“Even in darkish instances, we not solely dream, we do. We not solely see what has been, we see what may be,” she stated. “That is American aspiration.”
The President and his No. 2 lunched collectively Friday, with Biden writing on Fb, “a brand new Administration means a brand new lunch companion.” It is a custom the White Home says will proceed and one Biden deeply valued in his years at Obama’s facet.
Creating that relationship can be key because the pair forge their governing path for the subsequent 4 years. Whereas Biden spent greater than 4 a long time within the halls of Congress and the White Home, Harris — who served within the Senate for 4 years — is a relative newcomer to the facility corridors of Washington.
These near the history-making vp say she’s navigating that new actuality, familiarizing herself with the rhythm of the West Wing and govt authorities however keen to assist remedy the nation’s a number of crises.
“She was not joking when she stated, ‘It is time to get to work,’ ” one White Home official informed CNN.
Breaking the mildew
In her first full day on the White Home Thursday, Harris sat in her workplace mid-morning to learn the letter left behind by Vice President Mike Pence. Aides declined to element the contents of the letter, calling it personal. However Harris and her predecessor have loved a barely extra cordial, although nonetheless delayed, relationship than Biden and Trump have.
Harris and Pence spoke by telephone the week earlier than the inauguration and once more on the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday after the peaceable switch of energy. The 2 have left open the opportunity of talking sooner or later, an administration official stated, just like the conversations Biden had with Pence when Pence first took over the function of vp.
However these near Harris say she’ll lean on Biden himself as a blueprint for the best way to do the job.
“This isn’t arduous for President Biden to do as a result of he is lived it himself and he is aware of the worth of it. He is aware of that he introduced worth to President Obama in a number of methods and he’ll need that out of Vice President Harris,” stated Jay Carney, who as soon as served as Biden’s vice presidential communications director.
To this point, Harris has spent most of her time figuring out of her workplace within the West Wing. Whereas Biden’s Oval Workplace is totally adorned, officers say Harris’ continues to be a piece in progress, lacking sentimental relics and busts however outfitted by a deep navy blue wall and a handful of framed photographs of her mom, husband, sister, niece and one among her and Biden.
The previous prosecutor can be adjusting to this new work life, as her personal is in a sort of upheaval. As a substitute of shifting into the official vp’s residence on the Naval Observatory, Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff briefly moved into Blair Home on Thursday night time, simply throughout the road from the White Home. It is a shorter commute, however one official cited elevated safety as the principle profit — an improve from the hard-to-fortify mega-unit condominium constructing Harris occupied in DC.
Among the many updates to the vice presidential residence on the Naval Observatory are a substitute chimney liner and different family upkeep that might be “extra simply carried out with the house unoccupied,” in line with White Home officers.
A White Home official stated it’s the Navy that manages the decades-old property and ordered the upkeep.
Different attainable updates may ultimately embody the kitchen, one supply stated. A self-proclaimed cooking aficionado, Harris shared recipes and cooking movies through the marketing campaign. The brand new vp has stated she appears to be like ahead to returning to internet hosting Sunday night time dinner along with her household in an effort to create some normalcy.
Officers and people closest to Harris contend that her portfolio and the way she is going to outline herself over time are straight linked to the pandemic and financial crises the Biden administration faces in his first time period. Not less than initially, she’ll don’t have any particular portfolio because the duo works out which points she ought to prioritize. It is an early association that enables her to have a hand in every thing from the beginning.
“She’s targeted on how her workplace can help and amplify the administration’s agenda,” stated Symone Sanders, a senior adviser and prime spokesperson for Harris.
Harris has undertaken some solo ventures as effectively, together with outreach to allies each international and home. On Friday, she spoke at an SEIU govt board assembly, in line with a supply, a non-public name left off her official day by day steering schedule. The day earlier than, she spoke with the World Well being Group’s Director-Normal Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a name that confirmed she’s desperate to beef up her international coverage expertise.
Within the days earlier than Biden launched his large $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package deal, Harris was deployed to name mayors throughout the nation to preview the laws.
“Proper now, the President has laid out 4 massive challenges which requires everybody bringing their greatest considering to the desk and he or she is dedicated to being the perfect companion she will be able to for this President,” Minyon Moore, the political operative veteran who managed Harris’ transition, informed CNN in an interview.
As the brand new White Home navigates the complexities of Covid-19, Harris just isn’t anticipated to make international journey throughout the first six months of the brand new administration, an official stated, however home journey may come sooner.
Harris may additionally grow to be a frequent face again on Capitol Hill, as she holds the title of Senate tie-breaker to the tenuous 50-50 majority Democrats. She’s been vocal that she hopes to not solid any votes, as a substitute aiming for “widespread floor” on laws by way of bipartisanship.
“The purpose is to not must cross every thing with 51 votes,” a supply added. “If they’ll be votes within the Senate the place the result is not identified … She mainly has to remain in DC. Worldwide journeys, nationwide journeys to small companies or wherever — that may’t actually be occurring, which is a brand new dynamic they’ll must cope with.”
One other supply spoke about it in additional private phrases.
“It would not assist her make pals long run, you already know. If she’s eager about (operating in) 2024 or 2028, she’s bought to consider what senators she’s going to wish,” the supply stated.