Harris's Staff Dissatisfied With 'Dysfunctional' Work Environment

Headline Roundup July 1st, 2021

On Wednesday, Politico reported that aides and officials on Vice President Kamala Harris's staff were dissatisfied with their work environment, with some calling it "tense" and "dysfunctional." Much of the criticism is aimed at Harris' chief of staff, Tina Flournoy; Flournoy reportedly restricts staff and allies' access to Harris, creating tension in the office and among outside donors and supporters. According to Politico, Harris's recent announcement of her trip to the southern border left her staff "scrambling" with little time to make necessary preparations. While Flournoy was heavily criticized, two anonymous administration officials said Harris is ultimately responsible for the way her office is run. Harris's spokesperson Symone Sanders told Politico that staff should raise issues directly, and called the anonymous officials "cowards." Sanders said, "We are not making rainbows and bunnies all day. What I hear is that people have hard jobs and I’m like ‘welcome to the club.' "

After Politico first published the story, it was widely covered by right-rated outlets and received little coverage from left-rated outlets. Some left-rated outlets raised the issue of a double standard for women and men in power, ard argued that men would not be criticized for having a "tough and demanding" office environment. Some right-rated outlets also tended to highlight criticism of Harris's handling of her immigration assignment. 

From the Center

Tina Flournoy, the chief of staff for Vice President Kamala Harris, has established a reputation as a tough gatekeeper, using similar tactics to those she used while overseeing former President Bill Clinton’s post-White House office.

Flournoy’s tight approach, which includes blocking longtime allies from contacting Harris, has led to both praise and criticism.

It also has created tension within the vice president’s team and among her outside confidants and donors. Politico reported on Wednesday that there is dysfunction in Harris’ office and that much of the frustration stems from Flournoy. She oversaw...

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From the Right

As Vice President Kamala Harris contends with intense scrutiny over her handling of the border crisis and other key issues, members of her staff are experiencing low morale and struggling to communicate with top staffers, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.

Communication issues and distrust between aides and senior officials on Harris’ team, including her chief of staff Tina Flournoy, have contributed to a "tense and at times dour office atmosphere." Politico reported, citing interviews with 22 current and former aides. 

Much of the criticism was directed at Flournoy, who aides claimed has limited access to Harris...

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From the Left

When Vice President Kamala Harris finally made the decision to visit the Mexico border last week, people inside her own office were blindsided by the news.

For days, aides and outside allies had been calling and texting with each other about the political fallout that a potential trip would entail. But when it became known that she was going to El Paso, it left many scrambling, including officials who were responsible for making travel arrangements and others outside the VP’s office charged with crafting the messaging across the administration.

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