President Joe Biden’s reelection effort has “issues,” as they say, encapsulated by a severely underwater favorability rating caused by his screwing up every foreign and domestic policy issue put on his plate and a personal presentation that lacks energy and charisma. His often-slushy verbal delivery, an astute lack of situational and geographical awareness, and his mincing gait make us wonder if another basement campaign is in the offing.
But that’s only half his problem. The other half is his vice president. Kamala Harris is as much a disaster as he, but, even more frighteningly, she is one heartbeat away from a president whose heart has been beating for 80 years, and she will need serious rehabilitation before they run her out again. In fact, reports have come down that political pros are seriously trying to repair her image for the upcoming campaign even as we speak.
As luck would have it, The American Spectator has a spy embedded in the Harris campaign. Let’s eavesdrop on a recent session convened in the Harris War Room.
Lead Strategist: Okay, people, our candidate is at 41 percent favorability, 53 percent unfavourability. What is going on with that?
Strategist 2: Obviously, she’s in the impossible position of a vice president: If she is too successful, she drains attention from the Big Guy; if she messes up, she reduces her profile.
Strategist 3: Well, I think the Big Guy is safe from her “success” for now.
S2: Plus, she’s been given impossible assignments. She has the southern border in her portfolio. How can she “fix” a problem her bosses don’t want fixed?
S3: Well, she could go down there once in a while.
S2: Why? She’s never been to Europe either!
LS: What does that have to do with it?
S2: Somebody should have asked her that when she said it.
S3: Also, she was the tip of the spear in the administration’s effort to protect and expand voting rights. That’s in her portfolio too.
S2: But she kind of was missing in action in that battle. Went AWOL.
S3: And Republicans successfully tightened up voting rules in a bunch of states.
LS: So, to recap, she’s got no policy achievements. She’s a total bomb-out policy-wise.
(All nod heads yes)
LS: How about her personal equities? Anything we can tap there?
S2: She’s unlikable and uninspiring.
LS: (slaps forehead) That’s helpful. Thanks for that.
S3: She can’t keep her staff — they’re fleeing like it’s the last days of Spiro Agnew.
S2: And she’s lazy. I mean, how much work do you have to put in to explain the war in Ukraine with this … hang on a second … here’s the quote: “So, Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine. So, basically, that’s wrong, and it goes against everything that we stand for.”
S3: I mean, that’s “Run, Spot, Run!” level rhetoric there.
S2: We should win the Weekly Reader vote anyway.
LS: All right, that’s enough, you guys! Enough of this negativity! It’s pivot time! It’s get-our-footing time! It’s turn-the-SS-Kamala-around time!
S2: Time to turn that frown upside down, to turn those scars into stars, to turn those minus signs into plus signs.
S3: Thank you, Joel Osteen!
S2: Come on, that’s vintage Robert Schuller.
LS: Focus, people! Focus! What have we got, positive-wise?
S2: Well, there’s her personal history. The proverbial rags-to-riches story. From no-name to big name. A success story like that always connects with the voters.
S3: Albeit with an assist from Willie Brown.
S2: Yes. How she rose to her political position by serving, in Roger Kimball’s immortal words, as the “warm bun for Willie Brown’s bratwurst.”
S3: And how she got the VP nod even though she quit the 2020 primaries before the first vote was cast.
LS: Come on. You guys are giving me nothing. What else?
S2: There’s the laugh. That’s good.
LS: Since when is a cacophonic cackle good?
S2: It’s better than Hillary’s — it has that going for it.
LS: It would be better if she laughed at things that were actually funny, but, yeah, okay.
S2: Actually, the LA Times did a big story on Kamala’s laugh. It’s genuine. It’s a release of nerves. It makes her more human. It “reflects … the pressure to appear at once likable and tough, yet still authentic.”
S3: Also, it’s racist to attack her laugh.
LS: Now we’re getting somewhere. What else?
S2: “She … connects powerfully with audiences and communicates her message.”
LS: Who said that?
S2: Eugene Robinson, Washington Post.
LS: Okay-y-y-y. We can build on that.
S3: But the “word salads.” Have you forgotten the word salads?
S2: What did that guy at PJ Media say — Stephen Kruiser: “She speaks like James Joyce would have written if he’d had no talent and been even more drunk”?
S3: More like Gertrude Stein, I’d say. There being no there there, and all that. Joyce made up words and used weird punctuation. Stein used the same word or phrase over and over. Like Kammy. You know, “a time for us to be doing this or that, and that time is all the time.” Or like “the moment in time” salad or the “community banks are in the community” salad.
S2: That’s a good one: “We invested an additional $12 billion into community banks, because we know community banks are in the community and understand the needs and desires of that community as well as the talent and capacity of community.”
S3: Or the “significance of the passage of time” salad.
S2: Oh, right. How’d that one go? Deep thinking on the significance of the passage of time and how there is great significance to the passage of time in terms of time, of which there is great significance. No question what she is communicating there.
S3: The significance of the passage of time?
S2: The passage of time is significant. No getting around that.
LS: You guys are wearing me out. Anything else?
S2: She loves Venn diagrams.
S3: Who doesn’t love a good Venn diagram?
S2: And school buses.
S3: Yellow ones?
LS: You guys are killing me! We’ve got nothing here. Absolutely nothing!
(All pause, engaging in deep cerebration)
LS: I’d say it’s time for Plan B.
S2: What’s that?
LS: We hide her in the basement.
S3: That basement is going to be awfully crowded.
S2: Not in the same basement, you idiot!
LS: We hide her in a basement and call every attack on her racist and sexist, then let our allies in the press take it from there. Agree?
(All nod heads yes)
What Happened to Kamala Harris?