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Where is Kamala Harris? As Biden falters, VP is relegated to sidelines

The VP has seemingly been benched as the administration stumbles.

Published: September 2, 2021 7:00pm

Updated: September 4, 2021 10:51pm

It's no secret that the past few weeks have not been President Joe Biden's best. But what about the costar of the "Biden-Harris administration?"

The vice president has been conspicuously absent lately from coverage and appearances pertaining to the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan — after having proudly claimed just four months ago to have been the "last person in the room" with Biden as he decided to fully withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

Kamala Harris' absence is especially puzzling given the recent drop-off of confidence in the president. The generally even-keeled Mike Pence was often trotted out to take questions as head of the coronavirus task force, especially after days of the more combative commander-in-chief duking it out with the press corps. The same, however, cannot be said of this vice president.

Speculation that the VP has been benched due to her performance in recent months is beginning to bubble up. "They had a minority, they had a woman, and now that they don't need her, they have her shelved," said Fox News' Will Cain

Harris' approval numbers appear to be plummeting even faster than Biden's, which are now underwater. Harris, however, according to the Real Clear Politics average, is now looking at a favorability rating of just 41.8%, with an unfavorability rating of 48.8%.

The vice president's figures took a nose dive along with her boss's as the Afghan pullout went awry, though even prior to the victory of the Taliban, Harris was experiencing a precipitous decline; it's no accident that the vice president has held zero formal, solo press conferences since assuming office.

Once thought to be a frontrunner for 2024, Harris is now backing out of a home-state campaign appearance for embattled California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is counting on big-name Democrats to carry him across the finish line to victory in his recall election on Sept. 14. Harris was meant to fly to California Thursday afternoon following a visit to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, but her spokesperson abruptly tweeted Thursday afternoon that the Newsom car rally had been canceled and she would be flying straight back to Washington, D.C.

Some, including Cain, believe that Harris "has a right to be very, very upset ... But the Biden administration is in a very tough position." He posits that after using Harris — for her demographic credentials as a woman and a person of color — to get elected, the Biden administration is at a loss as to what to do with their giggling second-in-command. 

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