Anyone notice how haggard Kamala Harris looked in Guatemala?
Kamala Harris is under some kind of pressure.
It's hard to say what, given the working thesis (first seen in a tweet by Newt Gingrich) that Joe Biden appointed her to the position of border czar because he knew she would do nothing.
But it's pretty obvious there were signs of strain in her face as she met with the president of Guatemala on Monday and then held a dual press conference. She looked like hell.
Here are some camera shots from the NBC News report on the television set:
She looks pretty lost, uncertain, way out of her comfort zone. Not ready for prime time. And her hair was clumped and dirty. This wasn't one of her selfie glamour shots.
At this point, we can only speculate.
Was it an unusually rough meeting with Guatemala's conservative President Alejandro Giammattei? We know that he has publicly blamed the Biden administration for the border surge that Kamala Harris is coming to Guatemala to somehow stop. He's explicitly stated that the Biden administration has sent "mixed messages" and that when Old Joe said that unaccompanied children would not be sent back, the coyotes in Guatemala had the kids lined up for the journey right away. He has their number, and he said it on international television. Could what he said to her in private have been even rougher? Perhaps he gave her the facts of life about his country's national interest or warned her not to bankroll NGOs who'd like to overthrow him. Quite possibly he lectured her on yanqui imperialismo and let her know that she was the oppressive supremacist imperialist. Something like that.
Her nervous giggles and cackles probably didn't impress him.
Perhaps even more likely, she was hearing from Old Joe, whose flash temper, shifts of policy, and tendency to fly off the handle are legendary. Could that have been the reason she came out with the insincere-sounding headline maker here?
"I want to be clear to folks in this region for thinking about making that dangerous trek to the US-Mexico border. Do not come. Do not come," she said.
You know those aren't her words; they're Joe's, something he said back at the dawn of his presidency. They're also a joke, words that stopped no one from coming. More than 170,000 illegal aliens poured over our border in April alone. Nobody pays attention to those words; people pay attention to the Biden administration's deeds — letting in all comers, offering a free ride on health care, a free ride to one's destination of choice in the U.S. (without passports), letting them in bearing COVID and spreading it throughout the country, letting them in without even court dates, changing all the diapers. And Kamala herself undercut even that supposedly unambiguous message by tentatively adding, "I believe if you come to our border, you will be turned back," signaling she hasn't done much homework on this, which, for would-be illegal migrants, leaves open the possibility that maybe they wouldn't be sent back. Don't quote her.
As Giammattei said: mixed messages.
Or could it be that she's so inexperienced she doesn't know how to prepare for an international flight? It's not as if the flight was long — it was four and a half hours, which is less than a cross-country U.S. flight. It was also done in the utmost of comfort on Air Force 2, with its extensive sleeping quarters and room service. Perhaps she doesn't know a lot about self-care for such a trip. Or she was busy with selfies and other stupid but typical pursuits of hers, perhaps with winning her next election, which left her tired when it was time to go to work.
Having flown on one of those jets myself, to Colombia as part of the official press entourage of then–secretary of state Condoleezza Rice in 2008, I recall how ultra-sharp and alert Rice looked ahead of all her Colombian appointments that the press followed her on. Even her makeup was flawless, her clothes were awesome, she was utterly well briefed and sharp as a tack, showing a 160-I.Q. command of facts, standing tall and straight and sharp-eyed and looking like a million bucks. She had just flown in from Davos the night earlier and probably didn't much sleep, but still, she had her personal presentation down pat, confounding the reporters, actually.
Harris hasn't figured that out yet and obviously isn't ready for prime time. She came in as nominally Lady Bountiful to the Guatemalans and obviously found herself out of her depth and looking unprepared for the whole thing.
Now she's off to even readier Mexico, whose president has made no secret of his view that she and Joe Biden cheated to win the election and blames them openly for the crisis. This should get even more harrowing for her.
Obviously, she's not ready for prime time.
Image: Monica Showalter, camera screen shots from a live television broadcast.
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