Vice President Kamala Harris’s office released a strange video late Wednesday, showing Harris entering what was billed as a surprise party for the Veep’s birthday. In it, though, Harris yells “surprise!” for herself, awkwardly claps for staff, and then kisses her husband, though they are both wearing face masks.
— Katherine Doyle (@katiadoyl) October 20, 2021
Harris’ birthday was Wednesday and the Biden administration released several videos marking the event, including one where President Joe Biden presents his vice president with a bouquet of flowers and a framed photo.
In that video, Harris gushes that, “This is my favorite!” and then poses for a photo with Biden, telling the president that, “I’m gonna hang this up with great pride.”
The later video shows Harris walking into what appears to be a White House dining room, where staff members are gathered. Masked staffers “lined the room and filmed the celebration,” according to the Daily Mail, and COVID-19 precautions were studiously followed, though the vice president has been vaccinated and, according to fact-checkers, White House staff must also be vaccinated. Notably, staff prepared a separate portion for Harris with its own candle, ostensibly so that the vice president would not potentially spread COVID-19 by blowing out a candle on a cake the staff shared.
The video met with confusion and mockery on social media.
“Her awkwardness hurts me,” one social media user commented.
Commenter Derek Hunter added that the video reminded him of “that footage of Kim Jong-Un where no one wants to be the first to stop clapping out of fear they’ll be killed.”
Harris, notably, has been accused of being difficult to work with. According to a Politico report from earlier this year, Harris staffers describe the atmosphere in her office as “tense” and “dour” and unhealthy.
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” a source told Politico. “It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s***.”
The vice president has also had a series of embarrassing videos published recently. A video of Harris promoting NASA’s work featured child actors who auditioned for roles in the segment, according to previous reporting from The Daily Wire. Harris’s efforts to speak with the kids looked so stilted and unnatural that Fox News host Tucker Carlson suggested the video left viewers “pining for the authentic maternal warmth of Hillary Clinton.”
Just ahead of the NASA video, reports circulated that Harris was hiring advisors to help polish her image after a series of difficult confrontations with the press — largely over her mishandling of the border crisis — and videos showing her laughing at inappropriate times.
“Lorraine Voles, a crisis communications expert, and Adam Frankel, a former Obama speechwriter, worked for Harris during the presidential transition and have extensive experience crafting messages from the White House and the corporate world,” The Washington Examiner reported, adding, “Among the services Voles advertises on her website, ‘crisis management’ and ‘marketing and rebranding’ earn top billing.”
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