We're used to the press carrying water for the Biden administration, and Democrats in general. Members of this administration, though, including and especially President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have done such a poor job that it turns out to be a mighty big stretch whenever the mainstream media goes through great lengths to protect them. Yet they still do it, as evidenced by The Hill on Thursday morning publishing Amie Parnes' piece in how "Harris navigates double standard in unscripted moments as VP."
The piece is quite a fluffy one, especially in how it starts off. Parnes' tweet about the article, retweeted by The Hill, furthers that, as it's filled with useless information included in the later half of the article.
She loves to cook and likes to throw in an f-bomb when talking to friends and family. When she’s not wearing a suit, she dons her Chuck Taylors. She loves surprising associates on birthdays and for the birth of children.— Amie Parnes (@amieparnes) January 12, 2023
But it’s a tightrope for the VP… https://t.co/yqpXwJvtpt
What replies Parnes' tweet did get weren't good.
It's a tightrope because she is awful.— The Topical Zealot (@TopicalZealot) January 12, 2023
She used to love forcing people to stay in prison so California could have cheap firefighters. She was also really good at locking parents up when their kids skipped school. Really good and cool that she hurt black communities in California so bad and you fluff her.— Capre Demon (@CapreDemon) January 13, 2023
This is one of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever read. Congratulations on being selected by this disgraceful administration with the task of pretending to write something that was written by a Harris PR person and handed to you. Imagine selling your soul to do this. My god.— TheAmishTerp (@TheAmishTerp) January 13, 2023
Following the first few paragraphs, Parnes explains that how Harris conducts herself is apparently purposeful:
Since taking office two years ago, Harris — the nation’s first female vice president — has largely stuck to the script, and taken care to avoid missteps or “hot mic” moments that might undermine President Biden and the administration.
Harris has been careful — some allies say “too careful” — about giving the public a window into her more personal side since becoming vice president.
It’s been an intentional move to ensure that the role is taken seriously.
“She has never wanted to go off message in any way,” one ally said, highlighting Harris’s position not only as the first female vice president but the first Black and South Asian to hold that office. “She knows what the significance of her role means to so many people. She was very aware of that coming in.”
From her bizarre and random moments of laughter, to her major foreign policy gaffes suggesting that Ukraine is part of NATO and that the United States is in an alliance with North Korea, Harris' role is hardly as Parnes cracks it up to be.
But remember, it's all because Harris is a woman and a woman of color, and couldn't possibly be because she's incompetent:
Allies of the vice president also point out that as a woman, Harris faces the same double standard as other high-profile female politicians, including former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, that can force one to think twice between offering a joking or playful tone.
Strategists and political observers — both male and female — acknowledge that it’s more difficult for women — from politicians to chief executives and other public figures — to show their more personal side without being scrutinized or mocked. While Biden, for example, can brush off moments like when he described the passage of the Affordable Care Act as a “big f—— deal” on camera, it can be difficult for women to do the same.
The so-called experts consulted include none other than Hillary Clinton who lost to former and potentially future President Donald Trump and blamed everyone but herself for it, as well as a university professor:
Ahead of the 2020 election, Clinton herself warned Harris and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) about the double standard that she said is “alive and well” and “endemic to our political system, to business, to the media, to every part of society.”
“Just be prepared … to have the most horrible things said about you,” Clinton said at a book event in 2017, Politico reported at the time. “There’s a particular level of vitriol, from both the right and the left, directed at women. Make no mistake about that.”
Katherine Jellison, a professor at Ohio University who focuses on gender in politics, suggested that Harris faces challenges that are different than those the men who previously served in her role didn’t see.
“She has to show that she’s up to the job at a time when people want their leaders to show more of their human side, but for a woman politician it is a tightrope,” Jellison said. “She needs to come across as a decisive leader and show a personal side but not be too personable and stereotypically maternal or sisterly, because that might chip away at her credibility as a political leader.”
Amanda Hunter, the executive director of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, a nonpartisan organization that seeks to increase women’s representation in politics, said Harris is “challenging stereotypes every day by simply doing the job.”
“Men can tell, but women have to show,” she added.
While Parnes does mention Harris' low approval ratings that she's been plagued with, it's not until the second half of the article, with an attempt quickly made to contrast that fact by including what others think about her. "Those who know her say Harris is funny. And she’s relatable," Parnes writes, before mentioning what's included as an excerpt in the tweet above.
When it comes to people who do know the vice president, there's also no mention of how her office has been plagued with staffers constantly fleeing for the exits, as well as reports that she is quite difficult to work with. While such reports have been anonymous, they do claim to come from multiple staffers.
For all this talk about how Harris has to face a "double standard" and her place in politics as a woman and a woman of color, there's no mention of the chatter that she could be a contender for the Democratic nominee next year. Perhaps that's because voters don't want to see her run and polls show her losing to Trump.
Parnes' article was also emailed out as a "news alert" and linked to in the outlet's Friday edition of their "Morning Report."