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Kamala Harris‘s office kicked up a fuss over a Vogue cover that pictured the vice president in sneakers before being told to back down by President Biden’s office who said concerns over the cover were ‘first world problems,’ according to a new book. 

In the weeks before Inauguration Day, Harris was to be featured on an issue of Vogue, but the vice president was reportedly caught off-guard when a leaked image of the cover depicted her most casual look from the photo shoot, donning black converse and black skinny pants. 

The photo, as the Vogue reporters, wrote, portrayed ‘an approachable but less than grand depiction of the incoming vice president.’

Harris had been expecting a more stately-looking photo to make the cover, where she wore a powder blue suit with her arms crossed in front of her. ‘Harris was wounded. She felt belittled by the magazine, asking aides: Would Vogue depict another world leader this way?’ New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns write in their forthcoming book, ‘This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future.’

Still, it had been Harris’ staff that picked out her outfits, not the in-house team at Vogue.  

Harris’s debut on Vogue sparked outrage across the internet, with some accusing the magazine of ‘lightening’ the vice president’s skin and other accusing Vogue of ‘lazy’ editing.  

Harris’s incoming press secretary Symone Sanders took the matter straight to Anna Wintour, Vogue’s illustrious editor-in-chief. Wintour pushed back, admitting that she’d chosen the cover herself because she thought it made Harris look ‘relatable,’ according to excerpts from the book provided to Politico. 

In the weeks before Inauguration Day, Harris was to be featured on an issue of Vogue, but the vice president was reportedly caught off-guard when a leaked image of the cover depicted her most casual look from the photo shoot

In the weeks before Inauguration Day, Harris was to be featured on an issue of Vogue, but the vice president was reportedly caught off-guard when a leaked image of the cover depicted her most casual look from the photo shoot

In the weeks before Inauguration Day, Harris was to be featured on an issue of Vogue, but the vice president was reportedly caught off-guard when a leaked image of the cover depicted her most casual look from the photo shoot

'Disrespectful': Vogue released two covers, one for the print issue, and one digital alternative (pictured), which is the image that Harris, 56, and her team had approved

'Disrespectful': Vogue released two covers, one for the print issue, and one digital alternative (pictured), which is the image that Harris, 56, and her team had approved

‘Disrespectful’: Vogue released two covers, one for the print issue, and one digital alternative (pictured), which is the image that Harris, 56, and her team had approved

A source in the vice president’s office told DailyMail.com that Harris had specifically requested the blue suit photo and only learned that the Converse photo was being used on the cover after it leaked online. However, a Vogue insider denied that Harris’ team ever requested photo or cover approval, and insisted that a specific cover shot had not been agreed upon.

Incoming chief of staff Tina Fluornoy got in touch with a senior Biden campaign official. But Biden was in the midst of a major policy upheaval at the onset of his administration, not to mention the nation was focused on the recent Jan. 6 attack and the Covid-19 pandemic.   

‘[T]he Biden adviser told Flournoy that this was not the time to be going to war with over a comparatively trivial aesthetic issue. Tina, the adviser said, these are first-world problems,’ according to the excerpt.

The Vogue cover was just the first of many disagreements to come between the offices of the president and vice president. 

 

‘Some of Harris’s advisers believed the president’s almost entirely white inner circle did not show the vice president the respect she deserved,’ Martin and Burns write. ‘Harris worried that Biden’s staff looked down on her; she fixated on real and perceived snubs in ways the West Wing found tedious.’ 

Harris even sent out Fluornoy to scold Biden’s staffers for not standing up when she entered the room, the way they do for the president. Fluornoy reached out to Biden adviser Anita Dunn. ‘The vice president took it as a sign of disrespect,’ according to the book. 

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour admitted that she'd chosen the cover herself because she thought it made Harris look 'relatable'

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour admitted that she'd chosen the cover herself because she thought it made Harris look 'relatable'

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour admitted that she’d chosen the cover herself because she thought it made Harris look ‘relatable’

In comments to Politico, Dunn did not confirm or deny the conversation. She said she wasn’t ‘going to comment except to say that everyone in the West Wing has a high degree of respect for the Vice President and the hard work she is doing for this President and our country. Particularly me.’ 

Harris also reportedly asked for a softball foreign policy assignment, one that would prove an easy win and establish her credentials on the world stage. Instead, she was nicknamed ‘border czar’ and assigned the politically fraught Northern Triangle countries. 

Staff floated the possibility of the vice president overseeing relations with the Nordic countries — a low-risk diplomatic assignment that might have helped Harris get adjusted to the international stage in welcoming venues like Oslo and Copenhagen,’ the authors write. 

‘White House aides rejected the idea and privately mocked it. More irritating to Biden aides was when they learned the vice president wanted to plan a major speech to outline her view of foreign policy. Biden aides vetoed the idea.’ 

Biden then tasked Harris with handling immigration and its ‘root causes’ in the Northern Triangle countries of Latin America. Harris was displeased, noting that Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala had been in Biden’s portfolio as vice president. Given outcries over a surge in migration, Harris aides saw the assignment as politically undesirable. 

Harris led a campaign of publicly emphasized she was assigned to the ‘root causes,’ and not in charge of the cramped, overcrowded facilities at the border. She hissed at the ‘border czar’ label and ‘did not hesitate to chide Biden for characterizing her assignment in those terms.’ 

Source: Daily Mail

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