According to a report from the New York Times, Vice President Kamala Harris is unhappy with many things — including the way she is treated by other members of the Biden administration, and how she is portrayed by the press. And with regard to the press, she thinks she knows what is to blame: the fact that she isn't white and male.
According to the report, Harris is frustrated about her historically-low approval ratings, and many of her allies feel that "while Mr. Biden relied on her to help him win the White House, he does not need her to govern." Some unnamed supporters and staffers went further, claiming that the administration is actively undercutting her by not giving her a substantive policy role.
Notably, the administration placed her front and center in their response to the border crisis earlier this year, a role in which her performance was widely deadpanned even by liberal commentators after a series of missteps that included her being publicly berated by Central American leaders. After a particularly disastrous trip in June, Harris appears to have not even communicated once with many Central American leaders about the problem she promised to address with a sweeping plan.
Nonetheless, Harris feels that many of her problems are driven by negative coverage in the media, which she blames on her race and gender. According to the report, "Ms. Harris has privately told her allies that the news coverage of her would be different if she were any of her 48 predecessors, whom she has described as all white and male. (Charles Curtis, who served as vice president under Hoover, spoke proudly of his Native American ancestry.)"
The report goes on to also note Harris's complaints that the issues she has been assigned to manage are too difficult. According to the report, "She also has confided in them about the difficulties she is facing with the intractable issues in her portfolio, such as voting rights and the root causes of migration." Given these complaints, one is left to wonder how Harris feels she would have been qualified to address all of the issues a president is expected to manage.
As expected, the administration's official position is that the New York Times report is incorrect, and that Harris and Biden work together great as a team. "The vice president has diligently worked alongside the president coordinating with partners, allies and Democratic members of the House and Senate to advance the goals of this administration," an administration spokesperson told the Times.