Kamala Harris launches desperate bid to save image with Biden in freefall – major new plan

Joe Biden walks off after refusing to answer questions on Putin

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The latest poll rating shows the Vice President has a net disapproval rating of 11.4 points – even worse than Mr Biden’s 9.3 and Donald Trump’s 10-point gap. The plunge comes only months after Ms Harris was pegged as the favourite to take over from the current President if he did not seek a second term in office. Washington insiders have warned the former heir apparent is now vulnerable to challenges from other popular Democrats, including transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg.

After months of tumbling approval, prominent figures on both wings of the Democratic Party have also withdrawn including the moderate West Virginia senator Joe Manchin and the progressive congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

This contributed to mounting frustration, with Ms Harris reportedly telling aides that she feels badly positioned to take over from Mr Biden, even as the 79-year-old President mulls whether to run again in 2024.

In a bid to solve her popularity issue, Ms Harris has hired Jamal Simmons as communications director.

The Vice President plans to raise her media profile with a heavier schedule of public appearances in 2022.

Mr Simmons, a political veteran himself, has had his share of controversy over the years.

He tweeted on multiple occasions that George W Bush was an “illegitimate president” who “stole” the 2000 election from Al Gore.

Mr Simmons wrote in June 2012: “I worked for Gore 2000 & believe W’s 1st term to have been illegitimate. Yet when in the room w/him I stood and gave ofc respect.”

In another Tweet in January 2017, he wrote: “I worked for Gore. Thought W was illegitimate. Still stood for him in respect for office. Members of Congress should go to inauguration.”

Mr Simmons steps in just over a month after Ms Harris’s high-profile spin doctor, Symone Sanders quit.

Ms Sanders’ resignation followed a series of other resignations including that of former-communications director, Ashley Etienne, the week before.

The role of Vice President is known for being frustrating for the incumbent.

Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower had a notoriously turbulent relationship which often left them not on speaking terms.

More recently, Donald Trump and Mike Pence faced a bitter falling-out towards the end of his premiership.

Chris Galdieri, associate professor of politics at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire said: “It’s an enormously frustrating job.

“You don’t have much independence and you are dependent on the president for any responsibility.

“Beyond that, you are just waiting for some to happen to the president.

“Harris is not a senior statesman like Biden or Cheney, that compounds the frustration.

“She spent years as this dynamic ‘up and comer’ with ambitions of her own. Now she has to sit tight and try to do no harm to the president’s agenda or her own career prospects.

“The reality is she needs the pandemic to end and inflation to go down so people are not complaining about the cost of a pint of milk or filling their cars.

“That can’t be solved by just changing a communications director.”

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