A number of officials told Politico on the condition of anonymity, as Kamala Harris’ ratings and campaign at large shrink, that they've become increasingly frustrated with campaign chief Juan Rodriguez’s reluctance to clarify what changes have to be made to turn the situation around for the better.
The campaign staffers have been accusing Rodriguez of dubious budget decisions, as well as boosting staff shortly before the layoffs began. “It’s a campaign of id”, said one senior Harris official, going on to put much of the blame on Rodriguez, but also pointing to the fact there is largely no one in authority to bear the brunt of responsibility for what has been happening in the team.
“What feels right, what impulse you have right now, what emotion, what frustration”, the official added. The official described the current state of the campaign in blunt straight-forward terms: “No discipline. No plan. No strategy”.
For clarification, some aides have reportedly directly addressed campaign chair Maya Harris, Kamala’s sister, and argued that Rodriguez needs to be replaced if Harris still hopes to reverse the negative course of events, two officials suggested.
However, there were also those who stood up in Ronriguez’s defence, Politico noted. Despite much ire around the manager, they argue that he has stood loyally by the candidate, although he is more likely a deputy campaign manager to Maya Harris.
One of the aides that quit recently attempted to sum up the campaign’s woes:
“Everybody has had to consolidate. Everybody has had to make cuts. And people are p*ssed. They see a void. They want to push someone out. And I understand that".
There is, however, a root cause for this “void” – “that no one was empowered really to make the decisions and make them fast and make them decisively”, the source asserted.
According to the aides cited by Politico, after Rodriguez announced dozens of layoffs in late October to curb overspending, three more staffers at headquarters were allowed to depart and another quit the other day.
In the most recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted on 12-14 November, Harris, who is now touring the country in a bid to win votes, came last, polling at 3 percent, along with former New York Mayor and media mogul Mike Bloomberg, who hasn’t officially declared his candidacy yet.