Savannah Hulsey Pointer, FISM News
Vice President Kamala Harris reportedly felt snubbed when White House staffers didn’t automatically stand when she entered a room, according to a report by Business Insider. This and other issues are part of a forthcoming book by New York Times’ correspondents Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns that reveal that the tension in the White House runs even deeper than first thought.
Prominent in the book, “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future,” are the struggles between Harris and President Joe Biden over issues like his lack of initial support for the banishment of the filibuster.
“Some of Harris’s advisers believed the president’s almost entirely white inner circle did not show the vice president the respect she deserved,” Martin and Burns wrote. “Harris worried that Biden’s staff looked down on her; she fixated on real and perceived snubs in ways the West Wing found tedious.”
The book cited Harris’s chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, and then-Biden senior advisor Anita Dunn speaking about Harris’s discontent with the staffer’s believed lack of respect for the vice president, and according to The Daily Wire, this was one of many perceived slights, including one in reference to the inauguration, as well as the cover of Vogue.
The relationship between Harris’s staff and Biden’s West Wing staff has gotten progressively uneasy, per excerpts published by Politico’s West Wing Playbook, and Business Insider’s analysis of the problems focuses on the issue of the filibuster. Multiple staff members who worked for Harris have left over the past year, leading many to believe that she is hard to work for.
The publication indicates that Harris has wanted voting reform, from the top down from day one in office, but that Biden, who spent over three decades in the upper chamber of Congress, was unwilling to go up against some of his long-time colleagues to push the measure.
“How was she supposed to communicate clearly about voting-rights legislation, Harris asked West Wing aides, when the president would not even say that he supported changing the Senate rules to open the path for a bill?” Martin and Burns wrote, according to Politico.
However, The National Review reported that some of the president’s team has blamed the vice president of being too focused on “first-world problems,” specifically Harris’ image.
One such issue was photos that were leaked of the Vogue cover photo that showed her dressed down in campaign trail type attire wearing Converse and skinny pants ahead of inauguration day. The vice president was reportedly “wounded” by the selection for the cover.
“She felt belittled by the magazine, asking aides: Would Vogue depict another world leader this way?” the book reads. According to the Daily Wire, Vogue later sold a limited-edition issue featuring a photo with the photo that Harris preferred, though Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour said at the time that she had chosen the photo that she felt was more “relatable.”
“It was an early indication that members of the Biden-Harris teams were on different pages with different priorities. The dynamic didn’t improve from there,” the Politico report continued.
New: @VP was stung by what she saw as the lack of respect shown to her by WH aides who failed to stand when she entered the room–and her chief of staff conveyed that displeasure to the West Wing.@AlexThomp on this + lots more from THIS WILL NOT PASS:https://t.co/x8xkvatz0d
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) March 22, 2022
“Some of Harris’s advisers believed the president’s almost entirely white inner circle did not show the vice president the respect she deserved. Harris worried that Biden’s staff looked down on her. She fixated on real and perceived snubs in ways the West Wing found tedious,” Burns and Martin continued.
The book also claims that first lady Jill Biden wasn’t thrilled over Biden’s decision to make Harris the Vice President.