“She’s run for president before, so I believe she’s thinking about her future,” Incoming Florida House Minority Leader, Harris said. “Strategically, this is a moment for VP Harris because it gives her a platform and of course the opportunity to connect her brand with leadership on the topic.”
In the month since the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion, Harris has tried to position herself as her party’s leading advocate on the issue. She sat down for a TV interview and met with lawmakers, legal experts, faith leaders and medical professionals, while urging Democrats to bring their anger to the ballot box.
The political challenge for Harris, however, is that she’s not the only ambitious Democrat grabbing the issue of abortion.Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, for example, has attracted the attention and loyalty of activists Fighting her state’s Republican-led legislature over abortion.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a former presidential candidate and likely future presidential candidate, continues to tout a proposal Setting up abortion clinics on federal land, despite the skepticism of government officials.Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said in an interview with CBS that she Plan to stay “positive and outspoken” On reproductive rights, while removing questions about another potential presidential race.
As vice president, Harris has apparently struggled to find an issue that would make her a strong leader.from migrant to voting rightsshe’s having trouble breaking out, and critics say she may seem overly scripted.
Harris’ supporters say her passion for reproductive freedom is organic. She is the first female vice president, and her Black and Asian identities may particularly resonate given that abortion restrictions disproportionately affect minority women.
While any vice president would have to be careful not to overshadow her boss, Harris may have more freedom on abortion because Biden’s politics of his party don’t always align with his lifelong Catholic beliefs question disturbed.
All of this, Harris’ advisers hope, will provide her with a way to connect with the vibrant constituency she’s lacking in an unsuccessful 2020 run for presidentShe was under considerable pressure to show that her political skills had improved since that effort, but failed before a primary vote.
Rep. No. 3 House Democrat James E. Claiborne (DS.C.) said Harris should have a chance to grow into her role, and his endorsement puts Biden back as a candidate in 2020.
“Everyone should have time to develop,” Claiborne said. “Joe Biden didn’t always have the experience that he and I have. At one point in his life he was a Kamala Harris…You don’t become vice president at noon and then at noon expert.”
Donna Brazile, who ran for president as Vice President Al Gore’s campaign manager, said Harris’ tightened schedule speaks volumes about her commitment to the party, a Biden administration and what she wants to build. Any future competing obligations, which are vital to her role as a future leader, will not get lost.
“She has to be the leader of ‘what is it’ and I think she understands that, and that’s how the government should understand her role,” Basile said. “Time is passing and she’s never resting. It’s work, work, work. There’s always something to do. There’s always someone pulling and saying she needs to do more, not less.”
Harris’ recent flurry of activism on abortion rights has taken on more urgency as some Democrats are asking the oldest president in history if he should run again — and who should be the party’s flag-bearer if he steps down.
Biden has said he will seek re-election in 2024, and Harris has said she will be his running mate. But some Democrats, noting that Biden would be sworn in at 82 if he wins another election, have privately spoken of the need to turn to a new generation of leaders.
Biden amplifies these concerns Tested positive for coronavirus on July 21, and spent five days of social distancing taking Paxlovid antivirals, in part because his advanced age puts him in a vulnerable group. Biden works during quarantine at the White House residence, Rehab announced Wednesdaysaid, “My symptoms are mild, my recovery is fast, and I feel fine.”
With Biden isolated for nearly a week, Harris has had one of the most active periods of her tenure as vice president. In meetings in Washington and across the country and in a series of televised interviews, she told Democrats that the best way to secure access to abortion is to win a congressional majority in this year’s midterm elections, when the party faces powerful headwinds.
“The court has taken action — Congress needs to act now,” Harris tell CNN Days after the Supreme Court’s ruling Dobbs case. Citing Senate races in Georgia, North Carolina and Colorado, she added: “We need to shift the balance so that pro-choice lawmakers have the power to decide whether this constitutional right will become law.”
For advisers and others close to Harris, her increased time in the TV studio and her travel schedule after her first year are a welcome sign, they say in Washington during the coronavirus pandemic too much time and not enough time in the public eye.
In December, a group of black women held a private meeting Join Harris in urging her to become more outspoken and compelling.
“For her, taking to the streets is a real thing — She actually wants to do that,” said Shavon Arline-Bradley, president of D4Women in Action, a nonprofit that attended the conference. “It’s been a mid-term year, and we’re in the roughest of times. “
She added: “People need to see her leadership. … I do think she cares about her definition of who she is and the definition of her legacy.”
Harris’ first year was historic but uneven, marked by employee departures and mixed results on Biden’s push for her to take the lead. At the same time, she has been tied to an administration that has struggled to deliver on some of its biggest campaign promises, and has endured the usual reliant role as vice president.
Her trip to Central America was part of her mission to address the root causes of immigration, but her visit was characterized by An awkward exchange with NBC’s Lester Holt In it she promised to go to the southern border of the United States, but only after he urged her.
Less than a year into the job, Harris sees A series of employee departures, including the loss of her chief spokeswoman and communications executive, who are accused of helping shape her public image. A few months later, her chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, left. A few weeks ago, Rohini Kosoglu, One of Harris’ closest and longest-serving aides, also left.
Some of the departures have raised questions about Harris’ management style, concerns that have dogged her two decades in public service.
By contrast, Harris’ supporters were encouraged by her performance on a series of foreign trips – to Munich Security Conference Before Russia invaded Ukraine, Poland and Romania Support NATO allies. She also added seasoned Democratic strategists to her team, including new Chief of Staff Lorraine Walls, Gore’s communications director and adviser to the then-senator. Hillary Clinton in 2008.
A spokeswoman for Harris, who declined to comment for the record for this article, noted that she intends to become Biden’s running mate in 2024. Over the past year, her supporters have repeatedly said she’s working to advance the goals of a Biden administration, criticizing her as overblown and often sexist and racist.
“I think it’s all about the goals of the administration, and I think that’s how she sees it,” said Cedric L. Richmond, a former senior adviser to Biden. who resigned in april Become a strategist for the Democratic National Committee. “It’s not about her brand, political ambitions or anything like that in her decision-making process.”
The next few months will determine the 2024 landscape. They will reveal whether Biden has announced his reelection campaign as he has suggested, and whether other prominent Democrats — from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to California Gov. Gavin Newsom — are running . On the Republican side, former President Donald Trump’s potential candidacy remains an overwhelming question mark.
Claiborne said last month that if Biden doesn’t run, he will support Harris in 2024, regardless of what other Democrats seeking the presidency do.
“Right now, I’m for Biden, and secondly I’m for Harris,” he said. “So I don’t care who goes to New Hampshire or Iowa, I support Biden and then I support Harris — either together or in that order.”