The place on this planet is Vice President Kamala Harris?

Vice President Kamala Harris boards Air Energy 2 for journey to Japan and South Korea from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Sunday Sept. 25, 2022. (Leah Millis/Pool by AP)

Editor’s observe: The subsequent article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s private. Study further opinions on theGrio.

As we head into the last few weeks of the 2022 midterm election cycle, a question circulating amongst my circles and sorority sisters is the place on this planet is Vice President Kamala Harris? 

The historic first Black female vice chairman of the US was lately overseas throughout the Pacific Rim space for the state funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nevertheless has been fairly invisible. All of us understand that campaigning with President Joe Biden for some Democrats in common districts or statewide races would possibly present problematic—as an example, Rep. Tim Ryan in Ohio, who’s in a decent U.S. Senate race. In his debate with Republican nominee J.D. Vance, Ryan went full rogue on his private event’s president and vice chairman. 

When requested by the moderator if President Biden should run as soon as extra, Ryan responded, “No. I’ve been very clear. I’d like to see a generational change—Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, the president, everybody. We need a new generation of leadership across the board.” And if that wasn’t daring adequate, he turned his sights on Vice President Harris, saying, “Kamala Harris is absolutely wrong” in saying the border is safe. He added, further emphatically, “Kamala Harris is wrong on immigration. I’m not afraid to say that.” 

Previous Ryan’s strategy of throwing his private White Residence workforce beneath the bus—which is ready to probably help him in Ohio—the place is Vice President Harris on the advertising marketing campaign path? CNN did a narrative in early September specializing in Harris and her advertising marketing campaign stops tied to the abortion downside. There was an superior line in that piece from an anonymous Harris aide who said, “The positioning is not so much about the geography but about the demography.” There it’s in a nutshell, of us. As always, it comes proper right down to race and gender no matter how accomplished we’re. 

However in swing states like Ohio, Harris has not been invited to advertising marketing campaign, which is fascinating considering Ohio has a fairly sizable Black inhabitants in cities like Cleveland and Akron, and Black residents account for 13% of the state’s inhabitants. I consider it’s a harmful switch for Ryan to shun Harris, as he ought to get a heavy Black turnout to have a vital chance of profitable come November. Or, perhaps, the calculus has modified for Democrats like Ryan—which suggests, he sees the Black vote as fairly protected in direction of a rabid Republican like Vance and sees the battleground as a battle to win over white, working-class voters or the all-powerful and much-pursued white feminine vote, which has decided the 2016 presidential race for Trump.

When you take a look on the VP’s schedule as of October and even since Harris took office in January 2021, you see that a lot of her appearances are in Washington, D.C., with official duties of state. She has traveled once more to California a few events to Los Angeles the place she maintains a home alongside along with her husband. She was lately in Texas for a Democratic fundraiser and to debate abortion rights earlier month. And he or she has been despatched to safe Democratically run states akin to Illinois. She now has far fewer public appearances with President Biden in 2022 than she did of their first 12 months in office. 

Sadly, it seems as if our historic vice chairman has a shrinking operate. As a result of the hyperlink to her schedule reveals, her office supplies little entry to the media, and he or she isn’t seen on the advertising marketing campaign path at large rallies for Democratic candidates, which makes zero sense when you consider the events we stay in and the issues coping with girls, and Black and brown voters significantly. 

So what supplies? I shouldn’t have any onerous options on account of solely the vice chairman or the White Residence employees can in truth share why her operate seems diminished and why she isn’t getting used to rally legions of Black female voters by means of her sorority connections and the like. Nevertheless right here’s what I do know—the media has not given VP Harris a break since day one

I consider it’s truthful to say that going from being a powerful, lone Black lady throughout the Senate to a hidden and oft-disrespected vice chairman must be onerous. And all people is conscious of that from John Adams to Joe Biden and Mike Pence, no person likes being vice chairman. As John Adams, our nation’s first vice chairman, as quickly as quipped, the operate is “the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.” Or as Franklin Roosevelt’s first VP as quickly as said bluntly: “The vice presidency is not worth a bucket of warm piss.” I assume while you requested Vice President Harris, she merely might agree.


Sophia A. Nelson is a contributing editor for theGrio. Nelson is a TV commentator and is the author of “The Woman Code: Powerful Keys to Unlock,” “Black Women Redefined.”

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