Vice President Kamala Harris is of the view that if she were a white man, the media coverage of her would be different.
This is according to a report from The New York Times, which spoke with several White House sources about Harris’ position in the administration.
Harris has been confiding in allies that she thought the news would cover her differently if she were white and male, attributing some of her negative press coverage — particularly in conservative media outlets — to race and gender, the report said.
Harris and President Joe Biden have struggled with historically low job-approval ratings, with Harris more unpopular than any vice president in modern history.
The Times reported that Harris had turned to “powerful confidantes,” such as Hillary Clinton, to help her chart her path. The Times also said the vice president had faced some difficulties with items in her portfolio, including migration and voting rights.
Some allies also told The Times they felt Biden used Harris to win the White House but kept her out of the day-to-day duties of governing.
Sources, including a senior White House official and two others familiar with the meeting, described a meeting between Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin over the landmark Build Back Better legislation, where Biden asked Harris to say hello to Manchin before excusing her from the room.
Harris made history as vice president when she was sworn in as the nation’s first female, Black, and South Asian American vice president.
But in December, Harris was criticized after her office reported unusually high staff turnover. This exodus of staffers included Symone Sanders, Harris’ chief spokesperson, and Ashley Etienne, her communications director. Criticism has since been leveled at Harris, with reports attributing the high turnover to burnout and staffers’ apprehension to being labeled a “Harris person.”
While Harris has received heat for her high staff-turnover rate, it’s worth noting that the Trump administration saw more firings, resignations, and reassignments of top staffers than any other first-year administration in modern history. The Washington Post reported that as of January 12, 2018, 34% of Trump’s top staff had either left or changed positions. This was double the turnover rate seen in President Ronald Reagan’s first year and four times that of President Barack Obama’s.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
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