America Doesn’t Need Momala Kamala Harris
“Democrats are now talking about Harris the way Republicans talk about Donald Trump,” writes Kat Rosenfield. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images)

America Doesn’t Need Momala Harris

Drew Barrymore slavered over Kamala as though she was the second coming. But the past four years proves the empress had no clothes.

Kamala Harris looks like a vice president—or at least, like Hollywood’s platonic ideal of one. You know the type: physically fit, undeniably photogenic, but masculine enough to command attention and middle-aged enough that nobody is calling her “sexy,” at least not to her face. With a smile on her face and her hand resting on a Bible at Biden’s inauguration, she was a picture-perfect vision of the second-in-command, ready to reluctantly but competently take charge after the president had been abducted by aliens or taken out by terrorists. On television last week, she beamed and nodded on Drew Barrymore’s morning chat show as the actress held her hand and quaveringly declared that the vice president needs to be “Momala” to the United States of America.

But in the past four years, Harris has proved there’s a difference between looking the part and actually playing it.

Almost as soon as the election dust settled, rumors began to swirl that all was not well in the vice-presidential suite. “ ‘Not a healthy environment’: Kamala Harris’ office rife with dissent,” read a headline from Politico in June 2021. One year after the election, her approval ratings were worse than Dick Cheney’s the year after he accidentally shot his own friend while hunting. By 2023, dozens of headlines identified the “Kamala Harris problem” as a chief obstacle to Biden’s reelection chances. Now, with her approval rating at 36 percent, Democrats seem resigned: “With or without Biden, Democrats are stuck with Kamala Harris,” declared one recent op-ed

Democrats are now talking about Harris the way Republicans talk about Donald Trump, as if he’s the only thing on the menu at the only restaurant in town. People may not like this slop, but in the absence of any other option, they’ll eat it. . . right? How much can Harris’s presence on the ballot, particularly in the largely symbolic role of VP, really matter?

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