . . are some of the issues I’ve seen during the campaign,” Marsh said. “In different phases of the campaign, it did not do particularly well. On other days, it was amazing.”
Looming over Harris’ term is the political future of Biden, 78. Her allies say she is focused on supporting the president as he seeks to advance his legislative agenda ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, when both houses of Congress are in control. Be well. Next week, as part of her voting rights remit, she will meet lawmakers from Texas, where Democrats recently blocked a state bill that would restrict access to the polls.
“There’s a feeling . . . that she’s focused on her future rather than a job, and I don’t think that’s true,” said Dylan Lowe, a former speechwriter for Vice President Biden who also wrote Harris’s memoir.
“The last thing she wants for her future presidential campaign, wherever he is, is for the story to be that she’s focused on the future and not the president, and that she wasn’t the same type of vice president for Joe Biden as Joe Biden was for Barack Obama.”
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