Harris Isn’t Spooking Off Anyone In 2024 Biden-Successor Buzz

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Biden

President Joe Biden has indicated intent to seek re-election in 2024. However, not all Democrats contend with him. They are also skeptical that Harris would be the obvious heir should Biden opt-out.

While Vice President Kamala Harris copes with a portfolio of apparently pressing issues and responsibilities that have kept her out of the national spotlight — Kamala Zoomed into Friday’s infrastructure Cabinet session from Paris — other Democrats have upped their national profiles.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is in charge of implementing a key popular bipartisan infrastructure deal. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) recently endorsed the mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire, during her reelection campaign and is maintaining contact with associates in the important primary state, according to sources familiar with the leads. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is now on a book tour and campaigned for Terry McAuliffe in Virginia. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sponsored left-wing and progressive candidates in states other than Massachusetts earlier this year.

The quartet’s officials simply declined to comment or emphasized that the events had nothing to do with future election aspirations. However, the circumstances in which these events unfolded lends them an air of intrigue that is rare for an incumbent president in his first year in office. Biden has stated publicly and privately that he intends to vie, and associates believe it will become more probable if erstwhile President Donald Trump decides to face him in 2024, given Biden’s concern about the chances of other Democrats.

The chatter around Biden’s successor in 2024 intensifies.

There has been an alarming degree of debate over 2024 for a president who has stated his intention to run again. It has not been an all-positive experience for his vice president, Kamala Harris though.

According to a source familiar with Biden’s discussions regarding his 2024 plans, Biden has informed people that he is running and that they will be set.

However, the ongoing buzz in Democratic circles suggests that Biden may opt not to. And speculation of succession has seeped into the open in recent days, with even a close Biden confidant, ex Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, hypothesizing on Harris’ standing in a possible 2024 race.

Much of these add another layer of electoral complexity to the Democratic Party, and specifically to Harris, who remains highly reliant on Biden’s success and concerned about his future.

Nina Smith, a former Buttigieg, and Stacey Abrams aide observes that people are undoubtedly playing chess at the moment. That folks are playing the long game and waiting to see how things evolve and proceed.

While the presumption is that Biden would seek reelection, Democratic insiders are bracing for the likelihood that he may not, citing Biden’s bleak midterm prospects in 2022 and his advanced age — he would be 86 at the end of any second term. Biden has also expressed his desire to serve as a bridge to the next generation, fueling widespread speculation that he may drop from the race to make way for a younger Democratic contender.

Generally, the vice president is on the other side of that bridge. However, less than a year into her time in the executive branch, and over a dozen Democratic officials — some of them aligned to possible candidates — say Harris is not scaring off any probable opponents.

Biden
Biden

One veteran New Hampshire-based operative inferred that Harris is most emphatically not going to clean the messy field.  

Harris’ office is cognisant of these sentiments and the situation she will face. The operatives all continue to stress that she is solely interested in being “Joe Biden’s Joe Biden” – a move that might endear her to both Biden and his political network and ultimately result in a Biden endorsement.

Vice President Harris’ Political Prospects Pushed on the “Backburner”

While Vice President Kamala Harris’ position puts her close to the president, it also puts her political future on hold as she toes the administration line.

Underscoring fears over her future, her backers outside the administration have speculated that she has been set up for failure by the portfolio she has been assigned.

Northern Triangle. Those are complex issues with a handful of easy answers. And, as a result of the lack of concrete progress on these fronts, Harris has come under fire from both the right and the left. Indeed, more contenders have garnered national attention on all these fronts.

Abrams,

Harris’ two primary agenda issues are voting rights and migration from Central American countries in the Northern Triangle. Those are complex issues with a handful of easy answers. And, as a result of the lack of concrete progress on these fronts, Harris has come under fire from both the right and the left. Indeed, more contenders have garnered national attention on all these fronts.

Abrams, who has been meticulous in her contacts with national Democrats and their donors, is inextricably linked to the issue of voting rights. Democratic operatives predict that if she runs for and wins the Georgia Governor’s Mansion in 2022, she may contemplate a White House bid. Other Democrats across the country have enlisted her to send out emails as well, owing to her popularity among the party’s grassroots and her ability to raise money online.

Biden
Biden

Meanwhile, Harris’ earlier this year “do not come” appeal to migrants, while consistent with the administration’s official stand, drew the outrage of some Latino quarters. Following her remarks, renowned journalist Jorge Ramos wrote a scathing editorial, asking, What would have occurred if a US politician had warned Harris’ Indian mother or Jamaican father not to travel to the United States to study?

Similarly, former presidential candidate Julián Castro has appeared on television numerous times to criticize the administration’s immigration policy and advocate for a more humanitarian border enforcement stance.

Other Democratic leaders observe that certain newcomers, such as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, may be considered if she wins re-election in 2022 and maintains great relations with Biden.

According to Charles Burson, who served as Vice President Al Gore’s White House chief of staff during his presidential campaign, Harris still has time to take on a massive portfolio item that isn’t “impossible” and would allow her to profile to the point where the party and the country look to you as the leader.

According to Joel K. Goldstein, author of “The White House Vice Presidency: The Path to Significance, Mondale to Biden,” Harris is serving in a media climate in which there the notion that a vice president will clear the field.  

Goldstein noted that the possibility to leverage the vice presidency as a springboard to the nomination and ultimately the White House is an edge almost every prospective candidate would choose over serving as a senator or even Cabinet secretary.

Goldstein added that the bargain is that you get to sit in the situation room and be the last person in the room, as well as travel to France and meet with Macron. On the other hand, vice presidents bear the administration’s popularity or unpopularity, and possibly the most difficult part is “emerging from the president’s shadow and upholding the impression that you are a leader and not merely a follower.

While others can operate independently — or, in the instance of Buttigieg, head one of the administration’s most popular bipartisan bills — Harris’ vice presidency is more akin to a senior adviser role. It has put her in direct access to the president but has also put her political future on hold as she pursues the administration’s lead.

Associates point out that voters do not see Harris in many of her duties or hear her counsel to Biden in the Oval Office — leaving her vulnerable to public opinion and media coverage of the role she is playing. And, with a 50-50 Senate, Harris has been compelled to remain proximate to Washington, D.C. to cast probable tie-breaking votes on Biden nominees.

This has hampered her ability to engage with the people, despite her visits to New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada in her first year – all key early states in a presidential primary.

Biden
Biden

Those in Harris’ wider orbit point to the number of meetings she has had with various key Democratic constituencies as a plus for any future candidacy. The sessions can serve two ends: they can help reinforce existing ties with groups while also covertly building a political network for the future.

Smith argues that Harris should take those sessions on the road.

Smith stated that Harris’ could be an excellent situation to be in. Smith said that since 2020 and the primary, everyone has found their position, and it appears as though Kamala is still looking. Harris needs to come home, which implies the need to speak with Black people. C She needs to communicate with the base regularly, not solely during meetings at the residence or the White House. As in talking to the community.

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