Where is Kamala Harris?

File photo of US Vice President Kamala Harris. EFE / EPA / Yuri Gripas / POOL

Washington, Nov 22 (EFE) .- The aura of Kamala Harris, the first vice president of the United States, has been diluted over the months, amid reports of tensions between her office and the president’s team , Joe Biden, while his activities go increasingly unnoticed.
Harris, who came to office making history as the first woman, the first African American and the first person of Asian descent to enter the position, is now fighting to redefine her profile as vice president and regain the attention of citizens.
Meanwhile, on the horizon, she awaits the possibility that in 2024 she will be the Democratic candidate to become the first president of the United States.
Harris has lived through some turbulent weeks, in which he has seen how the US media reported on the tensions in the White House between his team and Biden’s, his popularity plummeted and one of his main advisers announced his departure.
A week ago an extensive television report on CNN exposed “an ingrained mismatch and lack of focus” in the vice president’s office, as well as internal discontent; while the Politico portal reported on her recent trip to France under the title “Kamala Harris goes unnoticed in Paris.”
Last Thursday, in addition, it was known that its director of Communication, Ashley Etienne, was leaving office to “pursue other opportunities,” according to the official statement from her office.
In his native California, Mark Barabak, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, published an article entitled “The Incredible Disappearance of Kamala Harris”, in which he recognized that “the main requirement of the position (of vice president) is to stay out of the spotlight, except to applaud the president and his agenda. “
“Virtually all vice presidents in modern history … have seemed smaller than they were when they took office,” Barabak said.
One of the main problems is that it has been tasked with one of the most complex tasks of the Administration: the management of the migration crisis on the southern border of the United States, where migrants from Central America and Mexico continue to arrive.
Biden, aware of the difficulty, appointed Harris, 57, as the coordinator of the efforts, so far unsuccessful, to control the mass migratory flow.
“Don’t come (to the US),” the US vice president told potential migrants in a controversial speech in Guatemala that was harshly criticized from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
It has also had several unfortunate calendar incidents that have placed it far from the epicenter of the news in especially important political moments.
This is the case of his visit to Singapore and Vietnam at the end of August, where he sought to emphasize the importance that Washington gives to the Asian region, and which was overshadowed by the crisis in Afghanistan with the chaotic withdrawal and evacuation of US troops after the unexpected seizure of power by the Taliban.
Likewise, last October his visit to France, in what was his first trip to Europe with the aim of reaffirming the strength of Washington’s alliance with Paris, also ended in fiasco.
Despite a high-level agenda, which included a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, the attention of public opinion in the United States was focused on the approval in Congress of the ambitious infrastructure plan, one of the great campaign promises of the Democratic president.
As a consequence, the vice president is absent in the photos that will remember one of the great legislative triumphs of the Biden presidency.
Paradoxically, and in the midst of this troubled season, Harris also became the first woman to temporarily hold the US Presidency for just over an hour when Biden, who was under anesthesia to undergo a colonoscopy, yielded to her. powers last Friday.
From the White House, the presidential spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, broke a spear in her favor, assuring that with her temporary assumption of the Presidency she made history again, in what she described as “another chapter” that will be “appreciated by many women. and young people from all over the country. “
But beyond the symbolic issues, Harris’s difficulties reflect the recurring problems of a position that has more protocol elements associated with it than substance.
“The vice presidents are the spare wheel of the presidents, in case they get sick or die,” Steffen Schmidt, professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa, told EFE.
“They are used for political tasks that are too thorny or that presidents want to be away from,” Schmidt stressed. “Harris has been above all, until now, a vice president on hold.”


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