'No New Friends in Biden World': Junior White House Staffers 'Feeling Gloomy, Isolated' at Work
16:04 GMT 23.12.2021 (Updated: 16:15 GMT 23.12.2021)
Earlier this month, Vice President Kamala Harris was bashed as a “bully” by some of her staffers in a Washington Post expose, which focused on the 57-year-old’s “soul-destroying” management style.
Politico has quoted several unnamed junior White House staffers as saying that they were “feeling gloomy” about their work environment.
They singled out an alleged lack of “camaraderie” and team spirit at the White House, which the staffers attributed to working from home and Biden's management personnel.
“It's also hypocritical and ironic that a president whose brand is built on empathy and family has staff policies that fly in the face of that brand. It's not a good look, and it's emblematic of how this place runs”, one of the staffers argued.
According to the sources, POTUS is surrounded by a circle of “longtime” advisers who stick to the “no new friends in Biden world” mantra, something that has made junior employees feel isolated.
One staffer argued that “a lot of the natural coordination that happens in a typically functioning White House has been lost, and there has been no proactive effort to make up for it through intentional team building”.
The staff members also told Politico that they were unhappy over being excluded from the usual perks such as being able to attend tours of the White House Christmas decorations and the pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey.
17 November 2021, 17:18 GMT
The sources insisted that most White House employees could only attend the 4 July celebrations if they worked as “unpaid volunteers staffing the event”.
As for attendance at the Thanksgiving turkey pardoning, the Christmas tree lighting, and tours of Christmas decorations, this was reportedly doled out via a lottery system, leaving out many White House aides.
“No one expects business as usual during the [COVID-19] pandemic, but it's beyond demoralising, it's insulting — especially when you see DNC [Democratic National Committee] and Hill staff and other D.C. types get invited”, one White House aide asserted.
The aide claimed that they had “D.C. friends” who ask them whether they “wanted to grab coffee after they attended”.
“Meanwhile, we work here, and most of us haven't worked here before or stepped foot into the White House”, the staffer added.
The White House has not yet commented on the claims, which came after Vice President Kamala Harris was slammed as a “bully” in an expose published by The Washington Post earlier this month.
The newspaper cited unnamed staffers as revealing Harris’ alleged “soul-destroying” management style, with one source claiming that the vice president fails to read briefing materials, and then lashes out at others when she’s unprepared.
“Who are the next talented people you’re going to bring in and burn through and then have [them] pretend they’re retiring for positive reasons?” former Harris aide Gil Duran, for her part, told the WaPo, in an apparent reference to the vice president and four of her staff members who have quit in recent weeks.