Former aides to Vice President Kamala Harris say she is possessed by “deep, deep insecurity” that has led to a toxic work environment in her office, a forthcoming book claims.
Author Chris Whipple writes in “The Fight of His Life” that Harris refused to answer questions about “turmoil and morale problems” among her staff for his book on President Biden’s first months in the White House, but ex-employees described the woman a heartbeat from the Oval Office as dysfunctional and unprepared.
One former aide told Whipple that Harris engaged in “really unnecessary gamesmanship” with her underlings, excerpts from the book that were obtained by the Washington Examiner reveal.
The onetime staffer further claimed that Harris “refused to do the kind of preparation that you need to do before going public on a hardcore policy matter. And then she became incensed and outraged when things wouldn’t go the way she thought they were supposed to.”
“There was a lot of magical thinking,” added the person, who spent years working for Harris.
“I think it’s helpful for people to know,” the former Harris aide went on to Whipple, “that this is not new, and it will inhibit any administration that she is the leader of.”
The person insisted that those bashing Harris were not doing so because of her race or gender, as her defenders frequently claim.
“When somebody raises an issue about Kamala, everybody’s like, ‘You don’t want to see black women succeed.’ That’s completely backward. Everybody who goes to work for Kamala, by definition, wants to see her succeed. That’s why you take these jobs,” they said.
Gil Duran, a frequent critic of Harris who worked for her in 2013 when she was attorney general of California, told Whipple that “women” and people “not in great positions of authority” were usually the targets of her rage.
“The amount of stress she created by constantly being impossible to manage and taking out all her stresses on staff — usually women, or people who were not in great positions of authority — was just kind of unbearable,” he said.
The descriptions to Whipple are similar to reports that have been published in other outlets since the former senator from California became VP. In June 2021, Politico quoted a source as saying people who worked for Harris “feel treated like s–t.” That December, the Washington Post quoted staffers who said the veep was a “bully” with a “soul-destroying” management style.
“It’s clear that you’re not working with somebody who is willing to do the prep and the work,” one former worker told the Washington Post at the time. “With Kamala you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence. So you’re constantly sort of propping up a bully, and it’s not really clear why.”
Excerpts from Whipple’s book released last week revealed the 80-year-old Biden’s frustration with Harris as his No. 2, with the president reportedly calling her a “work in progress” and being “annoyed” that Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, were complaining about the policy tasks assigned to her — including tackling the “root causes” of illegal migration.
The book is due out Jan. 17.