Kamala Harris is on a three-day trip to Malaysia. In Manila, Philippines, she was hosted by Ambassador Marykay Carlson in a conversation with the ambassador and young women. At one point, Kamala offered her thoughts on life. Deep thoughts? Well, not really, but consider the source.
As she took the last question from the audience, Kamala was asked what her advice is for emerging leaders on how to sustain motivation and passion. Life is like relay racing, the vice-president opined. There is no time to be tired and everyone has to just keep passing the baton, or something.
And the way that I think about it is, you know, like relay racing. You know, you race and someone passes the baton and then — right? So, that’s what life is. It’s basically a relay race.
And so, the people who are heroes, whichever gender they are, they ran their part of the race and then they passed us a baton. And the question is: What will we do with the time we carry the baton? Which means there’s no time to get tired. Come on. Right? (Laughter.) You’re going to pass that baton at some point, but right now you’re carrying it. And the question is: What are you doing with it?
So many words and so little said. Kamala is a pro at that. She just keeps saying the same things and speaks in circles. Where is her advice? Does her answer inspire young leaders to be motivated and passionate about their work? That was the question. Oh well. Kamala said some words and everyone clapped. No one is supposed to notice how cringey and shallow the vice-president is.
Kamala is on her three day trip to the Philippines to reassure the islands that the United States has their back to counter increased levels of aggression from China in the South China Sea region.
Harris pledged on Monday the United States would defend the Philippines if it came under attack in the waterway, reaffirming Washington’s “unwavering” commitment to its former colony.
Her comments followed a meeting with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who welcomed Harris for the first time at the Philippine presidential palace.
Marcos said the two nations’ strong ties had become even more important, given what he called “upheavals” in the region.
Harris’ visit to the Philippines, the highest-level trip to the Philippines by a Biden administration official, is seen as part of Washington’s effort to revive ties with Manila, which moved closer to China under former President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We stand with you in defence of international rules and norms as it relates to the South China Sea,” Harris told Marcos.
She and Sleepy Joe sure like to go overseas and commit the United States militarily, don’t they? Biden went so far as to say that the U.S. would defend Taiwan with military force, despite the One China Policy. It’s as though they are just winging it most of the time. *Narrator’s voice: They are.*
A 2016 ruling by an arbitration tribunal in the Hague said Beijing’s South China Sea claims had no legal basis, delivering a victory for Manila.
The Philippines has been unable to enforce the ruling and has since filed hundreds of protests over what it calls encroachment and harassment by China’s coastguard and its vast fishing fleet.
While in Palawan, Harris will also reaffirm Washington’s support for the 2016 tribunal ruling, a U.S. official said.
Palawan is only about 320 km (200 miles) from the Spratly islands, where China has dredged the sea floor to build harbours and airstrips. Parts of the archipelago are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
There were demonstrations against Kamala’s visit to Manila on Monday.
Dozens of protesters rallied in Manila on Monday against the visit by Harris, saying they did not want the Philippines to be caught between U.S. and Chinese rivalry.
Washington and the Philippines have moved ahead with an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), dating from the Obama administration, though it languished under Duterte.
EDCA allows the United States to maintain a military presence, but not a permanent one, through the rotation of ships and aircraft for humanitarian and maritime security operations at mutually agreed Philippine bases.
More photos of activist groups during the Manila protest. pic.twitter.com/02rKcDuFrW
— Jairo Bolledo (@jairojourno) November 21, 2022
Progressive groups are calling for the withdrawal of US funding in the PH, as well as withdrawal of US military presence in the country.
The Philippines is the largest recipient of US military aid in the entire Indo-Pacific region. pic.twitter.com/WCOAmFvPxq
— Jairo Bolledo (@jairojourno) November 21, 2022
When asked by a reporter if she was planning on campaigning for Raphael Warnock in Georgia, Kamala punted.
“I haven’t made any decision yet,” Harris said Tuesday, when asked by a reporter during an international trip to Malaysia if she and President Biden would stump for Warnock, D-Ga. “I’m basically still trying to figure out what I’m doing tomorrow.”
As I said, they’re winging it. Everything. Comforting, isn’t it?