Kamala Harris: No, I Don't Feel 'Underused'

Vice president disputes the idea in interview with ABC
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2021 11:29 AM CST
Kamala Harris: No, I Don't Feel 'Underused'
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the Tribal Nations Summit in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

If Kamala Harris is unhappy behind the scenes in her role as vice president, she's not voicing the sentiment in public. In a Thursday interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News, he addressed the issue:

  • Stephanopoulos: "So, you don't feel misused or underused?"
  • Harris: "No, I don't. I'm very, very excited about the work that we have accomplished. But I am also absolutely, absolutely clear-eyed that there is a lot more to do, and we're gonna get it done."

As Stephanopoulos noted, some of Harris allies', including California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, have publicly expressed frustration that the VP isn't being given enough to do. The interview also comes on the heels of a lengthy CNN story asserting that mutual friction has emerged between the Harris and Biden camps. The president's team is "worn out by what they see as entrenched dysfunction and lack of focus," according to the story, while Harris' aides "fume that she's not being adequately prepared or positioned, and instead is being sidelined." It adds that Harris herself "has told several confidants she feels constrained in what she's able to do politically."

The VP's spokesperson has dismissed the CNN report as "gossip," notes Axios. And Harris spoke only in positive terms about the administration during the ABC interview, particularly passage of the president's infrastructure package. (Biden, for his part, made a point to credit Harris at the public signing.) Hanging over their White House relationship is uncertainty over 2024 and whether Biden will run again. Harris, of course, would be the natural front-runner if he opts out. "So, you're not discussing 2024 yet?" Stephanopoulos asked. "Absolutely not," Harris responded. (More Kamala Harris stories.)

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