Kamala Harris puts herself in position if Biden can be removed from office

President Joe Biden returned to the Camp David presidential residence this Sunday. He has not set foot in the White House since June 19, when he went to prepare for Thursday’s debate, in which he failed miserably against Donald Trump. While , As Washington buzzes with rumors about his future, Vice President Kamala Harris is trying to reclaim some of the initiative lost this term with her own agenda that has taken her to the country’s west to court voters and donors for the Democratic campaign.

Harris, 59, threw herself into the campaign over the weekend after the debate, visiting Las Vegas, Utah and Los Angeles. In the latter city she attended a dinner with donors at the home of a film director. Rob Reinerand admitted that the debate was not her boss’s “finest moment,” she defined former President Trump as a “threat to democracy” for his praise of dictators of all kinds and said that the campaign’s position “doesn’t change” just because “what happens on one day in June.” Should the 81-year-old Biden step down, which the president is reluctant to do despite the panic that has spread among Democrats, things are not looking good for Harris. Most relevantly, according to polls, she is even less popular than the president. According to an average of the Real Clear Politics website, these indicate that Harris would get 6.6% fewer votes than Trump in the election. According to those polls, Biden is close to a technical tie.

In addition, the two most frequently mentioned potential candidates to replace Biden by analysts would make Harris’s standing in the polls untenable. One of them is California Governor Gavin Newsom, who is from the same state as Harris. On the one hand, the Constitution prohibits two people registered in the same state from running simultaneously; and on the other, strategists recommend not having two candidates for president and vice president from the same state to diversify support. Another contender is Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and Democrats probably wouldn’t want two women on such a troubled ticket either.

The failure of 2020

According to George Skelton, a prominent analyst for the Los Angeles Times, “One obstacle for Harris is that party leaders remember that she failed in her attempt to run for president in 2020. Then there is Newsom, who is 56 years old,” who if he ever wants to run for president — and it seems likely that he will — now could be his chance, assuming Biden can be persuaded to retire.

Although Biden’s team has dealt with the outrage over criticism of his age after inconsistent responses in the debate, analysts, strategists in Washington and ‘lobbyists’ living in the capital continue to speculate about Biden’s political future and the implications of the Democratic candidacy. The influential website Axios, which usually handles good sources, cited a quote from the administration saying that Biden works from 10 am to 4 pm, and outside of those hours he is sluggish and underperforms.

The vice president’s team is obviously frustrated because at this point she is the one who can take over the reins after more than three years of preparation. However, the only option they have at the moment is to defend their boss and a joint candidacy that would theoretically be praised at the party congress in mid-August in Chicago. Given that there are more than a hundred days left for the November 5 election, there are many Democrats who are trying to make a difference discreetly.

Harris, who sank in popularity after a series of missteps early in her vice presidency, has been a frequent target of attacks from the Republican campaign. Trump himself has suggested that Biden plans, if he wins, to retire so that Harris can take over as president without being elected. The Constitution provides for the vice president to hold office until re-elected.

The main political burden for Harris is that Biden tasked her with managing the immigration crisis, and the numbers don’t reflect any success. The number of undocumented people crossing the border from Mexico exceeded 3.2 million in the last fiscal year. In 2021, there were 1.9 million, which is no modest figure either. Now, the Biden administration has attempted to revive the Trump policy that establishes a daily quota of arrivals after which the border is closed. That system has already been challenged in court, and is at risk of being overturned again.


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