Many have worried or hoped that Kamala Harris will be a Dick Cheney-like power behind the throne in the Biden Administration. But if Joe’s 48 years in D.C. have taught him anything, it’s that VPs don’t get to do anything that Presidents don’t want them to do.
From the New York Times news section:
President Biden is rarely seen without Kamala Harris, a tangible result of his efforts to treat her as an equal stakeholder. But for now he does not intend to assign her a specific portfolio.
By Katie Rogers and Michael D. Shear
Published Feb. 6, 2021
After 24 paragraphs about how much Joe appreciates Kamala, we are informed that Biden is not giving her anything substantive to take charge of:
… White House officials said Mr. Biden was eager to put her to work, much the way Mr. Obama put him in charge of the economic recovery program in early 2009. But the fact that the president does not intend to assign her a specific portfolio immediately inevitably elicited some questions about her role in the administration.
… Mr. Biden has instead handed Ms. Harris a flurry of high-profile tasks in their first two weeks in office. Just hours after the president announced on Inauguration Day that the United States planned to rejoin the World Health Organization, the vice president was on the phone with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the group, reaffirming the new administration’s support after Mr. Trump’s sustained attacks on the premier global health institution.
Buttering up some Ethiopian politician is the kind of really big job that gets palmed off on Vice Presidents, especially ones whom Presidents only picked for ticket-balancing reasons.