Kamala Harris: The Vice President’s Imperceptible Presence


The role of the United States vice president is to serve as the second-in-command in the executive branch, acting as the president’s trusted partner, advisor, and leader of the Senate. It is a position that carries significant responsibilities and opportunities for any politician aspiring to the highest office in the nation.

Kamala Harris: The Vice President's Imperceptible Presence

However, Kamala Harris, the current vice president under Joe Biden, seems to have been largely absent or inconsequential in major decisions and challenges faced by the administration. Despite being hailed as a historic figure for being the first woman and person of color in this position, Harris has failed to leave a lasting impression or make a significant impact. Biden and his team have sidelined or disregarded her on critical issues such as the border crisis, foreign policy, COVID-19 response, and infrastructure negotiations. These circumstances raise questions about her influence, competence, and future prospects as a potential presidential candidate.

The Border Crisis

One of the most glaring examples of Harris’s imperceptibility and ineffectiveness as vice president is her handling of the border crisis. In March 2021, Biden appointed Harris to spearhead the diplomatic efforts addressing the root causes of migration from Central America, which has led to a surge of migrants and asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, Harris has faced widespread criticism for her lack of engagement and leadership on this issue. It took her over two months to visit the region, and when she did, she received backlash for telling migrants “not come” to the U.S. Additionally, she avoided visiting the actual border until June 2021, succumbing to pressure from Republicans and some Democrats. Her visit was overshadowed by former President Donald Trump’s trip to the border a few days later.

Kamala Harris: The Vice President's Imperceptible Presence

Numerous media reports and sources suggest that Harris has been frustrated and dissatisfied with her assignment, feeling that she was put in a “no-win” situation that could harm her political reputation. There are also reports of discord between Harris and Biden, as well as his advisors, regarding the strategy and messaging on the border issue. Some observers speculate that Biden intentionally assigned Harris a difficult task to test her abilities or undermine her ambitions.

Foreign Policy

Another area where Harris has been largely absent or marginalized is foreign policy. Despite being a member of the National Security Council and receiving regular intelligence briefings, Harris has not played a significant role in shaping or implementing the administration’s foreign policy agenda. She has not been involved in major negotiations or consultations with foreign leaders or allies, nor has she undertaken any trips abroad apart from her visit to Guatemala and Mexico. Moreover, she has not delivered any noteworthy speeches or statements on foreign policy matters, leaving that responsibility to Biden and his Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

Some analysts argue that Harris’s lack of foreign policy experience and credentials poses a liability for her and the administration, particularly considering Biden’s advanced age and health concerns. They point out that Harris has not displayed any vision or expertise on global challenges such as China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, climate change, human rights, or terrorism. They also note that Harris has not established personal relationships or rapport with foreign counterparts, which could hinder her ability to represent or advance U.S. interests abroad.

COVID-19 Response

Another area where Harris has surprisingly been absent or silent is the COVID-19 pandemic response. While Biden has prioritized combating the coronavirus and appointed a COVID-19 response team led by his chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Harris has not been visible or vocal in supporting or promoting the administration’s efforts. She has not held any press conferences or interviews on the pandemic situation, nor has she participated in public events or campaigns to encourage vaccination or mask-wearing. Furthermore, she has not been seen interacting with health officials, scientists, or frontline workers who are at the forefront of dealing with the crisis.

Kamala Harris: The Vice President's Imperceptible Presence

Critics accuse

Harris of being disconnected and apathetic towards a pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 800,000 Americans and infected more than 50 million. They argue that Harris should be more involved and engaged in communicating and coordinating with state and local authorities, as well as with various communities and groups affected by or hesitant about pandemic measures. Additionally, they suggest that Harris should utilize her platform and influence to advocate for increased funding and resources for pandemic relief and recovery.

Infrastructure Negotiations Another area where Harris has been noticeably absent or irrelevant is in the realm of infrastructure negotiations. Biden has been vigorously working to pass his ambitious $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and his $1.75 trillion social spending and climate bill through Congress, facing opposition from both Republicans and some moderate and progressive Democrats. However, Harris has not been actively involved or influential in the negotiations or the legislative process. She has not met or engaged in discussions with lawmakers or stakeholders to persuade or reach compromises on the bills, nor has she utilized her tie-breaking vote in the Senate to advance or resolve any issues. Furthermore, she has not made any public statements or appearances to rally support or explain the benefits of these bills to the American people.

Some commentators question why Harris has not been more proactive or helpful in securing Biden’s domestic agenda, which is crucial for his presidency and the prospects of the Democratic Party in the 2022 midterm elections. They raise concerns about whether Harris carries any weight or credibility with Congress, especially among the senators she previously worked alongside. There are also doubts regarding Harris’s level of interest or investment in the bills, as they could impact her own agenda and legacy as vice president.


In conclusion, Kamala Harris has thus far been a disappointing and inconspicuous vice president. She has failed to demonstrate leadership or make a significant impact on the major issues and challenges faced by the Biden administration and the country. Whether she has been sidelined, disregarded, or has simply failed to take initiative or responsibility for her assignments, her lack of effective communication and connection with the public and media leaves many Americans questioning her purpose and stance. These shortcomings could detrimentally affect her political future and the Democratic Party’s chances of retaining power in 2022 and 2024.

Possible explanations for why Harris has been marginalized or ineffective as vice president include:

  1. Inexperience and unpreparedness for the role, given her limited four-year tenure as a senator and lack of executive experience.
  2. Unpopularity and lack of trust among voters and lawmakers, as evidenced by her underperformance in the 2020 Democratic primaries and clashes with Biden during debates.
  3. Ambition and opportunism that prioritize her own presidential aspirations over serving Biden and the country.
  4. Constraints and overshadowing by Biden and his advisors, who may not respect or consult her on significant matters and limit her exposure and authority.

Regardless of the reasons, Harris must rise to the occasion and prove her worth as vice president. She needs to assert herself and demonstrate her value and vision on the issues that matter to Americans. Building trust and rapport with Biden, his team, Congress, and foreign leaders is crucial. Furthermore, she needs to effectively and transparently communicate and engage with the public and the media. Failure to do so risks rendering her irrelevant and forgotten as vice president, potentially jeopardizing her future chances of becoming president.

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