Politico: White House knives out for Kamala in the passage of time

How could there be friction between Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, or at least their teams, as Politico reports that a new book will reveal? Well, sometimes that happens with the passage of time. And we all know the significance of the passage of time as time passes for all of us but especially for our children … right? Perhaps it’s time we ask our illustrious VP to take some time to explain the significance of the passage of time before we run out of time to consider its significance:

“We were all doing a tour of the library here and talking about the significance of the passage of time right. The significance of the passage of time, so when you think about it there is great significance to passage of time,” Harris said. “There is such great significance to the passage of time when you think of a day in the life of our children.”

Has there been a modern Vice President so unable to speak extemporaneously as Harris? When Dan Quayle served in this office for four years, he got subjected to far more public ridicule over his intellect for far less reason than Harris supplies every time she goes off script. She’s a political disaster, so much so that the White House has kept her public appearances at a minimum ever since her interviews with NBC’s Lester Holt and Univision’s Ilia Calderón in June of last year. They’ve inexplicably put her out front occasionally as of late in the Ukraine crisis, with embarrassing results, and now she can’t even get her way through a presser on broadband.

One might say that the passage of time hasn’t been significant for perceptions of Harris since her border-czar gig started.

Fourteen months into the administration, the frustrations have begun to leak out — anonymously anyway. A new book by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns will reveal “friction” between the staffs of Biden and Harris and not much of a working relationship between the two principals, either:

— Harris allies complained throughout the first year of the administration that she was handed an impossible portfolio. According to the book, KATE BEDINGFELD, Biden’s comms director, not only grew tired of the criticism that the White House was mismanaging Harris — she blamed the VP.

“In private, Bedingfeld had taken to noting that the vice presidency was not the first time in Harris’s political career that she had fallen short of sky-high expectations: Her Senate office had been messy and her presidential campaign had been a fiasco. Perhaps, she suggested, the problem was not the vice president’s staff,” Martin and Burns write. …

— The pair reports that Harris and Biden have had a “friendly but not close” personal relationship, “and their weekly lunches lacked a real depth of personal and political intimacy.”

Is that a lack of personal connection? Or is it the effect of having two people without any real depth themselves having to work together on issues requiring that depth?

If those are the juiciest tidbits that Martin and Burns turn up, that won’t sell many books. People already know that Biden and Harris lack depth. They didn’t get elected for their sizzling intellects, after all; they narrowly won with the single mandate of not being Donald Trump, and they’ve largely screwed that up as well. The rest of this has been reported in one fashion or another for months, especially the White House’s frustration with Harris’ public performance. For that matter, the public has seen enough to grasp Harris’ lack of depth and inability to handle even simple extemporaneous exchanges, especially with press.

As far as staffs go, well … Harris’ staffers keep voting with their feet. Biden’s has remained intact thus far. What does that tell us?

The biggest news to be gleaned out of the Martin/Burns excerpts is that the White House has apparently had enough of Harris. The passage of time has made the situation worse to the point where they’re again leaking some dirty laundry on Harris, which the authors also note that Biden angrily tried to tamp down last fall. That in itself is rather notable, and who knows what the passage of time will mean to that trend? It could be … significant.

Meanwhile, to pass some time, here’s Newt Gingrich spending some time with Sean Hannity to offer his thoughts on confidence in government. “If you want a strong reason to pray for the health of the president of the United States,” Gingrich acidly observes, “you are reminded again today that the reason is the vice president.” The wonder, Gingrich notes, is that Biden thought it was a good idea to send Harris abroad, when “she probably shouldn’t be allowed to leave the Naval Observatory.” Not until a lot more passage of time, that is.

Addendum: I feel bad leaving readers stuck with nothing but incompetence. For a much better commentary on time, here’s one of my favorite standards, sung by the incomparable baritone balladeer Brook Benton.

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