Top Democrats are questioning Vice President Kamala Harris’ leadership abilities, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even reportedly has her doubts.
“Members of Congress, Democratic strategists and other major party figures all said she [Harris] had not made herself into a formidable leader,” a Monday article from The New York Times read.
The piece said two Democrats recalled Clinton privately dismissing Harris’ chances of clearing a presidential primary field because she lacked the necessary “political instincts.”
“Two Democrats recalled private conversations in which former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lamented that Ms. Harris could not win because she does not have the political instincts to clear a primary field,” the Times reported.
A spokesman for Clinton pointed to their “strong bond,” although the Times didn’t quote him issuing a specific denial of Clinton’s reported private thoughts.
“They have built and maintained a strong bond. Any other characterization is patently false,” Nick Merrill said on Clinton’s behalf.
He also claimed the two held discussions focused on their separate experiences of being “a woman in power” and, according to the Times, reiterated that Clinton remains “strongly supportive” of her.
The Times article relayed Democrats’ malaise around Harris’ inability to “carve out” a political identity for herself beyond her legacy as many “firsts” – the first African-American, Asian-American and woman to serve as vice president in U.S. history.
“Even some Democrats whom her own advisers referred reporters to for supportive quotes confided privately that they had lost hope in her,” the article stated.
In 2016, Clinton became the first and to date only woman in U.S. history to win a major party presidential nomination. The 2020 Democratic field saw a record number of women seek the nomination, Harris among them, but they failed to win even a single primary or caucus.
Harris dropped out well before the Iowa caucuses in the 2020 cycle and ultimately endorsed Joe Biden before being selected as his running mate.
Harris has faced repeated criticism over her mishandling of America’s southern border crisis, but the hits from her own arena go deeper.
A Jan. 30 article in The Washington Post concentrated on Democrats’ frustrations with her tenure as vice president, with the report stating many are “worried” by the idea of seeing her lead the Democratic Party in the future while others are simply uptight about her being a continued drag on the White House.
“Harris’s tenure has been underwhelming, they said, marked by struggles as a communicator and at times near-invisibility, leaving many rank-and-file Democrats unpersuaded that she has the force, charisma and skill to mount a winning presidential campaign,” he wrote.
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