UPDATE: The Artemis 1 won't be going into space anytime soon. NASA scrapped a second launch attempt on Saturday due to a fuel leak and may have to wait until late October to try again. Vice President Kamala Harris, who chairs the National Space Council, has now presided over two unsuccessful launch attempts, embarrassing herself and her country in the process. These failures are certain to embolden the VPs critics (a majority of Americans) who are terrified at the thought of her becoming commander in chief. President Joe Biden will turn 80 in November.
Vice President Kamala Harris presided over yet another humiliating failure on Monday after NASA was forced to postpone the launch of Artemis I, a giant new rocket the government hopes will play a key role in putting humans on the moon for the first time since 1972.
"Today is very much about showing the great work that happened here," Harris told reporters minutes after the mission was scrapped due to an engine cooling issue. The vice president, who chairs the administration's National Space Council, was at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to witness the launch. She later wrote on social media that, "While we hoped to see the launch of Artemis I today, the attempt provided valuable data as we test the most powerful rocket in history."
POLITICO had previewed the "big day for Harris" in its Playbook newsletter. "There have occasionally been snickers about the fact that the VP chairs the administration’s National Space Council," wrote reporters Ryan Lizza and Eugene Daniels. "What exactly does she do in that role anyway? Well, today the potential upside of that curious assignment will take center stage."
Alas, like most endeavors involving Harris in recent years, the launch failed. The Biden-Harris ticket was a success, to be sure, but only after Harris tried to run for president herself and ended up quitting before the Iowa caucuses. Her performance as vice president has been so underwhelming that many Democrats do not want her to be the party's nominee in 2024 if Biden steps down.
Despite the administration's best efforts to find a leadership role for Harris—if only to help pad her résumé—it has become increasingly clear that Harris doesn't really want to be in charge of anything. Which is just as well, because she's not very good at being in charge. That might have something to do with the fact that members of her staff keep leaving.
After Biden tapped his VP to lead the administration's response to the immigration crisis on the U.S. southern border, Harris proceeded to embarrass herself by refusing to visit the border and laughing about it when asked. "This whole thing about the border. We've been to the border. We've been to the border," Harris told NBC's Lester Holt, who corrected her by pointing out that she had not been to the border. "And I haven't been to Europe," Harris cackled. "I don't understand the point that you're making."
Shortly thereafter, Harris was tasked with leading the Democratic Party's push for so-called voting rights legislation, which ultimately fizzled. New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns noted in their book, This Will Not Pass, that Harris attended several meetings with activists but declined to reach out to Sens. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska), whose votes were critical to getting legislation through the Senate.
Harris was named chair of the National Space Council in May 2021, but it wasn't long before she embarrassed herself in that role by appearing in a bizarre video discussing the wonders of "exploring the unknown" with a group of children who were later revealed to be paid child actors. "To think about so much that's out there that we still have to learn, like, I love that," she rambled as the children feigned excitement.