New Report Says Kamala Harris Wants Out Of D.C. Even More Than Usual

( )- Vice President Kamala Harris led an American delegation to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday afternoon to express condolences following the death of the country’s president. She was on her way home by Monday morning.

The requirement for a 36-hour turnaround reflects one of the crucial dual roles Harris has been forced to play in her current position. She is the administration’s second most visible member and the 101st senator, the latter of which requires her to be in Washington in the event of a tie-breaking vote.

According to the official Senate count, in her 16 months as vice president, Harris has broken 23 ties in her official role as Senate president. Only America’s first vice president, John Adams (29 votes), and its seventh, John C. Calhoun, have received more votes (31 votes). Harris voted six times last week to break ties.

Joe Biden, her current boss, broke zero ties during his eight years as Vice President under President Barack Obama.

With a 50-50 Senate, Harris’ need to be present for possible votes has irritated some aides, who say she would rather be traveling the country touting the administration’s accomplishments. This is particularly true now that the Covid-19 pandemic has passed. Those close to Harris claim that she would prefer to focus on increasing support for abortion rights, voting rights, and other important issues to her and the administration. However, she has the constitutional authority to break ties in votes.

Harris has privately lamented her inability to leave the Washington, D.C. bubble. She’s been stuck in countless virtual meetings from her office instead of meeting regular people. According to several attendees, she told a group of powerful Black women in politics late last year that she was “Zoom’d out.”

In a December interview, Harris was asked about her biggest failure to date, and she quickly responded, “to not get out of D.C. more.”

Her recent string of tie-breaking votes reflects the Senate’s and the country’s polarization. They’ve primarily focused on nominations for positions that haven’t always been contentious. They include Lisa Cook, the first Black woman on the Federal Reserve Board, and Alvaro Bedoya, who is running for a seat on the Federal Trade Commission to restore the Democratic majority on the panel.

“When I worked for VP Al Gore, he used to have a saying: ‘Every time I vote, we win,” White House chief of staff Ron Klain, who also served in that role for Al Gore, tweeted when Harris broke her first tie in office, for the administration’s American Rescue Plan in February. As Clinton’s No. 2, Gore only broke four ties during his eight years. Harris has since adopted the refrain as her own.

That’s odd. One would think Harris’s refrain would be “together we work together, together.”

(Maybe she should stay in her bubble.)