Where did Kamala Harris, who made waves when she was selected as vice president, disappear to?
It was a remarkable moment. Just shy of two years ago, Kamala Harris became the first woman vice president of the United States. Daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, Harris also made history as the first minority woman to serve as vice president.
Many like me thought the world was changing – and that Harris had just one more glass ceiling to break, that of becoming president of a superpower.
It doesn’t look that way anymore.
High expectations have largely faded and disappeared. In the Finnish news, Harris either appears in photos standing behind President Joe Biden or is shown traveling to countries like Singapore and the Philippines. Her choice of sneakers and whether or not it is appropriate for a vice president to appear on the cover of a fashion magazine has also drawn attention.
It could be different. All eyes could be turning to Harris right now, considering that Biden has turned 80 and 76-year-old Donald Trump has announced he is seeking a second term. Harris is younger, at 58, but few still believe she could be president.
According to the latest polls, only one in six U.S. voters have a positive view of Harris. She is less popular than Biden and the least popular vice president in 20 years.
Why is the once -iconic Harris spiraling downward? The vice president’s job is to keep the spotlight on the president, so the symbolic nature of her duties is clear.
Secondly, Harris has been relegated to less relevant tasks after serving at Biden’s side, tasks that have proven more difficult to succeed at, such as resolving the immigration issue at the United States’ southern border. Accordingly, Biden has not given Harris much space. Support for Harris is particularly low among Republicans.
The American press has further suggested that Harris is unpopular due to an unrelenting online smear campaign, and worsening circumstances have not helped her either. Defense and security policy is still seen as a man’s business, even in Finland. Women are nowhere to be found in the leadership of the other two superpowers, and in that sense, Harris’ slip into obscurity speaks for itself.
I think Harris’ moment of glory has passed. Last November, Harris was president for a full 85 minutes. At the time, Biden was incapacitated and under anesthesia during a colonoscopy procedure.