“We do not talk about nor have we talked about re-election, because we haven’t completed our first year and we’re in the middle of a pandemic,” Harris said in an interview.
She said the administration’s priorities include “building back up our economy, and we are re-establishing America’s role in the context of our allies and partners around the world.”
Although Harris said she’s not currently thinking about 2024, the newspaper noted that some Democrats “have privately questioned” if Biden, 79, would seek a second term at his age. If Biden decides not to run, Harris could be in a golden position to run for president.
As the Biden-Harris team approaches the end of their first year in office, their approval rating has taken a hit, the Journal stated, citing an Economist/YouGov survey of 1,500 adult U.S. citizens conducted between Dec. 12 - 14. According to that poll, 51 percent of respondents had an unfavorable view of Harris.
Harris has a few challenging tasks on her agenda, including stemming the migrant crisis at the southern border that has perplexed other administrations. According to CNN, Biden tapped his vice president to address the reasons for mass migration, but the problem has gotten worse.
Harris also faces an uphill battle to help the administration push voting rights legislation through the Senate because of the chamber’s filibuster rule, which requires 60 votes to advance most legislation in an evenly divided Senate.
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According to The New York Times, Harris told Biden in a meeting earlier this year that she wanted to take the lead on voting rights legislation. That request came against the backdrop of several Republican-led states enacting restrictive voting laws targeting voters of color.
Democrats have two bills on the table. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act aims to fight voter suppression and restore enforcement provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Also under consideration, the Freedom to Vote Act would remove barriers to voting, including allowing all voters to request mail-in ballots.
Advancing the bills in the Senate is nearly impossible because of the filibuster rule. Getting the requisite 60 votes is all the more difficult because two conservative Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin oppose changing the filibuster rule.
In her interview with the Journal, Harris “stopped short of calling for a change” to the filibuster rules and would not reveal if she has advised Biden to endorse an exception to the filibuster rules.
As USA Today has noted, civil rights advocates and many Democrats are pressuring the White House, and particularly Harris, to do more to pass voting rights legislation. On Wednesday (Dec. 15), Biden said his administration has put a new emphasis on passing voting rights protections, as the Senate signaled that passage of his domestic policy bill this year seemed unlikely.