Kamala Harris made two important hires for her strategic communications team recently. One person hired is White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s brother-in-law. The other is Lorraine Voles who served as director of communications for former Vice President Al Gore. Both of the new senior advisers are tasked with helping Kamala maneuver through the Biden border crisis and help smooth the way for her next presidential run.
It is unusual for a vice-president to have the low polling numbers that Kamala finds herself with, especially so early into a presidential administration. It must be particularly disturbing to Team Harris because she has been touted as the co-president. When Biden came into office, instructions went out that the administration be called the Biden-Harris administration, not simply the Biden administration. In other words, Kamala is to be given equal billing. Since then, Biden has made a point of delegating major parts of his agenda to her. Biden named her as Border Czar as his self-made crisis on the southern border grew to levels not seen before in previous administrations.
Since appointing Kamala to oversee the Biden border crisis, the crisis has only gotten worse. We saw a peak in the crisis over the course of two weeks as 30,000 Haitian migrants flooded into Del Rio, Texas. Thousands of those migrants are now unaccounted for and others have been released into the interior of the United States. The catastrophe cannot be overstated. Kamala has not bothered to visit the southern border at all to see the problems facing Border Security and ICE agents, much less local law enforcement agencies in border communities. She made one trip to El Paso, many hundreds of miles away from the Rio Grande Valley where the true crisis is, and brought along DHS Secretary Mayorkas, also mostly missing-in-action in securing the southern border.
Kamala hired Adam Frankel, Psaki’s brother-in-law, and Lorraine Voles, both of whom worked on her transition team. They are to assist with organizational development, strategic communications, and long-term planning. Frankel worked as a speechwriter for Obama. His wife is Psaki’s sister, Stephanie, who is a senior adviser at the Department of Health and Human Services. Frankel worked on Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and remained in the White House until 2011. He went on to work at a speechwriting firm, Fenway Strategies, as well as a vice president at PepsiCo. Besides working for Al Gore, Voles advised the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008. She served as vice president for communications and marketing at Fannie Mae, as well as vice president of external relations at George Washington University. In other words, both of these people have experience as communication professionals at the top levels of government. They have their work cut out for them with Kamala.
This isn’t the first story about Kamala’s office scrambling to help her in her responsibilities. She’s failed to be recognized for much of anything, usually only stories that show her ineptness. She has tried to shift the focus of the immediate border crisis to talk about long-term solutions with Central American countries and Mexico. That’s fine but it doesn’t do a thing for the current situation. Past administrations have thrown millions of taxpayer dollars in foreign aid hoping to stop the flow of illegal immigration yet that money typically ends up in the coffers of the corrupt political leadership in those countries, it doesn’t find its way down to the people in need of jobs and help. In August, Kamala’s inner circle of friends gathered for dinner to advise her on how to fight back on negative stories that were leaking from the administration against her. No one seems to know what exactly to do with Kamala.
It’s unclear exactly how long Frankel and Voles have been in the employ of Kamala but her latest headlines can’t be good for poll ratings. She jumped on the Democrat and media bandwagon to blast Border Patrol agents on horseback for conjuring up images of the days of slavery with the use of their horses and the split reins being incorrectly labeled as whips. She must have forgotten that DHS and Border Patrol are federal government agencies, the government in which she is second in command. The Border Patrol abuse story is completely fabricated and spread by a willing Democrat press. If Kamala was even vaguely familiar with Border Patrol operations or developed working relationships with the law enforcement on the ground at the southern border, she would know the lie that is being perpetuated. Good luck to her new communication professionals in trying to make her hyperbole and race-baiting hot takes more palatable to Independent voters.
Harris chimed in on the latest border crisis on Friday, compared images of US Border Patrol Agents seeking to push back Haitian migrants to the brutality of slavery.
She told The View that images of mounted Border Patrol agents confronting migrants, which were widely and falsely described as depicting them whipping the migrants, ‘evoked images of some of the worst moments of our history’ including tactics ‘used against African Americans during times of slavery’.
Kamala’s failure in overseeing the Biden border crisis will be a campaign issue in the mid-term election in 2022, as she is supposed to be the administration’s point person on the issue. With an eye on running for president again, maybe as soon as 2024, she is in dire need of a better image. No one particularly liked her as a presidential candidate in 2020, and she was not able to hang in the primary long enough to even get to the Iowa caucus. Biden is clearly grooming her to be his successor. The continued moves by her office to save her from her own self is stunning so early in the Biden administration. Real Clear Politics has Kamala’s favorable number underwater. The latest RCP average is 40.8 favorable to 50.0 unfavorable. That’s a 9..2% spread. Her term as vice-president is off to a stunningly bad start. Do we think that Jen Psaki’s brother-in-law can turn public perception around for her? We’ll see when the next crisis dinner happens.
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