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Kamala Harris speculated Sunday that the criticism of her last year could be because she is the first female and first minority to hold the office of Vice President of the United States. 

‘Let me just tell you, if you talk about being the first or being – maybe it’s because I am that,’ she said.

Latest poll numbers revealed only a 48 percent approval rating among Americans. That’s at least a whopping 20 percent better than a November USA TODAY/ Suffolk University poll showing a dismal 28 percent approval for the vice president. 

Some Democrats have excused Harris’ shortcomings, claiming she was given too ambitious of responsibilities, including addressing the southern border crisis. 

However, Harris argued she does not think she was set up for failure despite a myriad of criticisms plaguing her office in year No. 1 as vice president. 

‘I’ve talked to some of your former Senate colleagues and they say you have been given an impossible portfolio,’ CBS Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan prompted in a pre-taped interview that aired Sunday. ‘And a lot of people have been harshly critical of that.’

‘I want to ask you if you think some of these things are fair or unfair,’ Brennan continued. ‘Do you think any of this is fair? Do you think you’re being set up to fail?’

‘No, I don’t believe I’m being set up to fail,’ the vice president responded.

Brennan pushed Harris on why she feels Democrats are saying she was given an ‘impossible portfolio’.

‘I’m the Vice President of the United States, anything that I handle is because it’s a tough issue,’ Harris explained. ‘And it couldn’t be handled at some other level. And there are a lot of big, tough issues that need to be addressed. And it has actually been part of my lifelong career to deal with tough issues and this is no different.’ 

Kamala Harris said in an interview that aired Sunday she doesn't think she was 'set up to fail' with an 'impossible portfolio' of responsibilities as vice president

Kamala Harris said in an interview that aired Sunday she doesn't think she was 'set up to fail' with an 'impossible portfolio' of responsibilities as vice president

Kamala Harris said in an interview that aired Sunday she doesn’t think she was ‘set up to fail’ with an ‘impossible portfolio’ of responsibilities as vice president

Some have claimed that Harris is scrutinized more harshly than her male predecessors because she is a minority female. 

Harris addressed that in her interview airing the day after Christmas.

‘Why do you think there is such scrutiny? I mean, women are always held to a different standard, that’s just a fact. Is the fact that you’re a woman and the fact that you are a minority in this office part of why there is such scrutiny?’ Brennan prompted.

‘I’ll leave that for others to deal with,’ Harris deflected. ‘I, you know, I have a job to do. And I’m going to get that job done.’

Donna Brazile, acting chair of the Democratic National Committee, said ‘all the focus on turnover in [Harris’] office is overblown, but you do need to renew and repurpose.’

Former representative in the South Carolina House and now political commentator Bakari Sellers said: ‘Her portfolio is trash. You give someone a portfolio that is not meant for them to succeed.’ 

In the 2020 Democratic primary race, Harris consistently polled around 5 per cent in popularity among the crowded field of candidates vying to take on Donald Trump in his reelection race.

She dropped out of the race in December 2019 and soon became a contender for vice presidential nominee as now-President Joe Biden, and his top competitor Bernie Sanders, said they were likely to choose a woman as a running mate.

The choice of Harris came as a surprise to some after she attacked Biden during the first Democratic primary debate in Miami, Florida in June 2019. Harris essentially claimed Biden backed racist policies during his decades as a U.S. senator. 

Harris said at the time of the debate that Biden was wrong to praise the civility of former segregationist-supporting senators. She shared her story of benefiting as a young black girl from the busing policy Biden once opposed.

That night set Harris, who was a California senator at the time, up to be one of Biden’s top critics during the campaign.

Since working together, there have been reports that the president and vice president’s office do not get along – leading to further speculation that there are tensions between Biden and Harris, which both have denied.

Biden has made a point since then to include Harris at several public events and mention her during his remarks. On several occasions, however, Biden has made gaffes in calling Harris the president instead of vice president.

Harris said Sunday she is addressing issues that have never been talked about at the White House, like maternal health and mortality as well as postpartum care expansion.

In the spring, Biden put Harris in charge of addressing one of the biggest obstacles facing the administration – the southern border crisis. The VP’s office quickly rebranded the job, claiming she was put in charge of addressing the ‘root causes’ in Central America that leads to mass migration from those nations to the U.S.

There are also several reports claiming the vice president’s office has been filled with turmoil and lack of morale. Over the last month, four aides announced their departure from Harris’ office, including the vice president’s chief spokesperson Symone Sanders, who will be leaving her post at the end of 2021.

Harris said one of her main goals is to continue pushing for the passage of Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better social spending and welfare package.

A new poll released Tuesday shows only 43 per cent of registered voters approve of the job Kamala Harris is doing as vice president

A new poll released Tuesday shows only 43 per cent of registered voters approve of the job Kamala Harris is doing as vice president

A new poll released Tuesday shows only 43 per cent of registered voters approve of the job Kamala Harris is doing as vice president

Symone Sanders

Symone Sanders

Ashley Etienne

Ashley Etienne

At least four staff have announced their departure from Harris’ office in the last month. Symone Sanders, Harris’ senior adviser and chief spokesperson, will leave the White House at the end of the year, after Ashley Etienne, former communications director, did so weeks ago

Peter Velz, director of press operations

Peter Velz, director of press operations

Vince Evans, deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs

Vince Evans, deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs

Two more staffers, Peter Velz (left) and Vince Evans (right), are eying exits

‘I will work on it my entire career and elevate it to the extent that I have a microphone in front of me,’ she told Brennan.

The bill was effectively killed last Sunday when centrist Democratic Senator Joe Manchin told Fox News Sunday that he would vote ‘no’ on the legislation after months of negotiations with Biden.

‘What do you think, as you come to the end of this first year, what do you think your biggest failure has been at this point?’ Brennan asked Harris.

‘To not get out of D.C. more,’ the VP joked and laughed. ‘I mean, and I actually mean that sincerely for a number of reasons. You know, I – we, the president and I came in, you know, COVID had already started. It was – the pandemic had started. And when we came in, we really couldn’t travel.’

‘You know, a large part of the relationship that he and I have built has been being in this, you know, together in the same office for hours on end, doing Zooms or whatever because we couldn’t get out of D.C.,’ she explained. ‘And on issues that are about fighting for anything from voting rights to child care to one of the issues that I care deeply about – maternal health. Being with the people who are directly impacted by this work, listening to them so that they, not some pundit, tells us what their priorities are, I think is critically important.’

‘People have a right to know and believe that their government actually sees and hears them,’ Harris said. ‘And my biggest concern is I don’t ever want to be in a bubble when it comes to being aware of and in touch with what people need at any given moment in time.’

Source: Daily Mail

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