Vice President Kamala Harris felt slighted by White House aides not standing when she entered into a room, per a forthcoming book.
“The vice president took it as a sign of disrespect,” NYT journalists Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns wrote.
Harris allies in recent months have attempted to form a reset of her office, per The Washington Post.
Vice President Kamala Harris felt slighted by White House aides not standing when she entered into a room, part of a pattern of “perceived snubs” that the former senator was reportedly was “fixated” on, according to a forthcoming book by New York Times correspondents Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns.
In the book, “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future,” Martin and Burns described a relationship between Harris’ staff and President Joe Biden’s West Wing that was progressively uneasy, per excerpts published by Politico’s West Wing Playbook.
“Some of Harris’s advisers believed the president’s almost entirely white inner circle did not show the vice president the respect she deserved,” Martin and Burns wrote. “Harris worried that Biden’s staff looked down on her; she fixated on real and perceived snubs in ways the West Wing found tedious.”
According to the book, Harris had her chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, speak with then-Biden senior advisor Anita Dunn about her discontent with White House staffers not standing when she entered rooms as they did with the president.
“The vice president took it as a sign of disrespect,” according to the book.
Dunn, a well-known Democratic political strategist who served in the Biden White House from January 2021 to August 2021, told Playbook that she wasn’t “going to comment except to say that everyone in the West Wing has a high degree of respect for the Vice President and the hard work she is doing for this President and our country.
She added: “Particularly me.”
In the book, Martin and Burns also detailed Harris’ dissatisfaction with her policy agenda, writing that the vice president’s staffers proposed for her to oversee relationships with Nordic countries to no avail. The authors described the proposal “as a low-risk diplomatic assignment that might have helped Harris get adjusted to the international stage in welcoming venues like Oslo and Copenhagen.”
However, the idea was reportedly not well-received, per the book.
“White House aides rejected the idea and privately mocked it,” Martin and Burns wrote. “More irritating to Biden aides was when they learned the vice president wanted to plan a major speech to outline her view of foreign policy. Biden aides vetoed the idea.”
Insider has reached out to Harris’ office and the White House for comment.
Since taking office in January 2021, Harris has faced a series of media reports about dysfunction in her office, which many allies feel have been rooted in unfair coverage of the first female, first Black, and first Indian American vice president in American history.
The vice president in January brought on Jamal Simmons, a longtime Democratic analyst, to become her communications director at a time when many felt that her office lacked consistent messaging on her duties and political accomplishments.
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