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18 Dec, 2021 18:00

Will the real president please stand up? Harris bristles at suggestion Biden isn’t it

Will the real president please stand up? Harris bristles at suggestion Biden isn’t it

US Vice President Kamala Harris lashed out at TV host Charlamagne Tha God after he jokingly asked her whether the real leader of the country was President Joe Biden or West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.

Asked which “Joe” was the “real president of this country,” Harris insisted at first in a resigned tone, “Come on Charlamagne, it’s Joe Biden,” talking over his attempted replies – “I can’t tell sometimes” – with a torrent of patronizing no’s.

It’s Joe Biden,” she repeated, growing increasingly heated and accusing Charlamagne of “talking like a Republican about asking whether or not he’s president” as she lapsed into an increasingly self-congratulatory monologue regarding the pair’s plans for their presidency.

Manchin, a thorn in the side of the Democratic Party for his refusal to drop everything and toe the party line, remained unmentioned by the VP, though Charlamagne attempted to derail Harris’ monologue by asking once more, “Do you think Joe Manchin is a problem?” He had repeatedly attempted to draw out Harris’ opinion of Manchin earlier in the show.

Harris instead reminded Charlamagne of her name and position, waving her finger condescendingly as if speaking to a child. “And the reality is that because we are in office, we do the things like the child tax credit which is going to reduce black child poverty by 50%,” she said, admitting the administration was “on track” to do that rather than actually accomplishing it.

We do things that are about saying that our Department of Justice is going to do these investigations and require that we end choke holds and have body cameras,” she continued, seemingly prizing talk over action. Removing lead from pipes and increasing the “dignity” of those who ride public transit were also on the list, as was bringing down prescription drug costs and reducing black maternal mortality rates. While most of the issues remain unaddressed one year into the presidency as the administration has focused on Covid-19 aid and vaccine mandates, the debt ceiling, attempting to slay the filibuster, and other partisan issues, they remain key priorities.

Charlamagne managed to rescue the segment from that tangent by praising her for her ferocious, if unrelated, delivery. “I just want you to know that Madam Vice President, that Kamala Harris, that’s the one I like … that’s the one I’d like to see more often out here in these streets.”

While he later tried to convince Harris to blame the Democrats’ issues on Manchin, she refused to do so, instead blaming the problems on elected officials “all over” and even dredged up the specter of the January 6 Capitol riot.

Manchin’s refusal to back Democratic voting-rights initiatives, which would require overhauling the filibuster – a legislative move that allows a slim majority to block the passage of a bill – or embrace a massive combination infrastructure-social spending package have rankled his party. He has accused the Democrats of hiding the true costs of the $1.75 trillion package, and pointed out that should the filibuster be dismantled, the consequences if Congress falls back into the hands of the Republican Party would be disastrous.

Harris has suffered from plummeting approval ratings as the Biden administration has failed to deliver on many of its promises, leaving the nation mired in inflation and economic catastrophe on top of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. A Suffolk University poll last month found just 28% approved of Harris’ handling of her job, with 51% disapproving. 

Charlamagne Tha God hosted Biden while he was on the campaign trail last year as the Democrat delivered a now-infamous line declaring that any black voter who had trouble deciding between himself and Trump “ain’t black.” Despite what could have been a show-stopping line, the host was able to keep the conversation moving with admirable poise, later eliciting an apology from Biden.