White House Chief of Staff Can't Name One Time Kamala Harris Made a Difference

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October 11, 2023

A profile on Vice President Kamala Harris by the Atlantic featured an interview with White House chief of staff Jeff Zients, who failed to come up with a time the embattled veep made a meaningful impact on the administration.

In the article, which focuses on Harris's difficulty in improving her popularity and a potentially bleak political future, writer Elaina Plott Calabro asks Zients "if he could recall a moment when Biden had noticeably leaned on Harris for guidance."

The chief of staff failed to mention any moment and his team did not follow up with details, according to Calabro:

[Zients] had mentioned earlier in our interview that Harris had been instrumental in putting "equity" at the forefront of the administration’s COVID response—ensuring that public-health efforts reach the underserved. Other examples? "Let me think of a specific anecdote, and I’ll have somebody follow up," he said. His spokesperson texted after the call to confirm that the office would get back to me. Despite my follow-ups, that was the last I heard.

Calabro wrote in the profile that Zients appeared uncomfortable at the notion of Harris potentially assuming the presidency:

When I asked Zients what he’s observed in Harris that makes him confident about her abilities as a potential chief executive, he at first started chuckling in what seemed to be discomfort at the subtext of the question. ("Well, I want to, you know, make sure we’re not talking about anything—but, you know, she’s prepared.")

Another profile about Harris published this week, in the New York Times, showed Harris fumbling a question about the narrative that she was picked for vice president because of her gender and race.

"He chose a Black woman. That woman is me," Harris said. "So I don’t know that anything lingers about what he should choose. He has chosen."

Harris's tenure as vice president has been marred by record-low approval ratings and ridicule over her frequent word salads and mistakes.

Published under: Kamala Harris