V-P Harris does high-wire act as Biden wobbles

Harris herself has not publicly voiced any desire to replace Biden….reports Asian Lite News

Vice President Kamala Harris is engaged in a delicate balancing act, playing cheerleader for President Joe Biden while standing by as a leading contender to replace him if he ends his reelection bid.

Biden’s dismal performance in last week’s debate with Donald Trump has triggered panic in much of the Democratic Party as people question whether Biden is physically and mentally able to beat Trump and serve another four years.

Former congressman Tim Ryan, while professing his admiration for Biden, wrote in a piece for Newsweek that “the Democratic nominee in 2024 should be Kamala Harris.”

Jim Clyburn, a senior House Democrat and Black leader, told MSNBC: “We should do everything we can to bolster her — whether it’s in second place or at the top of the ticket.”

Harris herself has not publicly voiced any desire to replace Biden.

“Look, Joe Biden is our nominee,” she said in an interview Tuesday with CBS News. “We beat Trump once, and we’re going to beat him again, period.”

She said she was proud to be on the current ticket with the president.

Shortly after the debate, Harris rushed onto TV to defend Biden, admitting he had started off slowly in the clash with Trump, but saying he ultimately finished strong.

The official schedule for Biden on Wednesday said he had lunch with Harris, which is not a regular event, though it was a weekly fixture for Biden when he was vice president under Barack Obama.

Harris, 59, is the first woman, the first Black person and the first person of Asian origin — her mother was from India — to hold the job that puts her a heartbeat from the presidency, as Americans like to say.

Harris would become president if Biden died in office or became incapacitated.

But she would not necessarily replace Biden if he were to end his candidacy, and Biden has insisted he has no plans to do so.

“For three and half years there has always been this drumbeat that someone other than the VP should be the Democratic candidate,” said Ange-Marie Hancock, professor of political science at The Ohio State University.

Hancock said it was possible an “undercurrent of racism and sexism” was at work against Harris.

For years Harris has been less popular among Americans than other Democrats seen as possible candidates, such as California Governor Gavin Newsom or his Michigan counterpart Gretchen Whitmer.

US media have reported extensively on mistakes she made early in this administration, mainly on the diplomatic front, and on tension among her staffers.

But Hancock said things could turn in Harris’s favor, because she has spent time out visiting battleground states, in particular to promote abortion rights as it came under repeated fire from conservatives judges and governors.

Flickers of that turn could be seen on social media, where supportive Harris-related memes have begun going viral under the hashtag #KHive.

Harris is sometimes criticized as disappointing as an orator. But she got a warm welcome recently when she made a tour of universities that was focused on schools with high numbers of minority students.

She’ll make more stops in July to speak with African American audiences, particularly women, with three trips to Louisiana, Texas and Indiana.

A CNN poll released Tuesday had Harris doing better than Biden against Trump, although not beating him.

This poll gave Harris 45 percent of voter intentions against 47 percent for Trump, while Biden scored 43 percent to 49 percent for the Republican former president in a race between the two men.

In the event Biden were to drop out, Harris, thanks to her name recognition, her ties to powerful people in the government and the prospect for brisk fundraising, would go into the Democratic convention next month in a position of strength.

But the Republicans are ready and waiting.

“Kamala Harris is very much on the GOP’s radar,” Hancock said, referring to Trump’s party.

The Trump campaign on Wednesday broadcast a video montage of Biden suffering falls and other embarrassing moments, and questioned whether he can serve another term.

It concludes with the question, “And you know who is waiting behind him, right?” and footage of Harris laughing.

caption: US should prioritise school security funding over Ukraine aid: Donald Trump(https://twitter.com/NRA/status/1530319215349141509 )

Trump targets Kamala Harris  

Donald Trump’s campaign and some of his supporters have launched a pre-emptive political offensive on US Vice President Kamala Harris, moving to discredit her amid speculation among some of her fellow Democrats that she may replace President Joe Biden atop the party’s 2024 presidential candidate. Amid this, a clip of Mr Trump attacking Ms Harris and calling her “pathetic” has emerged on social media.

In the video, Trump, sitting in a golf cart, holding a pile of cash, and with his son Barron said that Joe Biden is withdrawing from the race due to his performance in the June 27 debate. The 78-year-old asked, “How did I do with the debate the other night?”

Talking about President Biden, he said, “He just quit, you know – he’s quitting the race. I got him out of the – and that means we have Kamala.” Mr Trump stated that he thinks that “she’s gonna be better” candidate than the 81-year-old, who he described as an “old, broken-down pile of crap.”

“She’s so bad. She’s so pathetic. She’s so f****** bad,” he continued.

Trump also questioned Biden’s ability to deal with foreign adversaries, including Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and China’s President Xi Jinping. He said in the now-viral footage, “Can you imagine that guy dealing with Putin? And the president of China – who’s a fierce person. He’s a fierce man, very tough guy. And they see him.”

Towards the end of the clip, the former President added, “But they just announced he’s probably quitting.”

Meanwhile, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre rejected rumours and said that he is “absolutely not” pulling out of the presidential race and has no intention of withdrawing. “The president is clear-eyed and he is staying in the race,” she told reporters.

Biden told a call with campaign and party staffers that he is going nowhere, as per news reports. “I’m in this race to the end and we’re going to win because when Democrats unite, we will always win. Just as we beat Donald Trump in 2020, we’re going to beat him again in 2024,” he said, according to a source close to the campaign. He repeated that message in an emergency meeting with Democratic governors, who pledged their continued support, attendees said afterwards.

ALSO READ: Democratic governors stand behind Biden  

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