A new book shedding light on the failed 2020 presidential campaign of Vice President Kamala Harris has revealed that some of her aides were secretly relieved she did not make it to the White House. The book, titled “The Truce: Progressives, Centrists and the Future of the Democratic Party,” written by Hunter Walker and Luppe B. Luppen, includes excerpts recently published by The Guardian.
Harris, a senator from California at the time, faced a campaign that quickly fizzled out before any votes were cast, leading her to drop out of the Democratic primary race in December 2019. According to an unnamed campaign aide quoted in the book, the campaign was “rotten from the start.”
Harris, recognized for her multicultural heritage as the daughter of an Indian immigrant mother and a Jamaican immigrant father, was chosen by Joe Biden as his vice-presidential candidate in 2020. This decision was influenced by Biden’s desire to select a black woman as his running mate. According to a book, one aide implied that Harris’s racial and ethnic identity was a key factor in gaining support for her.
However, the book also highlights the persistent dysfunction surrounding Harris. Walker and Luppen write that the problems experienced during her campaign continued during her time as vice president. They describe a high turnover of staff and a toxic climate within her team marked by factionalism and mismanagement. The book includes a quote from a source who worked for Harris, who declined to discuss matters anonymously due to the tense atmosphere in the office, simply stating, “Game of Thrones.”
“The Last Political Poet” by Franklin Foer, another book published last year, characterizes Harris as overly sensitive and contrary. Foer writes that Harris was always aware of any criticism directed at her, whether from within the West Wing or the press. The book recounts an incident where Harris froze out an aide suspected of cooperating with reporters after reading a damaging story about her team’s mismanagement on a website.
The book also reveals that Harris had specific demands regarding her office. She preferred her team to be predominantly female and insisted on having a Black woman as her chief of staff. White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain attempted to assist Harris but found her unwilling to collaborate. According to the book, she expressed disinterest in working on women’s issues or anything related to race, creating too many rules that hindered her ability to find her footing in Klain’s opinion.