by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s agenda will likely zoom in quickly on four major issues that featured prominently in her and President-elect Joe Biden’s general election campaign and the early transition, working hand-in-glove, according to Harris’s team.
“That’s a public health crisis, an economic crisis, one of racial injustice and climate change,” an aide said of the first order emergencies facing the nation, as well as COVID-19, “the most imminent task right now.”
But Harris will not be deputized to own a specific major subject area at the outset.
“It’s not going to be something like, ‘You deal with climate change, I’m taking the economy.’ It’s not like that,” this aide said. “They are going to approach these crises together and be true governing partners.”
“It’s not to say that one of them can’t take certain issues from the other. And it’s not to say that he’s not going to task her with certain things or that she’s not going to take on issues of her own. I wouldn’t think of it like that,” she added. “It’s more that, how they’re approaching things right now, this is a governance partnership. They’re walking into things together, and as time goes on, if it makes sense, ‘You take more of this, and I’m going to handle [this] issue.'”
The coronavirus pandemic is likely going to be at its peak when Biden and Harris come into office in January, this person said. The aide added that at the rate coronavirus cases and deaths rise, “I think that is the biggest task at hand, and that’s going to take a lot of time to address.”
The crisis has already put millions of people out of work, disproportionately affecting black or minority workers.