First Lady Jill Biden was not happy with husband Joe Biden selecting former Democratic primary opponent Kamala Harris as his running mate, according to a new book.
During a June 2019 primary debate, Harris directly addressed the future president and said that she did not believe he was racist. However, she then proceeded to blast earlier remarks he made about being able to work with congressional segregationists to oppose busing.
This, as could be expected, did not sit well with Jill Biden. She reportedly used an expletive to describe her feelings about Harris on a conference call with supporters afterwards.
Later, the future First Lady noted that millions of people live in the U.S. before questioning the reasoning for selecting “the one who attacked Joe.” It was clear that Harris went after Biden during the Democratic presidential debate harder than she did other primary competitors. Many in the Biden camp, according to the book, saw it “as a smear and a betrayal.”
However, Ron Klain, the now-embattled White House chief of staff, countered the thoughts of many in Biden’s inner circle. He declared that, in choosing someone who made a public and personal attack on his record, that Biden would demonstrate his ability as “a unifying leader” and demonstrate that he is “magnanimous and forgiving.”
The VP, by the way, has had a tumultuous first 15 months in office with steady reports of internal dysfunction and a continual mass exodus of staffers.
“This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future” is written by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns. It is due to be published May 3.
Among other revelations in the book is how hard Stacey Abrams pushed for the VP selection. Biden’s advisors, however, rebuffed her efforts by emphasizing that her experience in national politics is virtually nil. And even as other female possibilities were considered, a close adviser to Biden said none were “safe” and called the selection “a risky thing to do.”
The same adviser is quoted in the book as saying that Harris, even with her previous targeting of Biden, was the safest choice before adding “you know, white women are incredibly racist, as are white men.”
It is difficult to fault the First Lady with her assessment, especially seeing the aftermath of her husband’s selection of Kamala Harris. And now that Biden reportedly told former president Barack Obama that he intends to run again — at 81 years old — his choice as VP deserves even more scrutiny.