Washington (AP) — When President Joe Biden nominated Kamala Harris as his running mate, there was a whisper about her ambitions — former rivals were the president’s loyalty she criticized very sharply on the road to the campaign. Is it a soldier?
It was their relationship that fueled those whispers — while heartfelt, it wasn’t particularly close at first.
But 100 days after Biden’s term, things are very different. Harris has become one of the administration’s most prominent supporters of Biden’s agenda, standing side by side with him in most of his major announcements, and aides say he is closer than most presidents were in command. I’m building a relationship.
Harris has taken on one of the administration’s most difficult tasks to address the root cause of immigration from Mexico and Central America to the United States. This problem has plagued the presidents of both parties for years and there is no easy solution.
Harris’s Chief of Staff, Tina Furnoy, said the vice president “had the courage to take it.”
“She said to me,” When you decide to run for the office and your name is on the ballot, next to it are two boxes that say “easy work” and “hard work.” No, “Flournoy said.
In a difficult problem, Flournoy added: Or are you really trying to dig in and fix it? “
The COVID-19 pandemic was the administration’s biggest challenge during the first 100 days. Historical proportions of public health and the economic crisis have forced the White House to work differently than on the first day of Biden’s tenure.
A pandemic by the President and Vice President who had at least one silver lining is a sharply restricted trip: Harris spends more time with Biden because Harris hasn’t moved as early as the previous Vice President. , Relationships that helped them stick. They have lunch every Friday and usually spend four to five hours together in a meeting. This will allow her to hear her voice and leave a fingerprint on key policy decisions. They point to child tax credits and increased childcare funding as examples of her priorities.
Harris played a role in creating Biden’s agenda, “and a strategy to sell it to both Americans and the hills,” Furnoy said.
Harris is also enthusiastic about the unattractive aspects of the government’s $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure program, including water issues, broadband access, and provisioning that he experienced as a senator in California, he said. Expanding the use of electric vehicles.
Being the first black, South Asian, and female vice president in the country provides information to her office, large and small. And when he first addresses at a congressional joint session, she will have a prominent place behind Biden on Wednesday.
Harris has chosen to defend issues that are a top priority in many of her careers and reflect her own living experience. She told her aide on her first day in office that she wanted to focus on bailouts for small businesses. She also focuses on policies that affect women and children, such as black maternal mortality. And she focuses on the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn on women and people of color.
Harris decorated her office with a small nod to her historic role: the bust of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, donated by her alma mater Howard University, and the first of the U.S. Naval Academy. Shoulder bar from the commander of the Black Women Brigade.
Her support for the president and his agenda may have strengthened their relationship, but there remain supporters who want her to do more on two major issues: criminal justice reform and immigration.
Harris was hardly at the forefront of criminal justice reform, one of the priorities of her campaign. She spoke with Biden in response to a recent mass shooting and announced his executive order on guns, with the entire administration not making a significant public push on the issue.
Andrea James, Secretary-General and Founder of the National Council for National and Previously Detained Women and Girls, said, “Women of Color, Her History, Her Pride, and Bravery,” given Harris. He is a brave woman and talks about his mother who fought. ” Obstacles because of her skin color, “they expected to see more from her talking about this issue.
The aide says Harris calls Capitol Hill and is working behind the scenes on criminal justice issues.
With regard to immigration, Harris was struck from the left and right as he took on her new role in addressing the root cause of immigration at the southern border.
Although Republicans have criticized Biden and Harris for being absent on the issue because they have not yet visited the border, progressive immigrant groups are paving the way for undocumented immigrant citizenship by the government. He complains that he hasn’t done enough to promote it.
Lorella Praeli, president of Community Change Action, said Harris was a “true champion of immigrants” as a senator and it is important that she now “lean out and help carry out this issue.”
Some Harris allies have expressed concern that the problem is so amorphous and unmanageable that there is no clear solution, and that Harris’ progress will be severely judged.
This concern arises in part from Harris’ desire to protect his political future. Biden claims he plans to run for reelection, but many political observers believe he decides to oppose it and paves the way for Harris.
Immigrant-focused experts and supporters say it’s too early to judge the outcome of her work there. Harris has been in talks with Mexican and Guatemalan leaders and plans his first trip to the region in June.
“She is asking very good questions,” said Dan Restrepo, a senior researcher at the Center for American Progress, who is meeting on issues with Harris, and her quick move to gather immigration experts. “It’s a really encouraging sign,” he said. He also opposed criticism that Harris had no experience working on this issue.
“As a successful politician, and as someone to win people, I think the skill set she brings to the table is probably the most important translatable skill,” he said.
That human approach shapes her approach to everything from policy to diplomacy, the aide says.
Rohini Kosogur, Harris’s domestic policy adviser, said:
When Harris receives a briefing before calling or meeting a foreign leader, he asks for more than the political top line and asks about his hobbies and interests. When she talked to the Japanese Prime Minister earlier this month, she wanted to know about his love for baseball.
And when swearing to new ministers at the ceremonial office of the Executive Office Building opposite the White House, Harris asked them to take some time to attend and said, “They ask them to think about all the reasons you are. Say here and all the work you are trying to do. “
Then she takes them to the balcony and sees the American flag flying high over the West Wing.