Staff murmur to press that they're 'perplexed' about Kamala Harris's performance on her first trip abroad
Kamala Harris's staff seem embarrassed in the wake of her first blundering trip abroad to Mexico and Guatemala, and once again, they're leaking it to the press.
According to the New York Post:
Biden administration officials are "quietly perplexed" about Vice President Kamala Harris' fumbling multiple questions about the border and are concerned her unforced errors will overshadow her first international trip, according to a report.
Speaking to CNN, administration officials discussed how the question of visiting the border dogged Harris for the whole trip, with her answer to NBC News' Lester Holt stealing the spotlight from her work.
They're not angry at the press; they're embarrassed about her and her inability to answer a simple question from CBS's fawning Lester Holt (a newsman who views fairness in news coverage as overrated), and very likely wanted to make Harris look good. The Harris blunders were stealing the spotlight, they said, as if that trip, which Harris herself said was to bring "hope," had any substance whatsoever.
Harris in fact had made a public relations trip to cover up for her failure to manage the border crisis and, as a matter of fact, visit the border. It was fluff. It was ceremony, lots of photos of her walking down airplane steps in exotic foreign lands and walking the red carpets with soldiers in full dress uniform at her side. Lots of podium speeches at ornate Latin American presidential palaces, the architecture and bunting in the background looking grand. That was her job, looking good for the cameras, and being Instagram-obsessed, she seemed to be typecast for the role.
Yet she couldn't even do that.
At her appearance in Guatemala, she showed up looking haggard, with clumped, dirty hair and apparently no makeup, as if the luxury-amenities-laden trip were too much work for her, and her 184-person staff couldn't find even one person to do her hair and makeup for the camera-focused trip.
Sure, she claimed her trip was about finding "root causes," about substance, but what substance?
The president of Guatemala told her the same things the sheriffs of Arizona and Texas are trying to tell her — that Joe Biden issued an invitation to would-be illegal border crossers, and they took him up on it.
"The message [under the Biden administration] changed to, 'We are going to reunite families and we are going to reunite children,'" [Guatemalan president Alejandro] Giammettei explained. "The very next day the coyotes here were organizing groups of children to take them to the United States."
That quote was heard round the world, along with Harris's blundering responses to Holt.
Meanwhile, Harris's trip to Mexico was apparently brutal, with, as AT contributor Silvio Canto noted, some rude, crass treatment from Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López-Obrador, who had had a good working relationship with President Trump earlier, and was apparently disgusted at Harris's failure to address the issue that was important to him: why the Biden administration scrapped the "Remain in Mexico" agreement, which had in fact stabilized the border and cut sharply into cartel profits. Cartels, as is well known, are a threat to Mexico itself, and rich cartels are an even bigger threat. López-Obrador had walked out on a phone conversation with her earlier, having better things to do. Harris is some diplomat with this guy.
As for Central America, specifically, Guatemala, the border exodus is a disaster, too, given that they are losing critical manpower needed for their own economic development — and face a future of empty cities with remittance roofs. Wouldn't that have been an important issue to consider with Guatemala's leaders? It wasn't, so far as is known from the White House readouts and press reports.
In fact, not much in Harris's trip will stop such things from happening, which is what concerns those presidents. While Harris made a talking point of "root causes," she didn't seem to find any. The Guatemalans took her on a tour of schooling establishments in the country as if to prove that their country is not a dump (which it isn't), and all Harris could say was that these were the kinds of things she could "support." Memo to Kamala: If they have those things, why are they leaving?
So much for her failed quest to find root causes, which I wrote a lot about here.
Nope, this was a publicity trip, a slick production of spin and public relations, all to keep attention away from the fact that Harris still hasn't visited the U.S. border and actually tried to find some root causes of why people are migrating illegally. The odd spectacle of migrants handing tens of thousands of dollars to the very cartels they say they are afraid of and don't want to live around, before making it across the border to move into cartel-infested neighborhoods of Los Angeles and other places loaded with other illegal aliens, and then waving the flags of the countries they don't want to be sent back to at their U.S. college graduations, doesn't sound like a poverty issue to normal people, which is pretty much the extent of her "analysis."
Suffice it to say, there was no quest for root causes from Kamala on this trip. She didn't even listen to what the presidents of Mexico and Guatemala told her.
No wonder her staff are murmuring to the press. They murmur a lot, actually, and stories have rolled out about Harris being unable to keep staff. Maybe if she didn't treat her staff so badly, they wouldn't leak to the press about their concerns about her incompetence even on photo-op travel, where all she had to do was look good.
They murmured earlier about being in a "panic" at her being named border-surge czar in March. They murmured some more about being in an even bigger panic about the prospect of her as a presidential candidate, presumably in 2024.
"Everyone is saying, 'Oh God, Kamala is next and then we're in trouble'," says a Democrat close to the White House.
Wow. One thing after another from this leaky staff.
As it is now, with Kamala unable to work a room, figure out a "root cause," gladhand a foreign president, or answer a fawning media question, so they're now letting us know they're "perplexed."
Impressive job, Kamala. But not the way she thinks.
Image: Screen shot from a camera aimed at a television set during a live broadcast.
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