President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris like to portray themselves as in sync and – to use Biden’s word from 2020 – “simpatico.”
Now, a new book finds the two are butting heads… and the dispute between their two teams is turning ugly.
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Politico says the book details “an increasingly fraught relationship between the West Wing and the vice president’s office filled with anger, eye-rolling, portfolio feuds, and real and perceived slights.”
The book “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future,” doesn’t come from conservatives with an axe to grind, but from the most mainstream of all mainstream media: The New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns.
“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 write, according to Politico. “Harris worried that Biden’s staff looked down on her; she fixated on real and perceived snubs in ways the West Wing found tedious.”
One incident detailed in the book describes how Harris didn’t like that Biden’s staff would rise when he entered a room, but not for her.
According to an excerpt cited by The Daily Wire, she sent her chief of staff to complain about what she considered a “sign of disrespect.”
Biden’s choice of Harris in the first place seemed to catch many by surprise.
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The two had initially seemed like a good match given that Harris had been close with Biden’s late son, Beau, when the two were state attorneys general with similar agendas.
Harris held the job in California, while Beau Biden was in the role for Delaware.
But that changed during the debates when Harris went after Biden hard.
Biden touted his credentials as a uniter – as someone who could work across party lines and other divides, noting he even worked in the 1970s with senators who were segregationists.
Harris called him out.
“I do not believe you are a racist,” she said. “But I also believe and it’s personal and it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country.”
And in a moment made for viral videos, she called him out for opposing federal mandates for busing.
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“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bussed to school every day,” she said. “And that little girl was me.”
Biden bristled – and insiders believed that moment put a wedge between the two that couldn’t be repaired.
When Biden had sealed the nomination and was choosing a running mate, his wife Jill Biden reportedly argued against Harris.
The new book goes behind the scenes at that moment, too.
“Speaking in confidence with a close adviser to her husband’s campaign, the future First lady posed a pointed question,” the book states. “There are millions of people in the United States, she began. Why, she asked, do we have to choose the one who attacked Joe?”
Despite the tensions between their staff — and Harris’ apparent frustrations with her role — the book claims she and Biden remain personally friendly.
The book even details a moment in which the president warned his staff members that anyone caught leaking anything negative about Harris “would quickly be former staff.”
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Yet while they are friendly, they are still not close.
Politico says the two meet for weekly lunches, according to the book, but that they “lacked a real depth of personal and political intimacy.”
The book “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future” hits stores on May 3.
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— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert.