From the beginning of Joe Biden’s run for president, everyone knew that who he picked as his vice president was going to be extraordinarily important. It appears he picked wrong.
Vice President Harris’ approval numbers have hit rock bottom, earning her the distinction of having ranked at a “historic low.” While Biden’s numbers have also been plummeting, especially after the horrific mess of the Afghanistan withdrawal, at least he can say that he still has a significant minority of support. Meanwhile, Harris has just 28 percent approval.
The odds were never in Harris’ favor. Even when she was simply being considered as a candidate for vice president, many were heartily against her.
“Biden-Harris. This is a match made in, well, about as far from heaven as you can get. More like at a public execution,” one USA TODAY opinion columnist wrote in Aug. 2020.
Her time as attorney general of California was not all that she boasted it to be. In fact, looking back at it now, it could be argued that it was rather corrupt.
“Most troubling, Ms. Harris fought tooth and nail to uphold wrongful convictions that had been secured through official misconduct that included evidence tampering, false testimony and the suppression of crucial information by prosecutors,” the New York Times wrote in 2019.
Her brief presidential campaign was underwhelming at best. She dropped out after only being able to muster four percent approval going into 2020.
Just her record alone should make her current disapproval unsurprising. But add to that what she has been doing (or not doing) since she took office with Biden, and this lack of support should have been expected.
As soon as she was in office, Harris decided to take on the border crisis, which — no matter how she handled it — was going to gain her enemies. There were no great options facing her with border tensions, yet she still somehow managed to pick the worst way to handle it.
She simply did not visit the border for a long time. Even though she kept declaring that the border was so important and they needed to find solutions, she just kept not visiting. It took her until June 2021 to finally go down.
Then, when she did finally go down, her comments were confusing and did not help the situation.
“I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come. Do not come,” she said.
She got instant backlash from her own party on this.
Even White House officials were confused about her comments and handling of the situation.
“There was a hope inside the White House that this trip would be a success, and by the end of it there was concern that it was perhaps overshadowed by her answers to some of those questions,” one official said.
One Democratic strategist told The Hill that “She is going to be haunted by this trip and this issue for as long as she is in politics.”
Well, she is certainly being haunted now, as most of the country, even those on the left, turn against her.
To achieve approval ratings even lower than Vice President Dick Cheney’s is quite a feat. However, Cheney didn’t even bottom out in approval numbers until the end of the Bush administration. Years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan are what ruined Cheney. Harris has no such excuse.
Beyond just her disapproval as vice president, this also strikes against her bigger goal of gaining the Democratic presidential nomination in 2024. Biden’s age will likely keep him from running again, which would have made Harris a natural candidate if she hadn’t botched her approval numbers so badly. Now, gaining the nomination, especially with Pete Buttigieg posing a viable threat, seems unlikely.
Even Harris’ staff have voiced their concerns.
“I don’t think she’s got a stranglehold on the party,” one of her former staffers told Insider.
This is just one more strike against the whole Biden administration. The honeymoon stage very quickly faded for Biden and Harris, and when they really went into action, Americans across the board suddenly seemed to wake up to the fact that they do not actually like this administration.