President Joe Biden promised his vice president Kamala Harris that he would dine with her at least once per week to keep things current, as former President Barack Obama had done with Biden. However, a review of the President and Vice President’s public schedules reveals that the pair have only had two private White House meetings this year, falling short of their goal to share lunch together once per week.
During a conversation with People magazine last year, Biden said: “I wanted her available to participate in everything that I did. As I told her: I wanted her to be the last person in the room. [Like] Barack and I, we have lunch alone once a week. That’s the deal when we’re both in country, which we’ll be for a while because of COVID, and I see her all the time.”
By May 2021, Biden and Harris had shared twelve private lunches together, according to statistics compiled by Real Clear Politics. However, the frequency of their meetings has since been on the decline, going from once per week to about once every month or two.
So far in 2022, Biden and Harris have shared only two private lunches together. The first was on February 8, 2022, while Biden was fighting to find a new Supreme Court Justice to replace Stephen Breyer. The second lunch meeting between the president and vice president occurred on March 30, 2022, after Biden had returned from his trip to Europe in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Although skeptics believe that Biden’s meetings with Harris indicate that something has been going on between the pair, the White House urges the press not to use the frequency of their meetings as a gauge of success.
“The president and vice president are in constant touch with each other,” Deputy Press Secretary Chris Meagher told RCP. “And he relies on her counsel, partnership, and friendship as they work together to continue to grow the economy, cut costs for working families, rally the world in the face of Russia’s aggression, and make historic investments in our nation’s infrastructure.”
Rumors that Harris has not been on good terms with Biden have been swirling for more than a year. According to a report, Biden asked Harris to leave the Oval Office within days of taking office because he did not want her involved as he tried to hammer out a deal with conservative Democrat Senator Joe Manchin in connection to Biden’s domestic spending bill.
“Biden had welcomed Manchin into the Oval for a joint meeting with him and the vice president, a gesture intended to convey that Biden and Harris were a steadfast political team,” according to the senator’s account. “But at one point, when Biden had wanted to talk candidly with Manchin about his views on the rescue bill, the president had asked everyone to leave the room – including Harris.”
Do you think Biden and Harris have a good relationship? Or do you think Biden is disappointed in Harris?