Vice President Kamala Harris’s office harbors a ‘chaotic’ atmosphere where staffers are treated ‘like shit’, according to a Politico report published Wednesday.
The Beltway gossip rag cited nearly two dozen ‘current and former vice presidential aides, administration officials and associates of Harris and Biden’. Many sources blame Harris and Tina Flournoy, her chief of staff and longtime consigliere, for the toxicity and dysfunction. For example, Harris’s recent trip to the US-Mexico border reportedly blindsided staffers responsible for handling travel arrangements, forcing them to complete everything at the last minute.
‘People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,’ said the one unnamed source. ‘It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated.’
Sources portray Flournoy as a skinnier but less effective Martin Bormann, whose obsessive protection of Harris results in her refusing to delegate responsibility, blaming staffers when things fail to go her way and dismissing dissenting ideas altogether. Flournoy even ghosted a personal friend of Harris who tried to connect a top Democratic donor with the Vice President for weeks. Eventually, the person was brushed aside after being told Harris didn’t have time for any meetings.
‘This is someone who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars — millions, even — for your boss and you’re just blowing them off?’ the Harris friend alleged to Politico. ‘Next time Kamala wants [them] for something, it’s like, “Hey, I couldn’t even get a call back from your chief of staff!”‘
Cockburn for one is not shocked that a woman who limped out of the Iowa Democratic race before it even started is inept at greasing the palms of Washington’s fragile but monied elites. It’s hard to build loyalties in the Swamp, but it’s very easy to destroy them.
Symone Sanders, Harris’s chief spokesperson, told Politico these anonymous sources are ‘cowards’ for not voicing their concerns in public.
‘We are not making rainbows and bunnies all day. What I hear is that people have hard jobs and I’m like “welcome to the club,”’ Sanders said. ‘We have created a culture where people, if there is anything anyone would like to raise, there are avenues for them to do so. Whoever has something they would like to raise, they should raise it directly.’
Cockburn has little sympathy for bugged-eyed staffers who complain behind their boss’s back to overpaid journalists during happy hour. (Why not complain to an underpaid journalist like Cockburn instead?) Far more impressive is Symone Sanders’s brutishness and willingness to do whatever it takes to win. Sanders, a cut-throat aide, made a name for herself during the 2020 election when she manhandled protesters off a stage where candidate Joe Biden was giving a victory speech. To paraphrase her response: ‘There’s no dysfunction in this office, and anyone who says so is a whiny bitch.’ If only former president Donald Trump’s confidantes had that kind of attitude, he might still be in the White House.
Not long ago, the New York Times wrote a piece fawning over Harris’s ‘diverse staff where a majority, like their boss, are women’. Politico’s story should shock no one with any experience working in, say, a beauty salon or a PR firm. If you stack up an office full of women, the one thing it won’t be in short supply of is resentment, gossip and backstabbers. Welcome to Washington, Kamala.