Recently, discussions have emerged about California Governor Gavin Newsom potentially running for the White House in 2024 should President Joe Biden decide not to seek reelection; some supporters of the Biden administration have suggested that replacing Vice President Kamala Harris with Newsom would be problematic. These supporters argue that such a move could be interpreted as an attempt to block Harris from becoming the nation’s first black female president, according to NBC News.
Karen Finney, an experienced Democratic strategist, noted that in the past when mostly white male candidates expressed their interest in running for president, they faced opposition from within the party. This opposition was particularly strong among women and people of color, who viewed it as a sign of disrespect towards the Vice President.
This comes in the backdrop of a June poll by NBC News indicating that Harris has the lowest vice-presidential favorability rating in the outlet’s polling history, with 32% of respondents expressing a positive opinion of her and 49% a negative one. Despite challenges, including critical media coverage and internal staff departures, the Biden administration has sought to bolster Harris’s image by prominently featuring her in the reelection campaign and assigning her to focus on key administration issues like abortion and infrastructure.
Throughout the term, Democratic voices have consistently framed criticism of Harris, the first black female Vice President, as rooted in racism or sexism. Some left-leaning media outlets have published opinion pieces attributing her low approval ratings to her race, and former Biden officials have invoked accusations of racism and sexism to counter questions about her performance.
Journalist William Spivey suggested that opposition to Harris stems from factors like “jealousy, envy, misogyny, and racism,” while Atlantic writer Jemele Hill accused 2024 presidential candidate and former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley of racism for stating that she did not want Harris to be president.
According to Ron Klain, the White House Chief of Staff, Harris’s criticism is influenced by her race and gender. Klain claimed that Harris, being relatively new to the national political stage before becoming Vice President, hasn’t received adequate recognition for her accomplishments.
Ashley Allison, a former senior staffer for the Biden-Harris campaign, also attributed some of the disapproval Harris faces to her gender and race. She stated that most people don’t fully understand the role of a vice president, and being a historic figure makes Harris an easier target for criticism. The takeaway from all of this is if you disagree with Harris, you are a racist, at least according to the Democrats. It is solely for this reason that they don’t want Newsome to r