Nancy Pelosi Hesitantly Supportive of Harris as Running Mate for Biden – Nancy Pelosi seemed to offer a less-than-ringing endorsement when asked if Kamala Harris was the best running mate for Joe Biden next year, saying: “He thinks so, and that’s what matters.” But the former US House speaker also had praise for the vice-president, telling CNN: “And, by the way, she’s very politically astute. I don’t think people give her enough credit. She’s consistent with the president’s values and the rest.”
As Biden knows after eight years under Barack Obama, the vice-presidency has never been easy to fill. Harris may or may not agree with John Nance Garner’s famous observation, that the job he did for Franklin D Roosevelt wasn’t worth “a pitcher of warm piss”, but she has experienced familiar trials. Constant speculation surrounds her performance and the potential for her replacement.
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In a recently published, extensively researched book about the Biden administration by author Franklin Foer, Harris’s challenges in defining her role are detailed. Additionally, Harris does not have strong approval ratings, consistently hovering around 40%, similar to Biden’s. Notably, given Biden’s status as the oldest president ever elected, turning 82 shortly after the 2024 election, prominent Republicans, including former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, have been actively targeting Harris during their campaign efforts.
The prospect of a Harris presidency should “send a chill up every American’s spine”, Haley recently told Fox News. Pelosi, however, spoke glowingly of her fellow Californian’s political skills. “People shouldn’t underestimate what Kamala Harris brings to the table,” she told CNN. “People don’t understand. She’s politically astute. Why would she be vice-president if she were not? But when she was running for attorney general in California [in 2010] , she had 6% in the polls and she politically astutely made her case about why she would be good, did her politics, and became attorney general.”
In 2016, Harris assumed the role of a U.S. Senator. She subsequently ran for the presidency in 2020, where she performed impressively in debates, often at the expense of Biden. However, she withdrew from the race before the first primary vote. Biden later reconciled with Harris and selected her as his vice-presidential running mate. “She’s the vice-president of the United States,” Pelosi said. “People say to me, ‘Well, why isn’t she doing this or that?’ I say: ‘Because she’s the vice-president.’ That’s the job description.”
“You don’t do that much. You know, you’re a source of strength, inspiration, intellectual resource. I think she’s represented our country very well at home and abroad.” Biden and Harris seem set to face a rematch with Donald Trump, if not with Trump’s vice-president, Mike Pence, who is challenging for the Republican nomination (and who on Wednesday said Biden advised him to “stay close to the president and build that relationship” after he and Trump won in 2016).
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Pence’s tenure as Trump’s vice president concluded with the January 6th riot, during which Trump supporters, in a disturbing turn of events, sought Pence at the Capitol, and some chanted for his hanging. On Wednesday, Pence said that his stint as vice-president “didn’t end the way I wanted it to.” Pelosi told CNN Trump’s attempt to overturn the last election meant “nothing less is at stake than our democracy. You hear that in the country. You hear that globally. And we have to remove all doubt that our democracy is strong.”