The Brew: How Likely Are We to Begin Calling Kamala Harris ‘Madam President’?

By Al Perrotta Published on July 5, 2024

Happy Day After Independence Day!

What do we have to look forward to this long weekend? Heat, humidity, hot dogs … and the increasing likelihood of a President Harris?

Is Madam President in Our Future?

Assume for a second that Joe Biden bombs his interview with George Stephanopoulos, is convinced to withdraw from the race in the coming weeks, and is replaced on the ticket by Harris. What reason would he have to stay on as president until November, beyond ego and stubbornness? He clearly can’t do the job. He’s only good for six hours a day at best, and to be honest, doesn’t exactly look like someone who is enjoying himself. His stated reason for running again was because he was the only one who could beat the Bad Orange Man.

With that reason now gone, why not head to the beach?

Why would Harris being elevated to president now work in Democrats’ favor? First, they could crow about their fresh start from now until November, pinning every bad thing that’s happened during this administration on the Big Guy who is no longer there. Second, down-ticket Democrats would be thanking God (or in most cases, Moloch). Third, it allows Kamala Harris to run as the sitting president, with all the trappings that brings a candidate and the massive war chest the campaign has accumulated thus far.

But how can she handle the presidency and a presidential campaign when she doesn’t seem capable of handling the vice presidency, where technically all you need to do is preside over the Senate and be a figurehead at events? Plus, she is a terrible campaigner. But here’s the beauty of it: She can use what is called the “Rose Garden Strategy.” In other words, don’t campaign. Just spend all the time between now and November 5 doing presidential things, like signing bills without falling asleep, greeting foreign dignitaries without wandering off, speaking at events without talking about her uncle being eaten by cannibals, or shaking the hands of invisible people.

In other words, being “presidential.” 

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And here’s the rub. Nobody expects anything from a President Kamala Harris, beyond the creation of a national holiday to celebrate Venn diagrams. But if she shows any amount of competency, and most importantly guides the country through to January 20, 2025 without catastrophe … if she just gets us by, is a decent steward … then win or lose in November, she wins. She can’t be blamed for the loss, she leaves office with her head high, and her standing with a grateful nation far beyond where it is now.  

Then again …

Time to Give Kamala Real Scrutiny

We know the cackling. We know the inscrutable word salads and Dr. Seussian sayings. But Kamala Harris is far more than those things — and dangerous. The Stream has written before about her wicked move to criminally prosecute David Daleiden for exposing Planned Parenthood’s baby-part selling operation. And jailing journalists who cross her benefactors? Let’s talk about threats to democracy. Let’s talk about threats to humanity. A clip from last July has emerged in which Harris advocates for reducing the world’s population in the service of the climate-change gods. 

In some ways, we could expect a President Harris to be better than expected. In some ways, much worse. 

A Biden Moment

The Bidens hosted a barbecue for military families yesterday at the White House before taking in the annual Washington fireworks display. It’s almost worth being president just to have that perfect seat on the White House balcony for the spectacle. 

But the holiday didn’t mean Biden got a break from the intense scrutiny he’s been under. And every slip-up is magnified. At the barbecue, Biden declared “I’m not going anywhere.” But he also slurred and got confused during his brief remarks, and trailed off in the middle of telling a story. “I’ve been all over the world with you. I’ve been in and out of battles …. anyway …”

On Wednesday, Biden joined a call to the White House staff to settle their nerves. Trump communications advisor Steven Cheung somehow got in on it, and according to him, Biden did try to rally the troops and confirmed he’s fighting on.

And also forgot the name of his own chief of staff. 

A couple of hours later, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted that Biden was as “sharp as ever.” 

Except, he’s also forgetting close family friends. New York magazine dropped another expose of just how bad Biden’s condition is and how many people knew, were horrified, but didn’t want to say anything. It’s called “The Conspiracy of Silence to Protect Joe Biden.” We learn, among the other revelations, “Longtime friends of the Biden family, who spoke to me on the condition of anonymity, were shocked to find that the president did not remember their names.”

A Media Moment

While many liberal media outlets are copping to the reality that the public’s been bamboozled by the constant assertion that Biden was — and is — “as sharp as ever,” some are still playing games. 

On Thursday, The Associated Press tried comparing Biden to Ronald Reagan. Its headline: “The questions about Biden’s age and fitness are reminiscent of another campaign: Reagan’s in ’84.”  Yes, Ronald Reagan had a mediocre debate which raised a couple of eyebrows (and created a Democratic talking point). But Reagan wasn’t freezing in public, boasting about conversations with dead people, confusing his sister with his wife, inventing whole new words, inventing stories about his own grandeur, and humiliating the U.S. on the international stage. And not for nuthin’, but Reagan wasn’t driving America into the ground.

Joe Biden is no Ronald Reagan. 

But that’s not the AP’s most hysterical effort to minimize just how far gone Biden is. They actually posted this embarrassing headline: 

“Biden at 81: Sharp and focused but sometimes confused and forgetful.”

Along The Stream

I hope you got a chance yesterday to check out the special Al’s Afternoon Tea: “The Declaration of Independence’s Forgotten Founding Father With the Steady Hand.”

 

Al Perrotta is The Stream’s Washington bureau chief, coauthor with John Zmirak of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration, and coauthor of the counterterrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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