*Kamala Harris staffers are said to be exiting the White House due to burnout, more lucrative job opportunities, and apprehension to being labeled a “Harris person,” according to an Axios report.
Here’s more from the article:
- Her allies say she has a terrific chance to reset and downplay the early stumbles. But top Biden officials privately roll their eyes at her team, and want to see smoother, more effective leadership.
- Harris needs “someone loyal, who can think methodically to best position the vice president and to make sure everything she’s doing is being maximized and communicated to a broad population and get her numbers up,” one Democratic strategist — who requested anonymity to speak frankly — told Axios.
- Another Democratic operative close to the vice president’s office, also requesting anonymity to speak freely, said the departures add pressure to Harris’ chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, to avoid an internal collapse and external criticism.
- “If we mess this up, it’s going to set women back when it comes to running for higher office for years to come,” the operative told Axios.
In November, Ashley Etienne, vice president’s communications director, announced she was leaving to pursue “other opportunities.” Earlier this month, Symone Sanders, the chief spokesperson for Kamala Harris, submitted her resignation. Sanders announced her exit in a letter to her colleagues following rumors of a toxic work environment in Harris’ office.
The end of December is the period that Sanders, who is also Harris’ senior adviser, has announced that she will leave the White House.
When asked about the departure of Sanders, Harris on Thursday said, “I love Symone. I know that it’s been three years jumping on and off planes going around the country and she works very hard, and I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.”
Harris added, “I mean that sincerely.”
Last month, CNN reporters Edward-Isaac Dovere and Jasmine Wright dropped a bombshell exposé about the alleged dysfunction permeating in Harris’ office
The lengthy CNN piece features testimony from “nearly three dozen former and current Harris aides, administration officials, Democratic operatives, donors and outside advisers,” many of whom shed light on Harris’ growing tensions with President Joe Biden.
“It’s hard to miss the specific energy that the White House brings to defend a white man, knowing that Kamala Harris has spent almost a year taking a lot of the hits that the West Wing didn’t want to take themselves,” a former Harris aide told CNN.
CNN published the behind-the-scenes exposé on Harris in which insiders alleged that the Biden and Harris teams continue to be at odds over tasks assigned to the vice president that put her in “no-win political situation[s]”. According to the report, the West Wing has been especially annoyed by her handling of the border issue, a job she did not want to be tasked with, per the report.
Eleni Kounalakis, the lieutenant governor of California and a longtime friend of Harris, confirmed that Biden and Harris are often at odds over her job duties.
“It is natural that those of us who know her know how much more helpful she can be than she is currently being asked to be,” she told CNN. “That’s where the frustration is coming from.”
In June, Politico reported that the VP’s office was “chaotic” with a “tense and at times dour” atmosphere.“
Meanwhile, if President Joe Biden decides not to seek re-election in 2024, Vice President Kamala Harris and former first lady Michelle Obama are the top two picks for the Democratic presidential nomination.