Many in the media have speculated of late as to whether President Joe Biden is ready to announce his re-election campaign.
Given his first 17 months in office, it seems odd that a president firmly planted in the 39-percent approval range would say he’s running again with more than two years to go. And then there are the swirling questions about his age, mental agility, and ability to master the stairs of Air Force One or his bicycle.
But the other side of the coin is who would step up if Biden falters.
The vice president appears to be the logical choice. But her work as Biden’s “wingman” has made her as palatable to the public as he is.
Tara Palmeri of Puck News tweeted this week that even as inflation jacks up the cost of everything, the opportunity to be seen with Vice President Kamala Harris is immune to that trend.
The Democratic National Committee, Palmeri said on Twitter, “is slashing prices for a photo w/ Kamala Harris.”
“Tickets for a photo with the VP at the Women’s Leadership Forum started at $15,000, but it failed to sell enough tickets & is being postponed. VP’s June fundraiser in Cali is charging $5,000 for a photo.”
The Los Angeles Times has relentlessly tracked Harris’ approval rating since she took office — and since she is a Californian, a liberal, and as the paper notes, “the first female, Black, and South Asian American to serve as the nation’s second in command.”
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Her approval rating was not all that strong when she took office. But at least she was above water.
As of Tuesday, the Times pegged her support at 41 percent, compared to 52 percent disapproval. She’s been underwater for a year and has not been above 43 percent since October.
In addition, she is more wildly unpopular than any of her immediate predecessors.
The Times notes that at this point in their respective terms, Harris’ popularity is closest to former Vice President Mike Pence, and outpaced her by 12 points.
But the Times is being generous. At one point, another pollster documented her approval rating at 28 percent.
As for the photo op, some Twitter users saw even less value than the DNC did.
“Wonder what they could draw if she promised to not show up?” one said in response to Palmeri. Another added, “Still $5000 more than it’s worth.”