With the recent departure of one of her closest, longest-serving staff members, Vice President Kamala Harris is facing concerns from Democrats about the larger implications of her inability to keep loyal staffers around.
According to The Hill:
More than 13 high-profile aides have left the vice president’s office, including her director of speechwriting, Meghan Groob, just last week.
The revolving door has made headlines during Harris’s tenure, creating a narrative of instability in the vice president’s office. But some Democrats worry about larger implications, particularly if President Biden chooses not to run for reelection.
Domestic policy adviser Rohini Kosoglu, one of her closest and longest serving staff members, exit earlier this month was particularly significant because she was one of the few aides who personally knew Harris’s preferences, style and policy expertise.
The Democrats voicing private concerns say they are worried diehard Harris loyalists — the kind of advisers and strategists who stick to their principal through the ups and downs — are virtually nonexistent.
“It’s always been a problem,” said one former Harris aide. “You have to have your people around you.”
“A loyal and competent staff can make or break a political career,” said Katherine Jellison, a professor of history at Ohio University, who pointed to John F. Kennedy’s so-called Irish mafia who followed him from his days on Capitol Hill to the White House. “I agree that the vice president would be standing on firmer ground for the future if she had longtime staffers she could count on for sound advice and necessary action.”
If Harris does end up running for president and becomes the Democratic nominee, strategists say party operatives would help her win. But if she is involved in a primary, they predict it would be tough for her to clear the field.
“Politics is about relationships and the relationships with the people around you,” a second former staffer said. “I think there’s a lot of improvement needed there.”