Questions are once again swirling around Vice President Kamala Harris.
“[Biden] thinks so, and that’s what matters,” Pelosi said when asked by Anderson Cooper if Harris should be on the ticket.
Pelosi pointed to Harris’s campaign record as California’s attorney general in 2011, calling the vice president “very politically astute” for winning the election while only having 6% in the polls at one point.
But when asked again if she believed Harris was the best running mate for the president, Pelosi dodged giving an endorsement for the second time, saying the vice president generally doesn’t “do that much” but is “a source of strength, inspiration, intellectual resource, and the rest.”
While 54% of Democratic voters are satisfied with Harris as Biden’s running mate in 2024, fewer are enthusiastic, 30%, according to the latest CBS News-YouGov poll. Her approval ratings have consistently lagged Biden’s.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) followed up the next morning by discussing “the MAGA Right” when asked about Harris.
Jake Tapper then pressed again on Raskin’s opinion of Harris as Biden’s 2024 running mate.
“That’s President Biden’s choice. And I think she’s an excellent running mate for President Biden,” Raskin responded. “I don’t know what more needs to be said about that.”
Those appearances followed a Washington Post opinion piece that made waves in Washington last week. While the headline read “President Biden should not run again in 2024,” some of its content focused instead on Harris.
“Because of their concerns about Biden’s age, voters would sensibly focus on his presumptive running mate, Harris,” it reads. “She is less popular than Biden, with a 39.5 percent approval rating, according to polling website FiveThirtyEight. Harris has many laudable qualities, but the simple fact is that she has failed to gain traction in the country or even within her own party.”
The piece went on to say that Biden should have “resisted” choosing Harris in the first place, attributing the decision to Harris’s friendship with Biden’s late son, Beau.
But Saint Louis University law professor Joel Goldstein argues there’s less than meets the eye in the Harris brouhaha.
“[Pelosi and Raskin’s] comments are being misinterpreted based on nitpicking rather than focusing on the gist of their remarks, which are very positive about Harris and her role as vice president,” Goldstein, an expert on the vice presidency, said.
“Pelosi said that Harris was a source of strength and inspiration and represented the U.S. very well internationally and domestically, all of which goes to her ability and performance,” he said. “Raskin began by defending former speaker Pelosi’s answer, that it’s the president’s choice (which is correct), but went on to say, ‘I think she’s an excellent running mate for President Biden.’ So where’s the story?”
Harris’s office did not respond to questions from the Washington Examiner.
Republican presidential candidates, for their part, have been working for months to make Harris an issue in the 2024 campaign. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is perhaps the most frequent Harris basher, calling her one of the most incompetent politicians in the United States and warning that a vote for Biden is a vote for Harris.
Many Democrats would beg to differ, with pro-Harris social media accounts focusing on the scene during her Friday appearance at a historically black university.
Harris isn’t shy about defending herself either.
“They feel the need to attack because they’re scared that we will win based on the merit of the work that Joe Biden and I and our administration has done,” Harris said.