© White House/screenshot
While it is fairly normal for vice-presidents to participate in calls US presidents make to other world leaders, having them do the calls alone is unusual. This is at least the second time Harris has done it so far. On February 1, she phoned Canadian PM Justin Trudeau to reminisce about her high school years in Montreal, but also discuss
“diversity, [Covid-19], climate change and other issues.”
Technically, Harris has only followed up on Biden’s calls – one of his first calls after the inauguration was to Trudeau, and he called Macron on January 24 – but the unusual practice coupled with existing concerns about Biden’s advanced age has raised some eyebrows among the critics of the current Democrat administration.
“Her tutor sessions with the Secretary of State must be working fast,” tweeted Richard Grenell, former acting director of national intelligence and Trump’s envoy to Germany and the Balkans.
Had Pence been making the calls instead of Trump, all the media would have had doctors diagnosing him as mentally or physically unfit, Twitter pundit Kambree Koa pointed out, recalling the frenzy over the way Trump walked down a steep ramp at West Point.
Instead, the mainstream US outlets were running stories about how Biden was resting at the Camp David presidential retreat during the long Presidents Day weekend, beating his granddaughter at the Mario Kart racing game – or profiles about the exact way he likes the Oval Office fireplace, with climate change concerns suddenly out of the picture.
Biden, 78, is the oldest person ever to be sworn in as US president. Harris, 56, is widely assumed to be waiting in the wings for the top job. The president himself said he was a
“transition candidate,” refers to the presidency as the “Biden-Harris administration” and even joked – perhaps – that if he ever fundamentally disagreed with her on a moral principle, he’d “develop some disease and say I have to resign.” Harris was the media-anointed front-runner in the Democratic primaries in 2019, but crashed and burned after the first debates, dropping out before any primaries were held. Biden was trailing in the early primaries as well, until his victory in South Carolina in February saw most other candidates quickly fall in line. Harris was announced as his running mate in August, and the Democrats presented her as being the first female and “person of color” (she is of Indian and Afro-Caribbean ancestry) to be within a heartbeat of the US presidency. Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
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