Thursday, February 9

Vice President Kamala Harris, currently on an Asian trip, seemed to avoid a direct answer to a question from a reporter about whether she and President Joe Biden could beat former President Donald Trump in 2024.

She spoke to reporters after a speech aboard the Philippine Coast Guard ship Teresa Magbanua.

Q Madam Vice President, a little…. The former President Trump, while we were about to come here, announced that he would be running again for the presidency. I wonder if you have a response to that announcement and whether or not you and President Biden on the ticket will beat him.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, as the President said, he intends to run. And if he does, I will be running with him. And I have no doubt about the strength of the work that we have done over these past two years.

We have delivered unprecedented relief for the American people through the height of the pandemic.

We have passed an infrastructure law that many have talked about, but we actually did it.

We just recently, with the Inflation Reduction Act, did a number of things, including bringing down the cost of healthcare — not to mention $370 billion in the climate crisis, which is one of the reasons that I’m here in the Philippines, because the climate crisis is an issue that requires leadership around the globe and, in particular, I would say, America’s leadership.

Q But do you think a President Trump — former President Trump candidacy is good for the country, good for America?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I am thinking about, right now, what we need to do in the Indo-Pacific. Thank you for the question.

Some reports noted that the easy answer would have been something to the effect if, ‘We beat him once, we will beat him again’ — but she avoided saying that.

Meanwhile, there are rumblings that Biden should not even run again with Harris, that he ought to replace her before launching his reelection bid, if he runs again.

Slate magazine just called Harris a “dud” while pushing for her to be replaced on the 2024 ticket:

Harris’s presidential campaign will be remembered as one of the worst of that election cycle. Internally, it was a disastrously mismanaged mess.

Externally, it offered a series of mixed messages, short-lived slogans, and attempts to backpedal along the ideological spectrum.

Her dazzling presence in planned speeches and gotcha moments flickered out when she was forced to think—and relay a coherent policy position—on her feet.

It was a spectacular letdown that contained a lesson about electoral politics: candidates who looks promising on paper can easily flounder under pressure.

As Joe Biden weighs a run for re-election even as he becomes the first octogenarian U.S. president in history, he should think back on what it was like to watch the Harris campaign flame out.

A second Biden term would mean even higher stakes for a vice-presidential pick—not only because Biden is older than he was the first time around, but because the VP serving when he leaves could be the de facto frontrunner in the 2024 Democratic primary.

Harris, a proven dud of a presidential candidate who has done little to distinguish herself since, is not a good choice for the Democrats’ top billing. For his second term, should he seek one (he shouldn’t!), Biden should tap someone else.

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