Kamala Harris ‘a bold leader': Is Jen Psaki right?


Fact Box

  • Kamala Harris is the first female vice president of the United States sworn in on January 20, 2021. Previously, she was the US Senator for California, the second Black woman and first South Asian-American senator in history.
  • On November 14, 2021, White House Press Secretary defended Vice President Harris amid reports she was being “sidelined” by President Biden, tweeting,” For anyone who needs to hear it. @VP is not only a vital partner to @POTUS but a bold leader who has taken on key, important challenges facing the country - from voting rights to addressing root causes of migration to expanding broadband.” 
  • Vice President Harris was tasked with addressing the root cause of migration from Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) on February 2, 2021 with the Executive Order Root Causes Strategy. She recently returned from a European debut trip to France in November which ended in a “global initiative” to protect civilians from cyberattacks and elections from digital threats. 
  • On November 8, 2021, USA TODAY and Suffolk University found that Kamala Harris has a 28% approval rating while President Biden has a 38% rating.

Morgan (Yes)

Vice President Harris has backed President Biden during a very tough and challenging presidential race and even through a rough first year of his presidency, supporting him against numerous accusations. During the 2020 presidential race, the country was still facing the threat of COVID-19 that began at the start of that year. Upon Biden and Harris being elected, the pandemic was still far from over. Harris helped guide the United States through those troubling times while taking care of her responsibilities as Vice President of the United States.

Harris has remained strong and has done almost as much work as the President without the glory or recognition. Since taking office with Biden, Harris has helped him by tackling many key issues head-on that are very controversial, such as police reform. Harris has faced backlash for her past and still chooses to lead and help the country. Having worked on police reform and never having had a great relationship with the San Francisco Police Department while serving as District Attorney, Harris has been accused of avoiding the policing issues affecting the US most and allowing police violence to happen. Now she is actively working to reform police departments and ignoring the hate and criticism being thrown her way from both sides. 

Harris is a Black woman in a time when being Black in America is increasingly seen as a challenge. As the first Black, first Asian-American, and first female Vice President of the United States, she is making a bold move just by taking office with Biden. Despite theories that she's been set up to fail, Harris has proven she's determined to make a positive change in the US.


Noah (No)

Biden put Harris in charge of the crisis at America's southern border, which was always a task that would set her up for failure. There is no solution apart from ending Biden's open-border policies, which incentivizes immigrants, cartels, and traffickers to cross unlawfully. However, given this assigned responsibility, she has hardly visited the border. And while Attorney General Garland and Secretaries Mayorkas and Blinken were meeting with their Mexican counterparts, Harris was in New Jersey promoting President Biden's trillion-dollar spending bill. 

Furthermore, it has been over 150 days since VP Harris has interviewed with a major network, after her disastrous interview with Lester Holt, in which she falsely claimed that she had been to the US-Mexican border. Holt fact-checked her live, to which she replied, 'And I haven't been to Europe.' 

There have been multiple instances where the President and Vice President's staffers have reported a 'dysfunctional' VP office, being rife with 'internal conflict,' others have described it as 'not a healthy environment.' Harris's approval rating was already at 46% when she entered office; these reports come when VP Harris's approval ratings are hovering at an abysmal 28%...10 points lower than President Biden.

VP Harris's office is shaky at best, dysfunctional and unhealthy at worst. American voters are displeased while it appears the White House has sidelined her, and one of her own staffers reportedly told their therapist after these reports came out, they felt 'publicly vindicated.' Rather than 'bold,' Vice President Kamala Harris is a dysfunctional leader.

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