During the presidency of George H.W. Bush, his Saturday Night Live impersonator Dana Carvey joked as Bush that Vice President Dan Quayle was "still gaining acceptance." Kamala Harris has never received negative press attention like Quayle did. Instead, as she bumbles and falters, the media elites offer reports worrying about the negative perceptions getting cemented in public opinion.
On Sunday, USA Today White House correspondent Francesca Chambers demonstrated the trend in an article titled "Democrats want to fix Kamala Harris' image problem. Some VP allies fear it’s too late."
"This is a textbook definition of stenography," tweeted Tom Bevan, co-founder of Real Clear Politics. Chambers began this way:
WASHINGTON – Republican attacks on Vice President Kamala Harris are taking hold, and the White House is running out of time to reframe the narrative, Democrats say.
At a meeting two days after President Joe Biden announced his 2024 reelection bid, a group of Democratic strategists told the White House as much during a briefing for television pundits on the pair’s agenda.
For more than two years, Republicans had been attempting to paint Harris as incompetent. And yet, the strategists found, the White House was still developing its strategy for how to combat the ruthless assault against the first Black and Asian American woman to hold the vice presidency.
So reporters like Chambers begin with the assumption that Harris is competent, and a "ruthless assault" is trying to undermine that reality -- because she's a minority? If Harris is such a great politician, why couldn't she manage to maintain her image of competence? Chambers wasn't going to remind readers that Harris barely splashed in the 2020 primaries, but the Democrats insisted on a woman of color on the ticket.
Chambers relied on former Harris spokesman Jamal Simmons for supportive commentary, but she never wondered why so many Harris staffers have revolved right out of her offices. Now somehow, Biden is supposed to fix her image with....trips to Mexican restaurants?
Biden has since made a visible show of support for Harris, defending her in an interview and playing up an unannounced visit the pair made to a Mexican restaurant on Cinco de Mayo.
But some Harris allies fear it’s too late. The vice president’s poll numbers have been below 50 percent since the duo’s first year in office, and several Democrats, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, expressed concern that they may be beyond repair.
Chambers really reached for the mud pot when noting that Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley suggested that President Biden in his eighties might not make it through a second term and Harris is “one of the most incompetent elected officials in the country."
Rep. Jim Clyburn, a national co-chair of Biden’s reelection campaign, said the White House should not “stoop that low.”
“That kind of low life stuff, they ought not respond to,” Clyburn, D-S.C., said in an interview.
He tied the attacks that are meant to discredit Harris to the period after the Civil War, known as the Reconstruction era, and said discrimination against Black office holders and anti-democratic events such as the Jan 6. insurrection will continue if they are left unchecked.
How on Earth can anyone compare Haley's remarks to Reconstruction?? How does a reporter just forward a Democrat smear like this on Haley?