The White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention is a new policy opportunity for Vice President Kamala Harris, but it also presents some political problems. Harris already has a politically charged policy portfolio, tackling issues such as migration, voting access, and abortion. Republicans have been increasing their scrutiny of her as Biden’s second in command, and they see her as his presumptive heir.
According to Republican strategist and former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, Cesar Conda, Harris is “the gift that keeps on giving” to her critics. He believes that her verbal gaffes and maniacal cackle are not the real problem, but rather her job performance as vice president. One example he gives is her failure to address the border surge, with over 300,000 illegal immigrants encountered at the border in August.
Harris’s spokespeople argue that she is not responsible for Biden’s immigration policy, but rather she is managing the root causes of migration. They also point to her success in connecting with people on the issue of abortion. However, Republicans, including potential GOP primary candidates like Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, and Chris Christie, are increasing their scrutiny of Harris and trying to undermine Biden before the next election.
Harris’s approval-disapproval rating is currently at 40%-53%, while Biden’s is at 41%-55%. Her favorability-unfavorability rating is 36%-54%, compared to Biden’s 40%-56%. There is speculation about Harris’s political future, with some Democrats considering primarying Biden. However, Vice Presidential scholar Joel Goldstein believes that the attacks on Harris are a reflection of Republicans perceiving problems with attacking the presidential candidate.
Despite the political challenges, Harris sees the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention as an opportunity to rally Democrats and attract new voters. The office will focus on strengthening the coalition of survivors, advocates, students, teachers, and elected leaders to fight for the right of all people to be safe from fear. However, the threat of gun control also motivates Republicans to vote, similar to how the issue of abortion motivates Democrats. Harris emphasizes the importance of voting in determining who will fight for people’s freedoms and rights.
In conclusion, the new White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention is a policy opportunity for Vice President Kamala Harris, but it also presents political challenges. Harris’s job performance as vice president has been criticized, particularly in regards to the border surge. Republicans are increasing their scrutiny of her and trying to undermine Biden before the next election. However, Harris sees the office as a way to rally Democrats and attract new voters. The threat of gun control is a motivating issue for Republicans, similar to how abortion motivates Democrats. Harris emphasizes the importance of voting in determining who will fight for people’s freedoms and rights.