Joe Biden may be on his way out as President of the United States and Kamala Harris, the current vice president, may be stepping in.
That was the word from a close ally of the president, Democrat Connecticut Sen. Chris J. Dodd, who was described as “a member of the Biden campaign’s vice-presidential search committee and a confidant of the president,” The New York Times reported.
The comments were made in a story by the Times that said that Harris was looking for a “role on the global stage.
“I’m hoping the president runs for re-election,” he said, “but for whatever reason that might not be the case, it’s hard to believe there would be a short list without Kamala’s name on it. She’s the vice president of the United States.”
But is Harris the correct choice? If Biden does not compete for the presidency in 2024, something he has said he expects to do, what makes Harris the correct choice for the Democrats?
She is one of the few people in the nation whose poll numbers are actually lower than Biden’s, and both are cratering.
The expectation from many is that Harris would be defeated by just about any Republican who faced her in 2024 if she took on that role.
A project from The Los Angeles Times that tracks opinion polls from around the nation showed that she is less popular than President Biden and many of her own predecessors.
“As of Oct. 26, 42% of registered voters had a favorable opinion of Harris and 51% had an unfavorable opinion — a net rating of -9 percentage points, according to a Times average,” The Times said.
Since taking office, Harris has been assigned one of the administration’s thorniest issues: stemming the influx of immigrants attempting to cross U.S. borders. Republicans have sought to make her the face of an issue that they believe could help them politically.
After taking on that role, Harris’ approval ratings began to decline, with unfavorable opinions surpassing favorable ones in June. Whether the decline is directly related to the immigration debate is uncertain, however, as the dip in her approval also corresponds to a small decline in President Biden’s job approval.
The dip followed an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, where Harris bristled at a question about why she had not visited the border, triggering criticism. Comments about immigration and the United States’ southern border during visits to Mexico and Guatemala have also sparked controversy.
But what is even more telling is that Harris is far less popular than many of the vice presidents that came before her.
It shows her slightly below Mike Pence and Biden at close to the same point in their tenure but far below Dick Cheney and Al Gore.
In typical fashion The Times did its best to insinuate that the reason she is not popular, in part, is because of sexism.
“As Harris’ stature has increased, so has the volume of sexist, violent and misogynistic attacks against her on social media, with researchers finding hundreds of thousands of examples,” it said.
The news comes around a week after it was reported that Harris was heckled at two events by leftist activists.
She was with failed Virginia gubernatorial candidate and former Governor Terry McAuliffe last month when she was heckled by protesters concerned about an oil pipeline, Inside NoVa reported.
Vice President Kamala Harris took the stage saying it matters who will be the next leader of Virginia, and then, a half-dozen protestors, in several locations among the crowd, interrupted her speech by yelling ‘Stop line 3,’ a reference to a tar-sands pipeline from Canada to Wisconsin.
As the audience tried to counter by chanting “Terry,” Harris smiled and said, “I love Democrats and I love democracy.” But the chants continued, so she punched through the chants by saying loudly, “We will not be distracted. We will not be dissuaded. We will not be deterred. This election is too important.”
Security stepped in and escorted the protesters away from the speech and Harris continued to promote McAuliffe.
“You want to know what matters? Let’s talk about the right that every woman in America has to make decisions about her own body, and not have other people tell her when she should make that decision, how she should make that decision, or if she should make that decision. Don’t Texas Virginia,” she said.
“[Terry McAuliffe] has the life experience and professional experience, the experience of this state. If you know Terry McAuliffe you know he’s a fighter and he fights with his heart and soul,” the vice president said.
“We’ve got to make it clear we’re not taking anything for granted. This election requires more than your vote – it requires your work,” she said. “There is nothing about this moment in time that is not about the coexistence between crisis and opportunity. How that all balances out will depend on who’s in a role of leadership. Does it weigh in favor of crisis, or does crisis turn into opportunity?”