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The Guardian

Kamala Harris avoids question of her role in carrying Biden’s message on the road

Helpers and allies say it’s too early to define the portfolio of vice presidents, but it is unlikely to be confined to just one area.Kamala Harris listens to questions from reporters before leaving the airport Denver International this week to sell the $ 1.9 billion Stimulus Package to the American people. Photograph: Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images White House staff and allies point out that it is still too early to define the type of portfolio Kamala Harris will have as vice president. They bristle at the idea that Harris would limit himself to a single project or focus on a single area, as some previous VPs were forced to do. But over the past week, the former California senator has once again taken on an increasingly familiar role: the primary surrogate for promoting the Biden administrations’ agenda. On the one hand, it’s a powerful position: it makes Harris the first female vice president in U.S. history and possibly a serious future candidate for his first female commander-in-chief at the forefront of U.S. politics. . But on the other hand, this is Harris’ latest example used on an ad hoc basis, without a defining mission or role. In the days following Joe Biden signing his $ 1.9 billion stimulus package, Harris embarked on a cross-country tour to sell the impact of the new law. She made stops in Nevada, Colorado and then Georgia last week. She is expected to make more trips in the coming days. I really believe it will support our economy, Harris said during his stop in Colorado. The vice-presidents’ tour, days after an administration passed massive legislation, is not entirely unusual. This is in part a move to allay fears that this stimulus could follow the same fate as the $ 800 billion bailout bill in 2009. After the bill was passed, critics argued that the Obama administration was not aggressive in responding to Republican attacks on the bill. At the same time, the Liberals argued that the law did not go far enough. So this time around, the Biden administration is trying to anticipate similar criticisms of his bailout. Roy Neel, who served as chief of staff to then-vice president Al Gore, said it was clear the Biden administration wanted to use Harris as a sort of float, someone who is not in the hands of to a corner of the administration or to its initiatives. They’re basically saying what the president wants her to be, which is sort of a float, to work on whatever is important at the time, Neel said. Selling the stimulus is one of the most important things for him right now. For Harris, however, the trip comes on top of the fact that she is undertaking a media campaign in West Virginia and Arizona as the stimulus bill is still making its way through Congress. But that push partially backfired on Harris and resulted in a proxy fight with Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, one of the Harris Senators allegedly tempted to win. Kamala Harris waves as she arrives at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Before departing for Atlanta, Ga. On Friday. Photograph: Leah Millis / Reuters Harriss’ trips over the past week suggest that Biden’s team still view her as a powerful salesperson and rather than hand her briefings with governors on Covid relief, as Mike Pence did when he was Donald Trump’s vice president, or when Biden oversaw the Obama administration’s turnaround efforts early on. Still, this has prompted many questions about Harris and how she will be involved in the Biden administration. Why not lead the Covid meetings right now like Pence did, officials asked, instead of Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York? We know it’s a powerful tool and it’s clear the Biden administration is more than happy to deploy it to support its flagship initiatives so far, said Yusef Robb, a seasoned Democratic strategist. Listen, Kamala Harris is exciting, talented, and can personally speak to people of color, women, parents and others most affected by the pandemic. At the same time, Harris has also been visible on the foreign policy front, a move that could prove beneficial in the future if the current Vice President ends up running for President and needed to highlight her experience. with world leaders. She reportedly started regular private lunches with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, a meeting that other presidents usually took on their own. She also had a one-on-one conversation with a number of world leaders early in the administration. It’s really good for her because it doesn’t put her in any government function like the environment or healthcare or something Roy Neel Neel has said that suggests Biden is comfortable including and relying on. the vice president for getting involved in things where she hasn’t. much of a background. Neel added: It’s really good for her because it doesn’t put her in a government function like the environment or health care or something like that. So it is obvious that he uses it everywhere, it makes sense as part of the team. Democrats point out that the Biden administration is in its early stages and the role Harris plays is still forming. His rise has been extremely rapid compared to previous vice-presidents. She did not complete her first term in the Senate until Biden chose her as vice president and before that she was attorney general of California. But her experience as a prosecutor, which culminated in a viral moment or two in the Senate, has not visibly been used since becoming vice president. Harriss’ future, however, depends on the success of the Bidens administration. If Biden steps down from his popular office, Harris will be considered the alleged heir. She advances Joes’ vision for America, just like she said, Robb added.

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