As Vice President Kamala Harris wrestles with abysmal polls -- the latest NBC News poll found 32 percent approval, 49 percent disapproval -- pro-Biden media outlets are energetically attempting to help her spin out of these dismal numbers. Politico writer Eugene Daniels, an MSNBC regular in his colorful turtlenecks, sympathized for many paragraphs under the title:
‘I can’t get into people’s heads': Kamala Harris tries to reshape her public image ahead of 2024
Daniels wrote the Harris vice presidency "has largely been marked by stilted performances at public events, at odds with the uninhibited interrogator she was known as in the Senate," fueling negative whispers. "Now her political future, and quite possibly the success of the Democratic ticket in 2024, hinges on a simple question: Is it possible for Kamala Harris to make a second impression?"
By jove, Politico is here to help! Nowhere in all of this does Daniels mention Harris being the point woman on the border crisis. Instead, the story begins with her at a gun-control event. They tout how she now has issues that fit, like abortion and gun control and racial controversy:
Harris’ defenders point to a slightly more positive tone in media coverage over the last year or so. To them, coverage was largely about style over substance until Harris took on the issue of abortion. That put her front and center on an issue that not just suited the vice president’s skillset but also one DC was actually talking about.
"DC" wasn't talking about immigration? I think "DC" is code for "DC Democrats."
People who have known Harris since her California days have long complained about how the vice president wasn’t assigned an early policy portfolio that aligned with her skillset or expertise.
“I understand that you’re in the White House and that it’s not just Kamala Harris, it is an administration,” said Paul Henderson, who worked for Harris in San Francisco when she served as district attorney. “[We were wondering] ‘Where’s ‘The Advocate’ Kamala? Where is the ‘Adversary to Foolishness’ Kamala? Where is the ‘Off script, no, no, I know this,’ Kamala?’”
Politico Playbook -- where Daniels contributes -- put more spin on that story under the header “Harris fights her biggest foe: Washington’s view of her.” They mix in the usual racism/sexism vibe from Kamala critics (can't be about her ideas or character or talent):
Harris and her team are used to these attacks. Since the beginning of the administration, Republicans have slammed the VP — a San Francisco Democrat who is also a woman of color, the daughter of immigrants, etc. — as a way to hurt the administration, something that hasn’t typically happened with other White House No. 2s.
But that could end up having something of a rally-to-the-flag effect for Harris among Dems — solidifying her central position in the Democratic Party.
As Jesse Jackson said, keep hope alive, Politico!