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Book: MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough Advising Kamala Harris

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Democrats concerned that VP’s tenure has become “a slow-rolling Greek tragedy”

• May 3, 2022 5:10 pm

Vice President Kamala Harris has been taking political advice from MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, according to the authors of This Will Not Pass, a new book about the Biden administration in which New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns document the general consensus among Democrats that Harris’s tenure as vice president has been, in the words of a former Senate colleague, “a slow-rolling Greek tragedy.”

The authors note that by the end of President Joe Biden’s first year in office Harris was “as politically isolated as she had ever been,” and “few Democrats had confidence” in her ability to be the party’s standard bearer in 2024 or beyond. As a result, Harris has grown “impatient with her own aides,” whom she blamed for “letting her down.” The VP even “initiated an audit of her office to make it function better.” No wonder she has such a hard time retaining staff.

Martin and Burns write that, in an effort to salvage her political career, “Harris began seeking out advice from beyond her inner circle, taking counsel from longtime veterans of the Washington scene like Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayor-turned-ambassador to Japan, and Joe Scarborough, the congressman-turned-MSNBC star.”

Scarborough, the thrice-married host of Morning Joe, is best known for going out of his way to help Donald Trump get elected, and subsequently declaring that “history … will be bleak” for the children and grandchildren of Trump’s boosters. He is currently married to Morning Joe cohost Mika Brzezinski, sometimes referred to as “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” by former president Trump.

The reporting in This Will Not Pass makes clear that Biden and his team of advisers were never particularly fond of Harris, whose only highlight from her failed presidential campaign in 2020 was denouncing Biden as a racist during a June 2019 primary debate. When it came time to choose a running mate, the authors write, Harris was “neither the candidate who most greatly impressed Biden’s vice-presidential search committee, nor the person his advisors saw as most immediately prepared for the presidency.”

That assessment hasn’t changed much since the election. According to Martin and Burns, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield was among those who privately griped that “the vice presidency was not the first time in Harris’s political career that she had fallen short. … Her Senate office had been messy and her presidential campaign had been a fiasco.”

“Perhaps, she suggested, the problem was not the vice president’s staff.”

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