Vice President Kamala Harris looks like she’s already running for president. On the surface, the idea of a presidential campaign for the amateur vice president appears absurd.
Americans are well aware of Harris’ terrible polling numbers, her omnipresent word salads, and a terrified, but silent majority of Democrats, who refuse to believe she is the future of the party. (I detail Harris' political struggles in my new book due for release in January, now available for pre-order)
The aging Biden already struggles with the daily routine of a political campaign, which will require his team to rely on Harris to fill in some of the gaps. It’s no accident that Harris is now more forceful with her political rhetoric, particularly around the issue of abortion.
Harris had a lot to celebrate on Tuesday. In Ohio, voters passed Issue One, approving a state constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to an abortion.
In Virginia, voters kept Democrats in power, retaining control of the State Senate, after Democrats warned that if Republicans won, the right to an abortion would be under threat under Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Pro-choice Democrat governor Andy Beshear also campaigned on abortion rights and won in Kentucky.
“It was a good night for democracy,” Harris said triumphantly at the White House, purposefully addressing the media from the White House driveway. Harris’ remarks on the issue caught Biden’s team by surprise, as press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was briefing the press with their own talking points at the time of the vice president's appearance.
Harris was comfortable celebrating pro-choice victories even as Biden shied away from spiking the football.
She also tried to sound a note of confidence, even as more and more Democrats feel underwhelmed by the results of their first four years in office. “The president and I obviously have a lot to do to earn our reelection, but I’m confident that we’re going to win,” she said.
It was a sharp contrast to Biden’s appearance on camera the same day. The aged president found himself bickering with Fox News reporter Peter Doocy on the South Lawn about whether recent New York Times polls showing him and Harris running behind Trump in critical swing states was even accurate.
“You don’t believe you’re trailing in battleground states?” Doocy asked. “No, I don’t,” Biden replied back stubbornly.
South Carolina leaders hovered around Harris celebrating the state’s new status as the “first in the nation” primary for Democrats, leapfrogging over the traditional primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire.
The decision to elevate South Carolina’s primary over other states is understandably a little bit of payback from Biden to Democrats voters in the state, but it is also a boon for Harris.
She pointedly appeared with the kingmaker in the state, Rep. James Clyburn, who unilaterally saved Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign with a late endorsement after a series of losses in early primary states.
“I want her to know she’s still alright with me,” Clyburn said prior to handing her the microphone after some light ribbing about sports. “You’re still alright with me too!” Harris shot back, bursting into laughter.
Harris also taunted Republicans during her appearance in the state with the results of the midterm elections as well as the recent referendums on legalized abortion.
“In the midterms, remember all the punditry that talked about a red wave? That red wave never hit!” she said. Harris also vowed to keep fighting as she and Biden face reelection in 2024.“Fight we will, and when we fight we will win,” she cried.
Harris was referring to Biden’s reelection, but she is not unaware that she may be required to step in and fill in for the aging president if voters give them four more years in office.
Despite her shortcomings, it should not be lost on Americans that Harris is running for president. Either she’s running as a potential replacement for Joe Biden in the next four years, or she’s setting the stage for a future run in 2028.
Charlie Spiering is a Wyoming native who works in Washington, D.C., where he continues writing about the White House, Congress and national politics. A former writer for Breitbart News, The Washington Examiner and columnist Robert Novak, Spiering frequently returns home to the family farm in Powell to escape the insanity of Washington.