What Lies Behind Kamala Harris' Reduced Public Appearances With Joe Biden?

A rift between the US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris is being speculated by right-wing media.

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What Lies Behind Kamala Harris' Reduced Public Appearances With Joe Biden?

In the first few months of being in office, United States (US) President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were supposedly inseparable as they always appeared together at public events. However, the vice president, who so far had almost 40% of her appearances with Biden, is now not seen very much around him amidst the president's falling popularity.

Harris and Biden had 38 joint meetings and events in February compared to just seven in October, where only one was a public appearance.

While the right-wing media speculates a rift between the two, who were formerly seen as one force of the Biden-Harris administration, some analysts believe it is just going back to how usually the relationship is between presidents and their vice presidents.

A Rift?

The two were opponents in the democratic primary where things supposedly got heated when they debated about healthcare plans, and Harris attacked Biden on the use of the word "lynching" for former President Bill Clinton's impeachment and the claims of sexual harassment against him.

Biden won the primary and chose Harris as his running mate.

While their proximity in the first two months hinted at an unusual partnership, 'the Biden-Harris administration', it was long before predicted by the Atlantic where the magazine called a "conflict between Harris and Biden, inevitable".

Like Biden stepped out of the line while working with Obama in calling for legalising gay marriage at a talk show, there are simply things that Harris and Biden will disagree on, the magazine said. Harris' desire to be president has been a reason for her loyalty to be questioned and the distrust between the two. "They have their individual set of advisors," the LA Times reported.

Confirming the distrust, an aide to Harris told LA Times that he remains concerned by an apparent lack of trust between Biden and Harris operations and by the sense that “she hasn’t been given any all-star portfolio,” a criticism that White House officials dispute.


Going Back to the Duties of a Vice President?

The White House has claimed that the vice president is entrusted with important work and tough assignments as she has gained trust.

She is loaded with so much work that she is unable to make time for public events, Times of India reported. Harris is also entrusted with overseeing everything from immigration control to promoting COVID-19 vaccinations to climate change and space force.

The While House also claimed that the two leaders have regular meetings and that the vice president is a partner and the "first and last in the room" while asking any major decisions. Biden's spokesperson said that it’s common as administrations progress to dispatch the top leaders to different places for efficiency.

Reports also suggest that since the vice president is supposed to derive her position and identity from the president, it was important for her to be seen with the president. Now that her partnership with the president has been established, she is promoting the administration's agenda.

Nine months in, Harris’ schedule reflects the life of a more conventional vice president, one who sees the president less often and spends more time selling the administration’s agenda in round tables and day trips to reservoirs and classrooms, LA Times reported.

Joel Goldstein, who has written books on vice presidency, told the Times that he is not surprised by the decline in public appearances of the vice president and that she is trying to gather support for the administration's agenda.


Harris' spokesperson reiterated that the vice president is busy doing the work of the administration and always in support of the president. "Sometimes those events are together, other times apart. Sometimes she is on the road amplifying the agenda of the administration and highlighting the importance of Build Back Better,” she told LA Times.

(With inputs from LA Times, Times of India, CNN, and Fox news.)

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