A new report revealed that departing staffers for Vice President Harris are leaving their White House posts in part due to concerns of being forever labeled a “Harris person.”
The concern of being labeled a “Harris person,” as well as burnout and desire for greener pastures, are driving the exodus from the vice president’s office, sources familiar with the chaos in the VP’s office told Axios.
One anonymous Democratic strategist said that Harris needs “someone loyal, who can think methodically to best position the vice president and to make sure everything she’s doing is being maximized and communicated to a broad population and get her numbers up.”
A different Democratic operative close to the veep’s office told Axios that the staff departures are lighting a fire under chief of staff Tina Flournoy to keep the sinking ship afloat.
“If we mess this up, it’s going to set women back when it comes to running for higher office for years to come,” the operative said.
The label of being a “Harris person” apparently carries a weighted stigma with it in Washington — something that does not bode well for the fledgling veep as her first year in office begins to wrap up.
Vice President Kamala Harris (left) is losing staffers, including her press secretary Symone D. Sanders (right), here in June. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
While turnover in a political office is natural, the early departure of key staffers can send signals of struggle to those outside the office walls.
People close to the vice president’s office told Axios that the departures are normal and come from the veep team’s exhaustion after the Biden campaign and transition.
Additionally, those close to Harris’ operation said that some of the departures are being driven by eyes wandering to greener financial pastures.
Vice President Kamala Harris arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland before traveling to Columbus, Ohio, on Nov.19, 2021.
The turnover might be due to the chaos interwoven throughout Harris’ operation that has seen the vice president laugh off questions about the border and produce a space-themed video using child actors, among other controversies.
Harris’ poll numbers also paint a grim picture for the veep, with her cratering approval rating tailing President Biden’s own and showing how the country’s second in command is viewed by the populace.
The “Harris person” label also spells trouble for the vice president’s future political aspirations — her name is already being floated a potential replacement for Biden should he choose not to run again in 2024.
The report comes amid the news that Harris’ chief spokesperson, Symone Sanders, is departing the office at the end of the year.