The possibility of Kamala Harris becoming president creates turmoil in the 2024 White House race.
Nikki Haley is cautioning voters that the focus of the 2024 election should be preventing Kamala Harris, President Biden’s deputy, from unexpectedly assuming the presidency.
Mrs. Haley, a GOP presidential candidate, has been sounding the alarm on the stump and social media and in television appearances, saying the 80-year-old Biden will not last a full second four-year term and is poised to hand the keys over to Ms. Harris.
“I am not competing against Joe Biden, my competition is Kamala Harris,” Mrs. Haley recently stated on Fox News. “The concept of having Kamala Harris as our president is unimaginable.”
Mrs. Haley is rolling that warning into a broader argument that she is the more electable Republican in a general election matchup than former President Donald Trump, whom she called “the most disliked politician in America.” According to her reasoning, a vote for Mr. Biden or Mr. Trump is a vote for Ms. Harris.
Ms. Harris, who currently holds the lowest approval rating among recent vice presidents, significantly influences the ongoing White House race.
If Mr. Biden is reelected for a second term, he will be 82 years old on Inauguration Day, and the voters are not enthusiastic about this prospect.
According to a recent poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs, an overwhelming 77% of voters, which includes 69% of Democrats, expressed the belief that Mr. Biden’s age would hinder his effectiveness over the next four years.
The fact has sparked intense speculation about whether Mr. Biden should end his campaign, if Ms. Harris is prepared to take his place, and if Democrats are accepting of her as the backup plan.
Last week, Nancy Pelosi, who used to be the House Speaker and is also from California, further intensified the situation by evading inquiries regarding whether Ms. Harris was the most suitable choice as Mr. Biden’s running mate.
“I cannot reword”
Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, left a similar impression after he passed on the chance to give a full-throated endorsement of Ms. Harris as the best person to run alongside Mr. Biden in 2024.
“I cannot reword.”
The looming doubts about Ms. Harris were punctuated by the chatter in Democratic circles about Gov. Gavin Newsom stepping in as the top of the 2024 ticket. The talk got so loud that Mr. Newsom came forward to declare he was not running for president or thinking about leapfrogging over Ms. Harris for the top spot.
Ms. Harris is accustomed to encountering individuals who express doubt or opposition.
She managed to secure victories in the races for San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general, despite initially trailing in the polls. Later on, she also succeeded in winning a U.S. Senate seat. However, she faced challenges when it came to her presidential campaign.
Ms. Harris withdrew from the Democratic nomination race for the 2020 presidential election after a promising start. Her campaign faced challenges such as inconsistent performances, unappealing messaging changes, disorganization, and staff grievances, ultimately leading to her decision to drop out before any votes were cast.
She faced comparable issues during her tenure as vice president.
Since she relocated to the vice president’s office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, every aspect of her, including her laughter and policy expertise, has been subjected to thorough examination.
“I cannot reword.”
When asked if she would be willing to serve, Ms. Harris responded promptly, stating that she is ready if needed, but expressing confidence in Mr. Biden’s well-being.
According to the ongoing collection of polls on the ABC News 538 website, Ms. Harris currently has a disapproval rating of 53.3% compared to a 39.6% approval rating. Mr. Biden also received similar ratings.
Despite the negative response, the White House is urging Ms. Harris to revitalize the ticket’s prospects by prioritizing topics that energize the Democratic base, specifically young voters.
The individual, who is 58 years old, initiated a tour of various colleges in swing states. This tour will explore subjects like abortion, climate change, and gun violence.
“I cannot reword”
Meanwhile, her supporters persist in asserting that the criticisms directed at her are primarily motivated by her gender and minority status.
Other political analysts say that whoever sits in the position of vice president has always been a target of ridicule. Just ask Dan Quayle, the much-maligned right-hand man of former President George W. Bush, who could never seem to catch a break.
According to them, trying to focus the 2024 race on Ms. Harris will not have a significant impact since voters do not choose their candidate based on their running mate.
Mrs. Haley, who served as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and before that governor of South Carolina, is out to test that theory.
She is emphasizing to voters that the significance of the vice president in this election is greater than in previous years, and the possibility of Ms. Harris assuming the presidency is a genuine concern.
Steffen Schmidt, a political science professor at Iowa State University, said it is an “excellent” track for Mrs. Haley to take in a race where she is trailing by double-digits.
“I cannot reword.”