According to The New York Times, Vice President Kamala Harris has confided in her allies that she feels she would be covered very differently by the news if she was white and male.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
- VP Kamala Harris told allies that she would be treated differently by the media if she was a white man.
- WH sources told The New York Times that Harris is struggling to find a key role in the administration.
- Harris has struggled in recent months with high staff turnover and low approval ratings.
Vice President Kamala Harris is of the view that if she were a white man, the media coverage of her would be different.
This is according to a report from The New York Times, which spoke to several White House sources about Harris’ current position in the administration.
Harris has been confiding in allies that she thought the news would cover her differently if she were white and male, attributing some of her negative press coverage — particularly in conservative media outlets — to race and gender.
Harris and President Joe Biden have struggled with historically low job approval ratings, with Harris more unpopular than any vice president in modern history.
According to The Times, Harris has turned to “powerful confidantes” like Hillary Clinton to help her chart her path. The Times also noted that the vice president had faced some difficulties with items in her portfolio, like migration and voting rights.
Some allies also told The Times they felt Biden used Harris to win the White House but has kept her out of the day-to-day duties of governing.
Sources, including a senior White House official and two others familiar with the meeting, described a meeting between Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin over the landmark Build Back Better legislation, where Biden asked Harris to say hello to Manchin before excusing her from the room.
Harris made history as vice president when she was sworn in as the nation’s first female, Black, and South Asian American vice president.
But in December, Harris was criticized after her office reported an unusually high staff turnover. This exodus of staffers included Symone Sanders, Harris’ chief spokesperson, and Ashley Etienne, her communications director. Criticism has since been leveled at Harris, with reports attributing the high turnover to burnout and staffers’ apprehension to being labeled a “Harris person.”
A former Harris staffer, for one, told The Washington Post that her former boss was highly critical and that she had to put up with “a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism.”
While Harris has gotten heat for her high staff turnover rate, it is worth noting that the Trump administration saw more firings, resignations, and reassignments of top staffers than any other first-year administration in modern history. According to The Washington Post, as of January 12, 2018, 34% of Trump’s top staff either left or changed positions. This was double the turnover rate seen in former President Ronald Reagan’s first year and four times that of former President Barack Obama’s.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.