Kamala Harris one year: Where did it go wrong for her?

Kamala Harris one year: Where did it go wrong for her?

1/22/2022 4:04:00 AM

Kamala Harris one year: Where did it go wrong for her?

Will the first female vice-president be remembered for making history - or go down as a historic footnote?

The job has not come easy. Ms Harris' approval ratings have slumped. The president has tasked her with assignments that range from the intractable to virtually insoluble. Her office has been beset by high-profile resignations.A polling gut-punchSubsequent surveys also showed her approval closer to Biden's - which fits with historical trends where vice-presidential approval tracks that of their president.

Since taking office, Ms Harris has been tasked with two high-profile assignments. The first is to address the root causes of undocumented migration into the US from Central American countries. The number of immigrants crossing into the US from the "Northern Triangle" of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras surged during the first year of the Biden presidency, and the administration was looking for ways to stem the flow while reversing some of the more draconian policies of the Trump administration.

Read more: BBC News (UK) »

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When and where did it go wrong? Kamala who? She wasn’t very good and was overhyped because of her identity profile. It’s what you get when you put appearance over substance. Where to start? Are we being a little harshly? VP are not to be seen and only rarely heard. Stop the double standard. The capability to do your job, trumps colour,race,gender...etc.

Kamala’s poor CA public support in then supported by power political black man into running for President as a % blank woman picked by O’Biden’s crew to be non threatening to POTUS. Then assigned duties by Biden but failed finding any solutions w/ double talk it all went wrong. She is the second in command in the USA. Has it gone wrong? Is it right to ask 'where did it go wrong' in a blazen way to make her look inadequate? 🤔

What has she really done to date except just smiling, weakest VP ever! Once Joe chose her..... MSM got it wrong. Bs like this bbc, prime example.

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thescottwilkes This seems really sexist by the international media. Yes Kamala Harris America's first female Vice President. It just seems like Kamala is being judged more harshly than male former Vice Presidents. Hating her own kind maybe? Hey BBC, how does it feel having sold your soul to the Tories for 10 years, finding out you're all going to get sacked anyway? Good luck at north norwich radio or the Hartlepool Herald y'all.

Such a long read. She doesn’t appear intelligent and pleasant. She might be a good character but doesn’t know how to show it. Wow the UK can't keep their own house clean but want to talk about someone else's. What is Boris doing? When she started to laugh... Ciganstura Did it go wrong? Is BBC trying to compare Harris vs useless Liz Truss?

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What went wrong? Eh? What went wrong? Once again BBC pumping out a load of garbage Kamala Harris has done nothing wrong all year . Who? 😵‍💫 Wow not really biased comment BBC She thinks Biden is a racist WTF you talking about She’s VP in an administration that doesn’t have control of the Senate because of 2 Rogue Dem Senators that are in the pockets of oil companies. What could she have done different? Or are you just pandering to the racist misogyny agenda🤷‍♂️

How about “Brexit. Where did it go wrong?” In what sense 'go wrong'? This was all very predictable. For her, personally, it's gone pretty right. She's vice-president, after all. Er.. It hasn't gone wrong.

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Editorial policy. No “favourite daughter”headline here. Such a headline, based on polls only? Come On you can do better than that. Because her selection was nothing to do with her ability, she was only selected because of her skin colour. Birth. Basically it went wrong from her birth. she is hopeless She was picked as she was black She went to Honduras telling them not to come to US They keep coming

The only thing that went wrong is that we are not able to deal with how amazing, perfect and capable she is. At least that's what all the comments to this Tweet seem to be saying. If only we were worthy of her magnificence. More bullshit from the British Bullshit Corporation. Balance has left the BBC. Shameful 'journalism'.

Has she done anything this past year. BECAUSE she is a 4th rater selected ONLY because she ticked the race and gender boxes and is a looker, MAYBE select on merit eh? Same in the UK. So many mediocre MPs come through all-female/BAME lists now. she was fake and is fake

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At the start ! It didn’t. U are just spouting bile. Biden, Harris and Boris Johnson. US and Britain already regretting their choice. Dear you have become a laughing stock at home here in the UK 🇬🇧 now you seem hell bent on becoming one on the world stage too. Where shall we begin? Can't wait for her and old Joe to be done

The word go! Typically British Could it be that USA is polling racist misogynists? Let's face it they voted for Trump. It all started wrong for her - by her just being herself Some of these comments are laughable. People saying she is doing great clearly haven't read the article 'Ms Harris' public approval rating sat at 28%, making her one of the least popular vice-presidents in modern history - lower than Iraq War architect Dick Cheney'.

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Tokenism. When you pick a person to tick boxes rather than on ability it is not surprising KamalaHarris wasn't at all good in TheDemocrats debates and disappeared pretty quickly from that race with little support. What went wrong with BBC coverage of US politics? It is either non existent on key issues eg rise of fascism or follows Fox / Daily Mail bias

She is aweful.. Impeach her It probably started with her voice. Nails on a chalkboard 😬 BBCBreaking running out of breaking news It didn't, perhaps we can concentrate on the performance of those at Westminster first? BBC Fox It did NOT go wrong. Madam Vice President Harris has been on the job and working for this past year. She assembled a great team to assist her with all that her job entails. Many issues. Follow her. Catch up.

When she was elected. Thoughtoftheday Motivation beliver British britishindians When you arise in the morning think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. Good morning and have a great day ahead. JAZZ MALHOTRA 🙏

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As an American, I have to say, I expected her to make a big splash, to do some grand things. Instead, I haven't heard a peep out of her since she took office. Is she even still here? Who knows? Justice justice justice for Président Jovenel Moïse whom been kelled by international killer DEA USA Canada France and Core group mafias international criminel assassin 😈

Brainless i guess Nothing went wrong 🙄 The hell? You can't just make shite up 'It' didn't go wrong. She's the wrong one. sexism and racism is what is going wrong. vp Harris is an amazing vicepresident and a credit to our country. Who says it went wrong? From the beginning 😂😂😂😂

BBC are losing their way and professional standards, makes me sad and mad on equal measure Gaslighting much?!? she was always awful Wtf are you talking about? She is doing great and we love her. Omg why are you trying to create false narratives? She's unlikeable. That's it. What a load of balls. Well they picked her based on sex and color and not on qualification. That’s a start

BBC News: Where did it go wrong? Kamala is cool She was a wrong selection to begin with. Deemed to fail ….

Has lost its mind? Perhaps she needs a bit more confidence and backing. UK racists When she started laughing on TV She has built that capacity by providing space for leadership networks especially for young women, through recognition of powerful role models; through promotion of leadership training and serving as a boost to the self-confidence of emerging women leaders in industry, etc.

She's a Democrat! Nothing went wrong for her If anything it went wrong for you BBC Brit wants to export thier racism to us? uh... wut? Everywhere

Often will charities and GMO suggest that there isn't enough women in leadership position. However only around aprx. 1%+ of Male population will end up in leadership position. Why do women want to be put in leadership position without hard work needed to fullfill their duties? She has always been way, way out of her depth. One year just highlighted it.

Um. I’m an American. I’m behind her 110%. A lot of people are going to think that headline looks misogynistic and racist. BBC, I thought you guys set the standards? Get a grip BBC. Have you been outside? Nothing did except stupid media. Let's stick to news closer to home like PonceAndrew or BorisJohnsonOut or princewilliamaffair bbcnews

Are you high BBC? Because news agencies run articles like this constantly! When was it ever right? Terrible election year debates and interviews and somehow stumbled into a win To many people, myself included, she is and always will be deeply dislikeable, on a visceral level.

Why does someone need to make history? She was hired to do a job, she is only required to do it to the best of her ability, not cure cancer... I don’t think it did. I’m proud of the work the VP did for our country. I wonder which state will be first to secede when Trump wins in 2024? Surely you could point to a similar headline a year into the prior administration?

Day 1? Really? 1996. nothing has gone wrong for her. go away Yes everything was useless⁉️ You don’t know that she’s the best.

Wrong? Seems fine to me. Your prime minister who is a crazy man walking around. WoW... you are actually admitting she crashed and burned Let’s start with Willie Brown and work forward On day one. How about you write… Boris Johnson too many years: Where did it go wrong for him? what the fuck kind of headline is this?!

LOLz

Image source, Reuters Kamala Harris assumed office in historic fashion, becoming the first woman to serve "a heartbeat away from the presidency". But her first year as vice-president has been far from a smooth ride. The job has not come easy. Ms Harris' approval ratings have slumped. The president has tasked her with assignments that range from the intractable to virtually insoluble. Her office has been beset by high-profile resignations. If Ms Harris accepted her party's vice-presidential nomination thinking she would be anointed as the Democratic heir apparent to the presidency, it was a notion that did not take long to dispel. While Mr Biden said in a press conference on Wednesday that he would keep her as his running mate if he stands for re-election, it remains to be seen whether that will put to rest speculation about her political future. So what, exactly, has gone wrong for her - and can she set it right? There are no easy explanations and few easy answers. A polling gut-punch It was, without a doubt, an ugly poll. According to a November survey by USA Today, Ms Harris' public approval rating sat at 28%, making her one of the least popular vice-presidents in modern history - lower than Iraq War architect Dick Cheney, who was reviled by Democrats. If there was one moment that truly set off the spate of "what's wrong with Kamala Harris" stories that dominated the latter half of 2021, it was that "comically bad" poll, as the San Francisco Chronicle put it. The poll effectively framed the conversation about the vice-president as one of struggle and disappointment. Upon closer inspection, however, the survey appears more of an outlier. It looked particularly bad because 21% of respondents said they were undecided about Harris. Just over half of the poll respondents had a negative view of the vice-president, which is roughly on par with Mr Biden's negative ratings. Subsequent surveys also showed her approval closer to Biden's - which fits with historical trends where vice-presidential approval tracks that of their president. According to Cliff Young, president of US Public Affairs at the polling firm Ipsos, the forces pulling Ms Harris down are the same as those plaguing her boss - the Covid pandemic and the economy. If Mr Biden's approval rebounds because Americans feel like those problems are being addressed, Mr Young said, her popularity will improve as well. He notes there is some silver lining for the vice-president. Most surveys place her at the head of the pack of prospective 2024 Democratic presidential nominees. She still appears to have political heft, at least among her own party - and among women and minority voters, in particular. A tough portfolio Since taking office, Ms Harris has been tasked with two high-profile assignments. The first is to address the root causes of undocumented migration into the US from Central American countries. The number of immigrants crossing into the US from the "Northern Triangle" of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras surged during the first year of the Biden presidency, and the administration was looking for ways to stem the flow while reversing some of the more draconian policies of the Trump administration. The job as described was daunting, but manageable. Mr Biden served a similar role as vice-president in the Obama administration. But some characterised her responsibilities to include the entirety of immigration and border security - a challenge decades in the making and one that, in all likelihood, will take decades to solve. Harris tells Guatemala migrants: 'Do not come to US' It is probably no coincidence that Ms Harris' descent into negative approval ratings began when the whole of the immigration issue was hung around her neck. She has also been tasked with enacting national voting reform. Following Donald Trump's unsupported accusations of fraud in the 2020 presidential election, some Republican-controlled states have passed laws cutting back efforts to make voting easier, like voting by mail and ballot drop boxes. It became Ms Harris' job to shepherd national reforms that would pre-empt these state-level actions through Congress. With unified Republican opposition and intransigence from some Democrats, however, the vice-president's efforts have been doomed to failure. The recent administration push on the subject is only making the futility of the effort more apparent - and being associated with futility is not a recipe for political success. Mr Biden has set his vice-president up to fail, thinks journalist and vice-presidential historian Kate Andersen Brower. "He's giving her assignments that are almost impossible," she said. A big target Vice-presidents are often viewed as political heirs to the presidents they serve, and such a conclusion is practically unavoidable when that president will be 82 at the end of his first term. Image source, EPA And Ms Harris clearly has presidential ambitions, having run for the office in 2019. When Mr Biden selected her as his vice-presidential nominee, she was frequently presented as the next generation of Democratic leader, with her multi-ethnic background and gender reflecting an increasingly diverse party. The many identities of the first woman vice-president Being at the head of the pack, however, has made Ms Harris an inviting target for political fire. Republicans, believing she is most likely to be their next opponent, are eager to put dents in her armour. Presidential rivals within her own party see her as the foremost obstacle in their path to the top prize. "I think that there is extra special focus on Vice-President Harris right now, because of the uncertainty around Biden, and whether he's going to run again," said Mr Young. "I don't remember another time when we really focus so much on the vice-president and their polling numbers." The vice-presidency is not without its advantages for those aspiring to the Oval Office - in name recognition and the ability to curry favour with party loyalists on a national scale - but those aspirations take place in full view of friends and foes alike. Nagging doubts Plenty of successful politicians have faced political hardship and survived. The vice-president's supporters attribute much of the criticism to racism and sexism against Ms Harris - the burden carried by the historic nature of her ascent to office. They point to critics who write derisive columns on gender-tinged topics like her voice or laugh or purchase of expensive cookware. At a recent event touting the administration's infrastructure law in Maryland, Margaret Hinds-English, president of a local government workers' union, spoke approvingly of Ms Harris. Seeing the vice-president gives hope that black women like her can succeed "if we put our minds to it". Ms Hinds-English said she has ignored criticism of the vice-president. "Folks are going to say what they're going to say," she said. Media caption, US Vice-President Kamala Harris: "Believe in what we can do together" But evidence that there is something wrong at the top is hard to dismiss. Ms Harris' presidential campaign began with a bang. Her kick-off rally in January 2019 drew tens of thousands of supporters to Oakland, California. She rocketed to near the top of polls after performing strongly in the first primary debate later that June. Then she came crashing back down to earth, beset by staff upheaval, underwhelming media interviews and subsequent debates, and no clear message or constituency in the party. In other words, all the problems Ms Harris has faced during her first year as vice-president also surfaced during her presidential campaign. Where did it all go wrong for Kamala Harris' campaign? She's had a surprising amount of staff turnover in her first year in office, with her communications chief and press spokesperson both departing. A particularly stinging blow came in the Washington Post, where an anonymous former staffer said she was unwilling to do the work necessary for the job and took out her frustration on her aides. "With Kamala you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence," the former staffer said. "So you're constantly sort of propping up a bully, and it's not really clear why." Ms Harris' problems have regularly been compounded by gaffes during one-on-one interviews and public appearances. There's talk of friction between her office and the rest of the White House. She has been unable to settle on a policy issue that she can make a positive political calling card. Politicians who survive hardship are usually the ones who learn from their mistakes and fix their shortcomings. There are some indications that Ms Harris is doing so, as she has recently started spending more time at public events with Mr Biden, accepted more media interviews and hired a veteran communications operative. But the jury is still out on whether these steps will gain traction - and avoid turning her history-making ascent to the vice-presidency into a historical footnote. More on this story