The chief of staff for Vice President Kamala Harris has resigned, making her the 12th adviser to depart Harris’ team as prior allegations of an “abusive” and “toxic” workplace continue to be speculated upon.
Tina Flournoy is the latest aide preparing to leave the vice president’s office, per The Washington Post. Flournoy, who has worked for Harris since December 2020, will reportedly be replaced by longtime Democrat operative Lorraine Voles. A dozen Harris advisors have now fled, including her deputy chief of staff, national security advisor, and communications director.
“In interviews, 22 current and former vice presidential aides, administration officials and associates of Harris and Biden described a tense and at times dour office atmosphere,” Politico had reported in June 2021. “Aides and allies said Flournoy, in an apparent effort to protect Harris, has instead created an insular environment where ideas are ignored or met with harsh dismissals and decisions are dragged out. Often, they said, she refuses to take responsibility for delicate issues and blames staffers for the negative results that ensue.”
Staffers had also told Politico that the vice president is “an unpredictable boss who would unleash ‘a lot of verbal abuse’ upon staffers” who were unable to complete “erratic demands, or even for handing her the wrong type of pen.” Harris, who was fawned over by the media for being the first black and first female vice president, has not been polling well with voters.
An April survey found a mere 35% of California voters approve of Harris, whereas 45% disapprove. According to a RealClearPolitics polling average, roughly 39% have a favorable view and 51% an unfavorable view. Notably, an NBC poll from January found former President Donald Trump is more popular than Harris.
In the early days of Joe Biden’s presidency, Harris faced significant criticism for not visiting the U.S.-Mexico border sooner after Biden appointed her border czar. Upon Title 42 set to be lifted, a Trump-era policy that deported millions of migrants, Harris has said little publicly about the border crisis. The Department of Homeland Security is planning for a possible scenario of 18,000 border apprehensions a day when Title 42 ends on May 23.
The disapproval of Harris has reportedly had Democrats scrambling to figure out who will be the Democrat presidential nominee in 2024 should Biden not run. Still, The Washington Post listed Harris as the third-best potential presidential candidate for 2024, behind Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Biden.
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