Days after news came out that Vice President Kamala Harris would be losing not only her top adviser, Symone Sanders, but two other staffers, The Washington Post ran a piece noting the departures “[reignite] questions about her leadership style—and her future ambitions.”
The article comes less than a month after CNN ran a brutal story on the “entrenched dysfunction and lack of focus” by the VP and her staff.
In the report published Saturday, WaPo details how former staffers who worked with her prior to her becoming VP, said a “consistent problem” with the Democrat is that she would “refuse to wade into briefing materials prepared by staff members, then berate employees when she appeared unprepared.”
“It’s clear that you’re not working with somebody who is willing to do the prep and the work,” one former staffer told the Post. “With Kamala you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence. So you’re constantly sort of propping up a bully and it’s not really clear why.”
One defense of Harris came from Sean Clegg, a political consultant who once advised Harris—but in doing so he compared her to Donald Trump.
“People personalize these things,” he continued. “I’ve never had an experience in my long history with Kamala, where I felt like she was unfair. Has she called bulls---? Yes. And does that make people uncomfortable sometimes? Yes. But if she were a man with her management style, she would have a TV show called ‘The Apprentice.'”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said last week the turnover is not unusual at the one-year mark.
“In my experience, and if you look at past precedent, it’s natural for staffers who have thrown their heart and soul into a job to be ready to move on to a new challenge after a few years,” Psaki said at a press briefing on Thursday. “And that is applicable to many of these individuals. It’s also an opportunity, as it is in any White House, to bring in new faces, new voices and new perspectives.”
But the Post highlighted the concern that “her inability to keep and retain staff will hobble her future ambitions.”
The vice president entered the White House with few longtime staffers. Among the senior staff in her vice-presidential office, only two had worked for her before last year: Rohini Kosoglu, Harris’s top domestic policy adviser and her former Senate chief of staff, and Josh Hsu, counsel to the vice president and former Senate deputy chief of staff.
By contrast, President Biden remains surrounded by staff who have been allied with him for large swaths of his five-decade career. The three men who served as chief of staff when he was vice president — Ron Klain, Bruce Reed and Steve Ricchetti — all work in the West Wing in senior roles. Even much of Biden’s communications team when he served as vice president now serve as the core of the White House communications office. (WaPo)
Similar to the how the White House tried to cover for Harris after the CNN report, some staffers soon after began tweeting about how happy they are to work for her.
Hi. My name is David Gins. I work for Vice President Harris on behalf of the American people as Deputy Director for Operations and absolutely love my job.— David Gins (@davidmgins) December 5, 2021
Just thought some of you should know ?? pic.twitter.com/VPuYv9bpbp
Conservatives joked that he may be in need of help.
Blink twice if you need to be rescued https://t.co/mUIOHz2ZI5— Christina Pushaw ?? (@ChristinaPushaw) December 6, 2021
Listen David just so you know pic.twitter.com/9vuA9hFYX9— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) December 6, 2021