This is a shocking discovery.
In a forthcoming book by journalist Franklin Foer titled “The Last Politician,” it is revealed that Vice President Kamala Harris is highly sensitive to criticism, a characteristic that has caused frustration within President Biden’s West Wing. Colleagues have likened her sensitivity to “rabbit ears,” implying her quick awareness of any criticism directed towards her, whether from within the West Wing or the media.
According to Foer, Harris not only detects criticism swiftly but also actively seeks out its sources and content. Rather than ignoring negative feedback, she often inquires about who is behind it and what is being said. Foer recounts an incident where Harris, upon reading a critical news story about her team’s management, temporarily distanced herself from an aide whom she suspected of cooperating with reporters.
According to Fox, this tendency to let criticism guide her actions is noted by Foer, who suggests that Harris sometimes deviates from her official responsibilities due to public opinion. Instead of focusing diligently on her Central America assignment, she seems to accept conventional wisdom about it, missing opportunities to make meaningful achievements.
Foer also observes that, unlike President Biden, who treated Harris with respect but didn’t grant her a substantial role like he had in the Obama administration, Ron Klain assumed the role of Harris’s guide. Klain, an expert on the vice presidency who had worked with Al Gore and Joe Biden, faced challenges in assisting Harris. He believed that she imposed numerous constraints on herself, making her own path difficult.
Harris expressed her preferences for her office, including a majority of female staff and a Black woman as chief of staff, which Klain found restrictive. Despite her constant search for additional issues to add to her portfolio, Harris was sometimes reluctant to accept suggested assignments. For instance, when she finally sought a significant role in voting rights, Klain initially hesitated, which didn’t provide the vote of confidence Harris desired.
Foer also points out that Harris often had to rely on staff she didn’t know and didn’t fully trust, as President Biden wasn’t actively coaching her. Despite initially promising weekly lunches, Biden’s engagement with Harris began to decline over time.