Kamala Harris Hires Jen Psaki’s Brother-in-Law as Her Ratings Hit Bottom Amid Border Crisis
The nosediving ratings of the first female American vice president come amid failures to put an end to crises at the southern US border, and an overall fall in Americans' approval of the country's current course and its POTUS.
US Vice President Kamala Harris has hired several new advisers, including Adam Frankel – brother-in-law of White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki and the former speechwriter for US President Barack Obama – and Lorraine Voles, ex-director of communications for former US Vice President Al Gore.
The two will be assisting Harris with "organizational development, strategic communications and long-term planning", an anonymous White House official confided to the Washington Post. The latest additions to the vice president's team come as her approval ratings dropped to an all-time low of 42%.
Vice President Loses Her Popularity
Several things could have factored into that drop in popularity. The Biden administration has been facing a lot of criticism lately, namely over its vaccine mandates and Afghanistan withdrawal. POTUS ratings even dropped below that of Donald Trump earlier this week for the first time since the start of Biden's presidency.
Another likely cause for Harris' unpopularity is her performance at the task given her by the president several months ago – to deal with the crisis at the US southern border. According to media reports, the vice presidential team did not like this assignment from the start, calling it a political hot-potato – a hard to handle the issue which would damage Harris' image if she failed.
21 September 2021, 19:24 GMT
The vice president's ratings took a dive soon after her long-delayed trip to the border, as well as to Mexico and Guatemala, where the migrants have been coming to the US. Her statements did not inspire optimism that the 20-year-high levels of migrant arrivals will drop, and her unexplainable bursts of laughter to questions regarding the border crisis did not help the situation infuriating some in the US public.
Since then, Harris' approval rating lost around 4%, going down to 42%, with disapproval levels reaching an all-time high of 51%, according to the RealClearPolitics' data as of 22 September. And the situation at the border has not improved – instead of migrants from Guatemala, dozens of thousands of Haitian migrants gathered at a border crossing between Mexico and the US under the Rio Grande bridge.
The makeshift camp swelled to 15,000 people, while the US Department of Homeland Security reported encountering 30,000 Haitian migrants trying to enter the US illegally. Some 10,000 have since been either returned to their homeland or sent away via "removal flights", while 12,400 more were released into the US as of 9 September. The White House has since ramped up efforts to clear the camp and transport the migrants elsewhere, including to other countries.