Kamala Harris made history by becoming the first Black woman to become vice president of the United States. However, her popularity has been dropping exponentially in recent months, and is currently viewed unfavorably by a vast majority of American citizens.
Recently, the Washington Post published a story questioning Harris' management and teamwork skills. This publication was based on interviews with "18 people associated with Harris."
Gil Duran, who worked for Harris when she was California's attorney general in 2013 and resigned after only five months, was one of the interviewees in the story with harsh criticism of the former attorney general.
"One of the things we've said in our little text groups with each other is what is the common denominator through all of this and it's her," she said. "Who are the next talented people she's going to bring in and burn and then have [them] pretend to retire for positive reasons?"
The Washington Post reported that "a consistent problem" referenced by staff members was the fact that "Harris would refuse to review briefing materials prepared by staff members, then berate employees when she appeared unprepared." This phenomenon prompted a particularly scathing quote from an anonymous former staffer.
"You're clearly not working with someone who is willing to do the preparation and the work," the staff member said. "With Kamala, you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence. So you're constantly propping up a bully, and it's not really clear why," the source told The Washington Post.
Polls expose all
A year into office, the results of several polls indicate that Harris' ride to the presidency will not be as smooth as expected. A recent USA Today and Suffolk University poll found that only 28% of voters approve of the vice president's current performance.
On the other hand, a Los Angeles Times poll indicates that the greatest rejection of Harris' administration comes from men, with 56%, while among women disapproval is 44%. The African-American community is the most supportive of her, with 65%.
According to Amanda Mars, chief correspondent of El País in the U.S., machismo is one of the major factors to explain the discontent with the vice president.
"The main rejection of Harris comes from men, whose support ratio is 18 points lower than that of women. The vice president is a constant target of the most sexist attacks not only on social media, but also on conservative TV," Mars wrote in an article.
There is also an obvious carry-over effect from the president's low popularity that has routinely occurred in every administration. Historian Julian Zelizer, a professor of Public Policy at Princeton University, noted that she, moreover, "has not been particularly visible in recent months and, at a time when approval ratings are falling for the president, it makes sense that the vice president, who by now usually doesn't usually see his accomplishments recognized, would end up in a worse place."