During the annual Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans last month, Vice President Kamala Harris, who was in attendance, was asked about culture and how important she found it in terms of helping black women “protect their rights.”
Instead of answering the question directly, Harris proceeded to give a word salad of an answer, something she’s become infamous for over the two and a half years she’s been the vice president.
“Well, I think culture is — it is a reflection of our moment in our time, right? And — and present culture is the way we express how we’re feeling about the moment,” Harris stated.
“And,” she continued hesitatingly, “we should always find times to express how we feel about the moment that is a reflection of joy, because every — you know, it comes in the morning. (Cackles) We have to find ways to also express the way we feel about the moment in terms of just having language and a connection to how people are experiencing life. And I think about it in that way, too.”
Though very few people, including those in his inner circle, would describe President Joe Biden as a great communicator, even fewer would say the same about Harris, who routinely fails to properly articulate the message she’s been given to get across to her audiences.
Just a few months into the Biden-Harris administration, there were already murmurings coming from some Democratic circles that it was obvious Harris wasn’t up to the job, especially after her botched handling of the border crisis, which Biden put her in charge of finding the “root causes” of two months after they were sworn into office.
There were also reports of staff turnover in Harris’ office, which some former and current unnamed staffers attributed to Harris’ abrasive attitude and desire to be the center of attention without doing the prep work it took in advance to prove herself to be a competent, effective leader on a world stage.
What has dogged Harris the most, however, since taking office is the communication issue. Her confusing Essence Festival response wasn’t an exception to the rule for Harris; it is the rule.
During an interview last week, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) was asked about Harris’ culture comments, and in my opinion, he hit the nail on the head.
“No. 1, she doesn’t appear to be prepared,” Kennedy stated. “No. 2, no matter how well prepared you are, you have to be able to express yourself. And with respect, I would say the vice president needs to work on being a little more articulate.”
He went on to note, “I just don’t get the impression that the vice president is — she’s not being herself. She’s trying to sound smart instead of just saying what she believes and saying it in a clear, articulate manner that the average American who is busy can understand.”
Kennedy’s comments dovetailed with stories written since Harris’ early days in the White House about her tendency to blame her staff for problems that she herself creates. As reported in December 2021, Harris can’t be bothered to do due diligence on anything she speaks publicly about, so when she gets embarrassed by something she says later, it’s the hard-working staffers behind the scenes who get punished.
Harris is under the microscope perhaps more so than any other VP in modern history not because she’s a woman but because questions about Biden’s age and fitness to lead naturally have people wondering what Harris would bring to the table if he steps aside or, God forbid, something happens to him.
So far, she’s striking out, as her poll numbers indicate. And in the process, she’s become one of if not the biggest liability for Biden headed into 2024.
North Carolina native Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a media analyst and regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.