This weekend, MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart posed a question to journalist Errin Haines and his show’s audience at large: do GOP lawmakers truly believe Vice President Kamala Harris is bad at her job, or are they just afraid of how good she really is? He asked, “My question is, are they doing it not because they think she’s incompetent, but because they know her potential and they’re afraid of her?”
Haines was more than ready, noting, “I think, because the vice president is in a historic role, a lot of times you have a political press that is frankly white and male and that is used to covering our politicians that don’t look like Vice President Harris.”
She continued, “And yet, because she is somebody that is doing this for the first time, as somebody who is a Black woman, that does draw increased scrutiny to the role.”
The conversation took place in light of a FiveThirtyEight poll that has Harris’ disapproval rate at 52.7% (her approval rate is 39%). Harris has faced criticism from the GOP since the 2020 election. Capehart directed skeptics to watch a recent Harris speech.
“If anyone has any doubt about the vice president’s passion and competence, I urge them to watch her speech in Nashville for the Tennessee Three,” Capehart said. “It is the best political speech she has ever given, to date.”
You can watch that speech here:
In June 2021, Joe Scarborough addressed what he called “fake outrage” following Republican reaction to Harris’ Memorial Day weekend messaging. As he put it, “Let me just educate everybody out there: I know some of you are new at this. Some of you maybe have forgotten what it’s like to be Americans.”
Attention on the vice president is only likely to increase in the weeks and months to come as the 2024 election kicks into gear and both voters and the media continue to raise concerns about President Joe Biden’s age.